Job of a writer takes you to places. It brings you across many people, many experiences, many memories. Luckily I am a writer! And this new media takes me places!
One such experience was to meet songstress Drshika Advani. Travelling across the nation, singer Drshika has an aim in her mind … cultivation and propagation of her culture, a culture that is now gradually losing its base … the Sindhi culture.
In an era, when the youth prefers raps or Western music, here’s one who goes back to her roots. The language she prefers to sing in is not even Hindi, but Sindhi, a dialect not even Sindhis are fluent in.
And what surprises is … Drshika is all of 12 years of age!
Finding her Guru in not one but three, Kajal Chandiramani, Kavita Sahini and Ashok Jain, Drshika has been singing professional ever since she was 6. However, the moment you see her, she doesn’t come across as a star at that age! She meets you in the most comfortable in her skin, dressed in comfortable pink shorts … lacking any starry tantrums.
Wonder how she does it, but she well manages excelling in opposites. While she is a budding Sindhi singer, she is in love with Taylor Swift! While she is getting trained in Kathak, she’s already good at Jazz. While she is a school Basketball player, she has patience enough to be a photographer, she’s mastering the art of sketching. What more, the girl is winning handwriting competition in her school for the past 6 years. Phewwww!!
Here’s an excerpt from our chat, lets honestly not call it an interview, with this the Youngest International Artist in Sindhi Singing.
ScooTalks: Drshika, you have been singing since your childhood. 6 years of professional singing now. How has been the journey been uptil here?
Drshika: Abhi to it has not been that long a journey, seems I had just started. 6 years only. And I started on this mesmerizing journey along with my Nani Maa. She was a classical singer, listening to her was a enticing. Mumma too loves music. Both of them have been the greatest source of inspiration to me!
ScooTalks: So, your Nani Maa and Mumma, teachers in family, eh!
Drshika: Ah well! Family is always the best teacher and constant support. But Kajal didi has also been there as a guide, a teacher, a mentor … No! I shouldn’t be calling her didi here, right? But she is my guru. A guru who is almost my mother.
And when you talk about Sindhi music, can you ever not talk of Abida Parveen ji?! Her music and singing is my biggest source of inspiration. I try to learn from her, from her singing.
ScooTalks: How about your travelling and performances?
Drshika: Nahi nahi! It’s not that I have travelled a lot. Hardly much. I am still exploring …
ScooTalks: Does that mean you won’t ever venture into Hindi/English singing?
Drshika: I love singing in Hindi and English. Taylor Swift is my favorite. And then which singer, more so an Indian singer won’t look for a light from Lata Mangeshkar! And then, Abida Parveen ji, the most obvious inspiration for me.
ScooTalks: So that calls for some soothe to our ears too!
Drshika: Ya!! I was actually waiting for this.
And she sings a beautiful rendition, Wo humsafar tha, from the Pakistani serial Humsafar and Its been a long day without you friend by Wiz Khalifa.
Man! That was a beauty! Here’s her youtube cover:
ScooTalks: OK! Though, we already know, we’d really like you to feel like a star and talk about your achievements
Drshika: Noooo! No ways! I won’t. I can’t (giggles away). Am no star!
ScooTalks: Come on … for once, be the star tonight. Try at least!
Drshika: Acha OK! So …
I am regular feature at Radio Sindhi and Sindhi TV cable channels.
I recently had performed at Sindhi Association of Hong Kong & China and I was the youngest there. I don’t want to boast, but it feel wonderful!
I am the Youngest International Artist in Sindhi Singing.
I have already released an album, Varso, my first Sindhi album.
I also have a Hindi album, Baarishein.
I was the winner of Sindhi Family No. 1 contest held in Mumbai.
I have also won a cash prize of Rs. 21k last year from Sindhi organization for being an inspiration for Sindhi youth to promote Sindhi language and culture.
I can perform on any song on Piano within 15 mins.
ScooTalks: Did you ever find it tough to be on stage?
Drshika: I do face stage fright sometimes, though I have been lucky always to never fumble on stage.
And then I remember being on the stage for the first time. I was standing in the green room aisle, to perform on stage for the first time, cribbing to Mumma, “mummy mujhe to ye wali trophy chahiye, trophy chahiye, trophy chahiye.” Mumma too was quite tensed because it was to be my first time on stage and all I was thinking was the trophy. But, eventually … I came back with a trophy!
ScooTalks: So, these performances, practicing, etc., do all these hamper your studies?
Drshika: It does. My report card says that I am quite good in studies, though the time that my classmates spend in tuitions, I spend in music and dance classes. Well, this has to be a chance for me to thank my teachers at Billabong High International School, Santa Cruz, Mumbai, not only do they teach so well but also are really very supportive that I can easily manage avoiding tuitions. Apart from this, music and dancing relax my mind. With music comes the first lesson of discipline and concentration. And that’s what studies need! And I love to sketch and click pictures.
Photograph clicked by Drshika
Sketches By Drshika
ScooTalks: To wind up, Drshika, what are your dreams?
Drshika: Other than promoting Sindhi singing? Phir toh I have many!
I want to win a Grammy!
I want to visit and get trained in New York
I want to visit Sindh, see Abida Parveen ji
I want to be a photographer; I have been clicking pics since I got to know about Barbie cams.
I also want to be an IAS
And I want to be a person who sits on this recliner chair and sign cheques
I want to own a bungalow, next to Taylor Swift and have lots of dogs and dogs and dogs.
Taylor Swift used to invite musical videos on her Facebook page. The one she liked, she took them along with her to perform next to her. I want to be a part of that troupe!
ScooTalks: Long list, eh! It was amazing to meet you Drshika. Not just because you have many talents hidden in you, but because you are you! Hereby, Team ScooTalks wishes you all the very best and hopes that you be the top-notch singer and take your culture to the future!
By the way, we’d sure like you to hear her sing this Sindhi rendition, considered to be one of the toughest in the language.
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