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Vasuda Sharma, former member of pop band Aasma, releases a video for Maha Shivratri

Ahead of Maha Shivratri, singer-songwriter Vasuda Sharma released a video single, ‘Shiv Shiv: The Eternal Chant’. Her rendition of the Tulsidas composition adds a contemporary touch to the traditional lyrics.

Launched under her music label, Song Nest, the video captures the essence of the Shiva theme. Filmed by the director of photography, Manoj Kumar Khatoi, on the banks of the Ganga River in Varanasi, the picturesque setting of the ghats by the river, with the singer strumming on her ukulele, adds depth to the visuals.

Vasuda explains that Manoj, upon hearing the song, was inspired to shoot the video in Varanasi. They conducted a recce of the location one day and proceeded with the shoot the following day.

The bhakti path

Not without my ukulele

Not without my ukulele
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Vasuda grew up in a small town in Haryana in an environment where most devotional songs were primarily focused on Krishna bhajans. Vasuda was initiated into singing by an aunt, who was a singer and by age four, she could sing nearly 400 bhajans on Krishna. However, Vasuda says there has always been an underlying connection with Lord Shiva since childhood, and she learned a version of a song dedicated to him.

“During the lockdown, my husband and I stumbled upon the teachings of Sadguru and the Isha Foundation. During this time, my childhood connection with the song about Shiva resurfaced. My journey took a significant turn when I had the opportunity to visit Kailash Manasarovar. The experiences I had there were truly surreal and beyond comprehension; it felt like a profound calling to express myself creatively, and music has always been my preferred medium of expression. Thus, the timing felt right to work on this composition, especially for the upcoming Shivratri,” says the former member of the pop band Aasma.

The band Aasma was formed through the Coke (V) Popstars talent hunt in 2003, and they gained popularity with songs like ‘Chandu Ke Chacha’ and ‘‘Tumse Hi Pyar’‘. Vasuda Sharma, then 18 years old, was the band’s youngest member. They had a brief but impactful stint in the Indian music industry.

Vasuda describes being part of Aasma as a life-changing experience. Initially, she was met with resistance from her family, who had traditional career aspirations for her. “I eventually convinced them to support my musical journey. Joining Aasma opened doors I never imagined, exposing me to the glamour and excitement of the music industry.”

The band’s makeover and collaboration with renowned composers like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Vishal Bhardwaj provided invaluable exposure and experience, says Vasuda adding, “The thrill of performing on stage, the adrenaline of recording sessions, and the camaraderie with my bandmates created unforgettable memories. Looking back, I am grateful for the opportunity and the support of my family, which laid the foundation for my journey as a musician.

Bhajans to blues

To date, Vasuda has over 50 original songs to her name. Her work reflects her openness to exploring new sounds and styles while staying grounded in her roots. From a small town in Haryana to a bigger city like Delhi, the culture shock shaped her musical identity. “Having sung bhajans and trained in classical music, I was introduced to jazz, western music and Gospel music at the convent school in Delhi. Soon after, I picked up the guitar and taught myself a few chords.”

Her approach to songwriting, drawing inspiration from personal experiences, social commentary, and spiritual reflections, added depth and authenticity to the music, says Vasuda. “Each song reflects my journey, whether a Krishna bhajan or a rock ballad.”

Vasuda’s decision to pursue further education at Berklee College of Music in Boston, in the U.S. and undertake a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production marked a significant turning point in her career. Despite experiencing success through stage shows, corporate gigs, and indie music releases, she wanted personal and professional growth. The scholarship offered to her enabled this pursuit free of financial constraints.

During her time at Berklee, Vasuda was exposed to diverse perspectives and experiences her peers share worldwide. “This exposure broadened my musical horizons and enriched my artistic journey, and the connections established with fellow students proved invaluable, personally and professionally.”

Empowered by her education and newfound confidence, Vasuda began a crowdfunding campaign to produce her album, Astute Spirits. “I could showcase my skills as a composer and arranger; a clear sign of my evolution as an artiste. I’m passionate about music and see my future as more than just being a singer. Last year, I took a big step by launching my music label, Song Nest. It’s an artiste-driven independent label, and I’m dedicated to supporting and promoting talent.”

As she expands her role beyond performing, Vasuda wants to explore her skills as a music producer and composer. “Song Nest is not just about me; it’s about creating a vibrant community of musicians and singers. I will work behind the scenes, discovering new talent and fostering collaborations. While Song Nest operates as a label, it will not work on the usual business model. I’m committed to nurturing creativity and innovation within our community and positively impacting the music industry.”

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