When you listen to Shweta Subram, she sounds as if she has the “it” factor. If you didn’t know otherwise, you would assume you were listening to a professional Bollywood singer. You would notice that she has an Arabic fluttery crooning quality and that her voice has a tenacious tone, like she has been doing this for years. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell has claimed that the Beatles would not have had their distinctive sound had they not played for literally 10,000 hours in European clubs. Well, Subram has definitely clocked her ten thousand, what with touring with Alka Yagnik in Canada, accompanying Atif Aslam and Sukhbir in India, and doing the Navaratri Dandiya nights for BIG 92.7 (Gujarat, India).

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Subram catapulted into North American fame in June 2011 by performing with current Bollywood reigning music idols Salim-Sulaiman at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Rocks in Toronto event and headlining the IIFA Buzz event in Markham. She sang the number “Khuda Ke Liye” from the movie Aazaan, originally sung by Shraddha Pandit.

Subram’s single “Ajooba” sounds like a “Laila Mein Laila” (from the movie Qurbani) meets Alisha Chinoy’s “Made in India,” and is captivating for its mix of Bollywood glitter, sudden Indian-classical treatments, and effortless rendition. It also features Canadian rapper, singer, and song-writer Richilous. Subram’s debut single “Jee Le Live Life” has a similar “in” vibe, with the right mix of young sound and mature execution on vocals. She’s working on some more tracks for a debut album, while setting her sights on a career in playback singing in India—not just in Bollywood, but the larger canvas of Indian cinema, since Subram can sing in Tamil, Kannada, Bengali and other languages as well. That should give her some elbow room in an industry that is forever reinventing its music.

Ajooba and other songs available on www.shwetasubram.com

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