After having her son, Indian American musician Falguni Shah, aka Falu, embarked on a mission to create one of the first South Asian music and culture projects in the market, “Falu’s Bazaar.” That album is now in the race for a Grammy Award.
“Falu’s Bazaar” is competing in the ‘Best Children’s Album’ category at the 2019 Grammy Awards. The competitors include Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats for “All the Sounds”; Tim Kubart for “Building Blocks”; The Pop Ups for “Giants of Science”; and Frank and Deane for “The Nation of Imagine.”
Expressing her excitement on Facebook, Shah wrote: “I immigrated to this country with many dreams. One hidden dream has always been to win a Grammy… I am thankful for the dream that America offers to millions of immigrants like me who want to share their story. Thank You to the true America, a nation of immigrants!”
A musical journey through South Asian culture and around the globe, the album, according to Shah, celebrates the instruments, languages, sights, and humanity of a diverse world in three languages: Hindi, English and Gujarati.
In “Falu’s Bazaar,” children learn a variety of things through songs, like how to introduce themselves in Hindi, obey traffic signals, know about animals, count, spices, South Asian cooking, and diverse cultures, among others.
The album, which released Feb. 16, 2018, can be purchased on iTunes, and other major digital retailers.
A trained singer in the Jaipur musical tradition and in the Benares style of Thumrie, Shah, according to her website, moved to the U.S. in 2000 and was appointed a visiting lecturer at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Shah, who was appointed Carnegie Hall’s ambassador of Indian Music in 2006, has collaborated with artists like A.R. Rahman, Yo-Yo Ma, Wyclef Jean, Philip Glass, Ricky Martin, and Blues Traveler, among others.
Her resume also includes performing for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House and being the featured performer at the Time 100 gala in 2009.
Her first album, “Falu,” was featured in Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s “Beyond Bollywood” exhibit as the representative of the voice of Indian American trendsetting artists.
Snatam Kaur, who is a renowned Sikh sacred chant singer, has also received a Grammy nomination for the ‘Best New Age Album.’ Her album, “Beloved,” guides listeners through a stream of exquisite melodies and textures that uplift and soothe, blending classical Indian elements with Western folk and contemporary singer-songwriter styles, according to a press release. The album also features Neelamjit Dhillon on tabla.
The 61st Annual Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 10.