MUMBAI—Veteran filmmaker Anil Sharma, the man behind hits like “Shraddhanjali,” “Hukumat,” “Gadar: Ek Prem Ktha” and “Apne,” is delighted that his two children are making waves. Son Utkarsh will be making his lead debut in Sharma’s next, “Genius,” while daughter Kairvina is going the solo way, making both music and news pursuing her dreams in far-off (from Mumbai) Los Angeles.
Kairvina is a 21-year-old Alt. Rock singer/songwriter born and raised in India. Her passion for music started to develop at the age of seven when she realized school was just too mundane for her ever-wandering mind. Writing songs at the back of her math final question paper (among other such examples), she knew that a musician was what she wanted to be.
Soon, Kairvina taught herself both the piano and the guitar, and also completed a course in Indian classical music. Before coming to Los Angeles, Kairvina was part of The Stop-Gaps Choral Ensemble, a non-profit organization performing concerts to support several charities. She was also one of the runners-up in an online competition created by Simon Cowell called “The You Generation.”
Kairvina even recorded a song for the Hindi film “42 Days” under Monty Sharma. In Los Angeles, she graduated from the Los Angeles College of Music with a degree in vocal performance and studied under great musicians like Tierney Sutton, Maiya Sykes and Teresa James.
Inspired by Jeff Buckley, John Mayer, Lianne La Havas, Kairvina has her own approach to music – raw dreamy vocals melting into soft rock and soul are what she loves. She recently released her debut EP “Beautiful Blue” with producer Andrew Murdock (Godsmack) and her band – Tim Gaisser on drums, Eric Lee on bass, Zach Guemzel on keyboard and Sebastian Jimenez on guitar.
You can find her playing at The Mint, Republic of Pie, Molly Malone's, The Hobbyshop Studios, Holy Grounds Coffee & Tea, and more. She also has a monthly residency at Aro Latin, a restaurant in South Pasadena and the radio station KCEG streams her EP frequently. She is going to be playing at the Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair in Pasadena this April.
Kairvina (her name means “moon”) is currently working on a full-length album with her band. She wants this album to express an honest version of herself. Her favorite book “Slammed” inspired her to push her boundaries because that is what “boundaries are there for.” And she plans to live by those words.
Excerpts from a brief conversation on phone with India-West:
Q: How did you get attracted to Western music?
A: I guess it just happened. My cousins made me listen to a lot of such music. There was also my school. Since I wanted to do music, I was in its music room all the time!
Q: Why not do Western music in India rather than coming to the US?
A: I figured that if I came to the US, I would know more about it. I want to work globally. I want my music to be everywhere.
Q: You also trained in Indian classical. How much does that help you here? And are you interested in a fusion since you are familiar with both schools?
A: No, I am not interested in fusion. But the best part about Indian classical music is that the notes and the ‘raags’ are so very different. They opened my mind and helped me think of new melodies. The course I did in L.A. also was helpful for my vocal performance in all genres.
Q: How do you create your music? Do you allot a time and place for it or does it come anywhere?
A: I do try to sit and create in a disciplined way, but a song comes at random, and I tape it on my phone initially.
Q: What comes first, the words or the tune?
A: Generally both happen together.
Q: And are these songs a mix of what you are feeling or your experiences or just something creative?
A: So far, it’s been a mix of both. But now, I am trying to keep it more honest to my personal feelings. My EP, “Beautiful Blue” is a mix of both.
Q: How did you do the complete song in India where you did not have a band? And how does your band contribute here?
A: I would do it myself in India. Over here, I give my song to the band, and they work on it. They do sometimes make me change some small things.
Q: As the musical one of the family, did your father make you a sounding-board for the music of his films?
A: He always makes the whole family listen to give him a feedback.
Q: Do you have any favorite songs from his films?
A: I love Sajid-Wajid’s “Surily Ankhiyonwale” from “Veer.”