India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve People
May 28, 2015

Pitch Perfect: Tanvi Shah

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Litbox Media Factory

She is the unseen voice behind the foot-tapping chartbusters that have set the nation rocking. Tanvi Shah speaks to Verve about her passion, inspiration and dream

Your tryst with music: I’m born and brought up in Chennai. Life has been pretty interesting and I feel blessed and lucky at the same time that music was first a hobby and it is now my profession. I share a Grammy with AR Rahman and Gulzar Saab, have collaborated with Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion), spoken at the TEDx conference and last year I released my first Latin single Llamalo Amor (Call It Love in English). I started singing when Rahman Sir called me, and then there was no looking back after I recorded my first song.

A composer and co-singer you loved working with: I love working with Rahman Sir, Yuvan Shankar and Amit Trivedi. As a co-singer, Benny Dayal is a fire-cracker on stage.

Your musical style: It is difficult to attach my name to a particular style, but I love languages and the Latin and Afro-Cuban ones. I have also sung a lot of Samba, Jazz, Salsa, Son and Axe.

Breakthrough song: Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire.

Globe-trotting favourites: Los Angeles, London and Coorg.

A song you wish you had sung: Todas Las Palabras by Marta Gomez.

Music to you is: A safe kind of high and on a serious note, it keeps me sane. It’s divine.

Artistes you prefer to listen to: Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, Ella Fitzgerald, Marta Gomez, Idan Raichel, Prince, Asha Bhonsle and AR Rahman.

Fashion and luxury to you are: Things you can buy. But to me it is style which is more important.

Anything you’d like to change about your journey: No, I’ve loved every minute of my journey. It’s not always rosy, there are highs and lows, but it is all part of the process.

Live performances versus recordings: Live performances are a clear winner as you connect with the audience and get to see their reactions.

Your favourite from the song you’ve sung: The title track of Delhi-6 and my Latin song, Llamalo Amor.

Songs from the past year that really stood out: Rather Be by Clean Bandit, XO by Beyoncé and Samjhawan by Arijit Singh.

Composers and singers you’d like to collaborate with: Amit Trivedi, Vishal-Shekhar and Idan Raichel amongst the composers and Arijit Singh, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Pablo Alboran and Marta Gomez amongst the singers.

Apps you cannot stop using: I can’t live without Google Maps.

Looking forward to in the future: I’m writing my own songs and collaborating with artists like Jhawk.

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