|Written by Tony Pabla|
|Saturday, 18 November 2006|
Shakti is the feminine energy that communicates through impulses, sensations and feelings.
She awakens your passion with images and sound. Global Soul Entertainment, Inc., and Incentive Records, brings to the universe Shakti, the groundbreaking Indo-American artist of the millennium commanding the performing arts of singing, dancing, acting and entertaining.
Shakti captures audiences worldwide with a mainstream fusion of pop, hip-hop, R&B, Bollywood and gypsy flavors that is certain to intoxicate and elevate you to levels never experienced before. Shakti is “The First Indian Hip-Pop Diva”
Her self-titled debut contains mellifluous Eastern beats, mixed with melodies reminiscent of Indian ‘ragas’ and soulful R&B soundscapes that are interwoven with pop and urban grooves. Shakti has been exposed to the best of both worlds making her the perfect icon to represent East West fusion “at home it was traditional Indian music and outside it was kids beat boxing, rapping and breakdancing on cardboard.”
Motown (Detroit) has added Shakti to its prestigious list of renowned musicians. Shakti was born and raised in America to parents of Indian decent. Starting with ‘Sapthaswaram’ sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa (Indian solfege) at the tender age of seven, she learned Carnatic music, South Indian style, from her grandmother (who also appears on album). Shakti began piano lessons at age eight, and at twelve she studied jazz and contemporary singing styles.
She formally studied Western classical voice and eventually opera. Shakti pursued higher education at the esteemed Berklee College of Music; she obtained her Bachelor of Music Degree and went on with a scholarship to The Chicago Musical College and received a Masters in Music Degree. Shakti also pursued various dance styles like Bharthanatyam (Classical Indian dance), Hip-Hop and Bellydance at the Egyptian Academy of Oriental Dance.
It became quite evident to her early on that her call is to bridge East and West through music. Shakti vocally expresses herself as an urban pop songstress and draws from her rich ethnic heritage with extreme fluidity. Shakti says “It wasn't always so cool being different the ethnic thing wasn't in, I know times have changed, but it's not about a trend to me; it's who I am.”
Shakti is a versatile vocalist in different languages including Hindi and Tamil. She is a talented musician, songwriter, and producer who can lay down tracks and create ‘blazing’ hot beats, especially with her audio production and engineering certification. Shakti interned at Recording Studios namely Chicago Recording Company and Chicago Trax Studios (R. Kelly's Chocolate Factory), and worked on projects such as ‘The Smashing Pumpkins' and 'Regina Bell'.
Shakti has performed in numerous venues internationally with talents like Fareed Haque, Wynton Marsalis, Geroge Benson, and Joe Williams as a Jazz Artist. She toured with the Pop sensation The Jets (MCA) and jammed with artist Guru at the North Sea Jazz Festival. In India she has worked with renowned composer Karthick Raaja, son of legendary ILaya Raaja, and the famous Aadesh Srivitava, Music Director to well known Bollywood actor Amida Bachan.
Shakti's mother began managing her career during Middle school and said, “The very first time I saw Shakti perform on the stage, I knew she belonged there.” Shakti, with her mother, relocated to California to pursue her dreams.
Shakti won several talent competitions and pageant titles. It was here she began working with various talent and modeling agencies after winning multiple categories at the International Modeling Talent Association Competition in Hollywood. Shakti's ‘ahead of time’ fashion sense has been developed into a fashion and accessory line which she personally overseas. Shakti was introduced to Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder) at fifteen who said, “Shakti would be something special.”
Many have helped shape Shakti's career into what it is today especially Marcus ‘Bellringer’ Bell, an innovative Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop Producer. Shakti and ‘Bellringer’ trekked across the globe to India where they teamed with leading Bollywood producers, directors, and artists.
The result is the Shakti album. It is a project with international appeal that has sparked licensing and performance interest from companies in India, Africa, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Jordan, Canada, Singapore, Korea, France and Italy. Shakti's single ‘Do The Thang Thang’ has already appeared on numerous compilations such as ‘Bombay Boogie Nights’ (Sony/Germany), ‘R&B Hip-Hop Party’ (Avex/Japan), Billboard 2004 Sampler (New York), and the soundtrack ‘Where's The Party Yaar’ (SaReGaMa/India).
The Indian-American singer exudes glamour and verve like a glistening eastern jewel. She will mesmerize you with an exotic beauty that oozes self-pocessed sensuality. Her style of performance certainly reflects her originality and uniqueness. Her stunning and commanding stage presence conveys contagious passion moving the audience with her. Her soulful sound vibrates and resonates through space and time. The New York based Shakti states, “Music is simply a mind, body and spiritual experience” Shakti is a girl who is urban, global, intelligent, innovative, modern yet authentic, and, her music is the fusion of Hip-Hop, R&B and Pop with traditional sounds like tablas, oud, and sitar weaving all these varied styles into a seamless album.
Sensual vocals with exotic overtones flow throughout these steaming hot tracks. “I really want people to embrace me for who I am and accept my contribution to music, it comes from my heart.” - Shakti It is radio, club, visual, driving in the car, relaxing at home all encompassing. It is Shakti!
Experience Shakti from within‚ Let her surround you as you listen…
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