Grammy 2022 was a historic event for many people. Along with artists from the West, several Asian artists also received honours from the Recording Academy. Amongst these few names was that of Falguni Shah. The American Indian singer-songwriter bagged her first Grammy for her work on her album – A Colorful World.
Hailing from Mumbai, Falguni is popularly known by her stage name Falu. She is trained in Hindustani Classical music. She firstly trained in the Jaipur Gharana musical tradition and then trained in the Benaras style of Thumri under Kaumudi Munshi and semi-classical music from Uday Mazumdar. She then trained under the late sarangi/vocal master Ustad Sultan Khan, and also with the legendary Kishori Amonkar.
Falu moved to the United States in 2000. She joined the Boston-based Indo-American band Karyshma as a lead vocalist. In 2001, she joined hands with Asian Massive leader, Karsh Kale, and worked in nationwide university, club and festival circuits. After her 2-year Indian music visiting lectureship at Tufts University in Boston, the singer moved to New York where she formed her own band of the same name. The band performed at music venues throughout New York, quickly garnering the attention of fans across the city.
During her early days in the economical capital of India, Shah trained in Jaipur Gharana, honing her talent for up to 16 hours a day. She released her self-titled debut CD in 2002 and rest is history. She made a special appearance at the Time 100 Gala in 2009. She collaborated with Slumdog Millionaire film composer AR Rahman for a rendition of Jai Ho. Falguni was also listed in Time magazine’s yearly list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
She was also invited to the White House to sing alongside AR Rahman at President Obama’s first State Dinner. The dinner was organised in honour of then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. She was also named one of the 20 most influential global Indian women by the Economic Times of India in 2015. She bagged the Women Icons of India award in Mumbai, India in 2018.
The Mumbai-born singer has collaborated with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Wyclef Jean, Philip Glass, Ricky Martin, Blues Traveler and A R Rahman, among others. She was previously nominated for a Grammy in the same category for her 2018 album Falu’s Bazaar.
(Featured Image Credits: Instagram @falgunishah)