Since the release of her mega viral hit: “Indian Summer” dropped back in July of 2021, which now has over four millions views on YouTube and counting, Indian-American songstress Shuba has elevated her career to higher heights with zero signs of slowing down anytime soon.
By virtue of her well-balanced penchant for uncanny artist imitation, compelling vocals, catchy raps and ultra relatable lyrics, Shuba has become synonymous with the concept of “going viral” and has become a leading force among today’s fleet of artists who have optimized the power of social media to become household sensations seemingly overnight.
With over 5.6 million followers on TikTok and 1 million followers on YouTube, Shuba’s digital footprint is only growing larger by the day and her star power is skyrocketing with rapid speed.
Recently signing to Snafu Records, which describes itself as a “hybrid tech and music company with the heart of a record label and the mind of a start-up,” Shuba joins the ranks of artists like Gia Woods, Hit-Boy and Sam MacPherson.
Through an eclectic mix of influences, which include Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B and Bollywood, The Indian shapeshifter prides herself on being a refreshing act who plans on breaking some of the monotony that has plagued today’s music scene.
Coming up as a minority in the United States, Shuba’s mission is to craft timeless music for “the underdogs who feel stuck inside society’s norm.” As someone who identifies and actively combats this sense of confinement, she wants to illuminate to her audience that it is possible to liberate themselves and break free from limitations.
Fortunately enough, JaJuan Malachi of The Knockturnal was able to chat with the blossoming starlet about life, career, next steps and more.
Here is how the interaction played out:
JaJuan: For those who aren’t familiar with you just yet, tell us about your background and how you got your start in music?
Shuba: I was really fortunate to have parents who encouraged me to sing and be creative. My parents would show me trending music from the U.S. and from India and many other countries, and I would listen to all these songs on repeat in the car and at home. I also really loved imitating people- teachers, aunts, etc., and eventually started doing impressions of famous singers. I’d say that’s how I learned a lot of my technique.
JaJuan: Being Indian-American, how has that impacted your career trajectory, if at all?
Shuba: It definitely seeps into the melodies and concepts I write about. I’ve been very split culturally my whole life and am constantly re-working my sense of self and who I am. I think this helps me relate to a lot of kids who grew up in similar backgrounds in the U.S.
JaJuan: After listening to only a couple of your tracks, I noticed that there are myriad genres infused into your music, some of which include Pop, Hip-Hop, R&B and Bollywood. How would you describe your soundscape?
Shuba: You nailed it! I like to think it’s Ariana Grande x Eminem mixed with some Bollywood. I love storytelling in my verses but having a really easy chorus that feels universal.
JaJuan: With over 5.6 M followers on TikTok, you’ve gained quite the following? How crucial has social media been in the development of your following and overall brand?
Shuba: It’s been pretty crucial! I didn’t even know people would like hearing me rapping until I started doing it on TikTok, and now I sometimes like to use that in my music. It’s been really helpful in getting my presence out there and teaching me how to constantly challenge myself creatively and pick up on new and interesting trends in music.
JaJuan: Since being in the music industry, what is some of the best advice you’ve received thus far and from whom?
Shuba: A.R. Rahman told me to think about pursuing your passion as going to an island and burning the ship, so that you couldn’t be tempted to have a plan b or any sort of back up plan. You would have to learn how to survive on the island. That really stuck with me.
JaJuan: With your TikTok compilations, you’ve shown that you have a knack for supremely imitating the sound and cadence of an eclectic range of artists: Ariana Grande, Eminem, Celine Dion, etc. When’d you discover you had this special talent?
Shuba: My mom and sister started noticing that I was getting suspiciously good at doing impressions when I was in middle school! We all thought it was a fun party/ home trick but I had no idea it would mean anything more than that at the time.
JaJuan: Outside of the realm of making music, what are some other creative things you enjoy doing?
Shuba: I need to get way better at doing more creative things outside of music, but I like journaling. I’ve kept a journal for forever and it’s really therapeutic. I should probably get into painting or makeup though too. I’m starting to get into fashion.
JaJuan: What was the inspiration behind your latest single: “ICON”? How’d the idea come about?
Shuba: The beat for Icon was so bare and had a lot of room to tell a story. I wasn’t sure which story exactly to tell so I thought I’d just talk about my life literally. At the time, I had just taken off on TikTok and went knee deep into writing my own songs again, so I thought I could just talk about that and give people a subtle introduction to my artist side and my dreams.
JaJuan: I noticed that you’re signed to Snafu Records, which prides itself on optimizing technology to put their talent in the driving seat. What prompted you to team up with said label?
Shuba: My A&R who signed me was so passionate about what I was doing and seemed to really be excited to grow and help me make amazing songs.
JaJuan: What are some things you have lined up for 2022?
Shuba: A tour in the fall, writing a bunch of new songs, shows in the summer, traveling a LOT (India, Nashville, New York, Chicago etc.), making content as much as possible, and working with amazing people.
JaJuan: Where do you see Shuba in five years?
Shuba: No idea haha. I’m just grateful to be alive and well right now. We will see what the universe has in store for me.
To keep up with Shuba, check her out on TikTok