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In Conversation With Vasuda Sharma, Composer And Singer

Nirmala Garimella

Our Lokvani @10 gala was full of pleasant surprises. Besides being overwhelmed with the generous turnout and the support of the community, we had some great moments meeting people with different talents. One such person was Vasuda Sharma, a student at Berkley who was with us that night. When she sang 'Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo' at the after party in Lokvani@10 gala, we were all literally enthralled by her voice, range and modulation.


I caught up with Vasuda after the event and asked if we could feature her in our pages. She is a new arrival to Boston straight from Mumbai and has been here barely more than three months. Jharna Madan, our gracious unofficial but enthusiastic photographer for the event brought her to the gala so she could get a taste of the desi life here in the US.


Vasuda has performed with her band Aasma for many Bollywood star nights including Salman Khan show in Hyderabad, the Sanjay Dutt Macro Ricci peace concert, Indian Telly awards, Star Pariwar Awards, Times War of the DJ’S, Channel [V] Big V Concert, Stardust awards and many more…. The band Aasma rocked the country with two hit albums to their name (Aasma & Aasma Infinite) which were a huge success with many hit singles like Chandu ke chacha , Salim Salma, Tumse hi pyar….


She recently won an online contest held by Music2deal where nearly 420 Indian bands participated and was the chosen one to represent India in the 2010 Berlin Popkomm Festival held in Germany in September last year. Since then she has been touring India and has performed in renowned clubs in India like Hard rock cafe, Opus, Bluefrog etc.


Give us some background on your singing career?


I am originally from Delhi but have been in Mumbai for the past 8 years pursuing my profession in music. I was selected on a national level talent hunt by channel V and star in 2002, called the coke V pop stars in which they formed a mixed pop band called Aasma. The song ‘chandu ke chacha was my debut with the band. Then the band released two more albums and toured and performed all over the country and abroad. It has been for some years the band has been still together but we are pursuing our solo careers as well.


Are you a trained musician?


I have been trained a little bit in Indian classical but folk (Mathura) is my forte. That’s what I grew up singing. I was never really that exposed to bollywood songs. I am mostly self taught, picked up the guitar while I was in college, started listening to some rock music ...artists like Alanis Morresette. and sang a lot in inter college competitions.


You are also a composer. Tell us more about your interest in composing music?


When aasma happened, I shifted to Mumbai, there along the way I discovered my love for composing. I was approached to act in a Bollywood movie, but music being my first love and preference; I managed to get the score for "Shahrukh Bola Khoobsurat hai tu" directed by Mr. Makrand Deshpande.  Released last year, I got a chance to have Jagjit sing and Shankar Mahadevan sing my tunes. That was quite incredible. They appreciated my efforts a lot and have been very encouraging. I composed all songs, wrote lyrics for three and sang three songs in the movie. I also represented India in this international music festival in Berlin called popkomm. That was again a great exposure and I got incredible response for my original music.


What made you come to the US and to Boston?


I was offered a scholarship from Berkley and I thought about it. I decided to come here for a while, learn the things I want to and go back and implement the same knowledge in my music. I have not been exposed to western music theory at all. I am doing a course in contemporary writing and production so that I could write and arrange my compositions and also have the technical knowledge to go about doing it right and be able to communicate with other technicians from the music industry.

Any future projects in the works?

I have already composed for one movie have another project due next year. an animation movie by Mr. Govind Nihalani that I need to take up. I basically want to pursue music direction in Bollywood but also want to continue singing for the rest of my life.


Any inspiration in your life when it comes to music?


I don’t have any particulars artists as favorites; I like and get inspired by certain songs and words. It can be anything from western to Indian classical, ghazal or folk. I have varied interests in music. I like Geeta Dutt’s songs all the way to Shankar Mahadevan and many other contemporary artists in western music, my songwriting is highly influenced by rock artist Alanis Morrisette. So it’s all a mix of everything. I love strong melodies and words, that’s what stands out for me in songs.


 In my family, my aunt (Bua) has been my whole sole teacher since childhood as I have grown up singing folk songs ,bhajans and rasiyas from her.I owe it all to her. She made me sing sa re ga ma... since i was four.. I picked it up pretty fast and used to sing and dance on Krishna bhajans in Mathura.









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1.Vasuda Sharma November 30, 2011 

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