Her first album "Raastey" was released last month and she is being persuaded by college students to perform at college fests across the country
When a 15-year-old Shraddha Sharma uploaded “Main Tujhe Samjhanva Ki” on YouTube to make amends with somebody special, she didn’t know that she will become a sensation on the Internet. Within weeks, she got seven lakh views and soon her YouTube channel Shraddharockin became one of the most subscribed Indian channels on YouTube. Three years later, with 20 lakh views across 30-odd videos of her singing cover versions of film songs with a guitar, she is being described as Justin Beiber of India and has signed a long term contract with Universal Music.
Purists might find her range as nothing but ordinary but her fan base on social media can put many a Bollywood stars to shame. Her first album “Raastey” was released last month and she is being persuaded by college students to perform at college fests across the country.
Give it to her girl-next-door looks or the refreshing blend of demure yet lively personality, the Dehradun girl has nothing but her fate to thank for this unusual rise. “My mother is a music teacher. She used to teach me classical music. One day when my friend got annoyed with me I recorded a Rahat Ali Khan number and uploaded it on YouTube. When I got a favourable response, I started uploading songs like ‘Hal e Dil’ (Murder 2). Soon I was flooded with fans.” One of them made a Facebook page for her.
Her amiable face and her penchant for romantic numbers draw a lot of amorous comments from youngsters. “I like to be appreciated but sometimes the comments get nasty. There should be check on the language and people should not pass judgment on my family members.”
Shraddha, who has shifted base to Mumbai, says her experience says social media is a better way to showcase your talent than doing the rounds of reality shows. “I have recorded an album with Leslie Lewis and Jim Beanz of Timbland Productions. I got to sing original songs written by lyricist Ankur Tiwari and have recorded a number with Apache Indian.” The music video of “Raastey” is already out and it captures Shraddha’s real story. “Here it is not just romantic numbers, I have tried other genres like Rock and R&B as as well.” In her first year of graduation, Shraddha doesn’t want to take the playback singing route. “I want to hone my skills and focus on concerts.”
Devraj Sanyaal, Managing Director, Universal Music and EMI Music South Asia, says social media is proving a serious source for hunting talent. “It is not a gimmick. Shraddha was already a star before we picked her and we have invested serious money in her. Her biggest quality is that she is a natural. Also, there is real space for an alternative to Bollywood and to fulfil this demand.”