This piece is part of the Greylists series: communities sharing the music that brings them together.
Brooklyn-based Shilpa Ananth is an Indian vocalist, songwriter, composer, and producer. Shilpa’s voice swirls around and bubbles with electronic accents. Her lyrics combine three of the oldest Indian languages - Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi - with English. Influenced by a blend of soul, jazz, and electronic, Shilpa’s sound is reminiscent of South India’s dreamy landscapes.
Shilpa grew up in a home that was brimming with traditional Indian music. “Maybe it’s my Carnatic training coming through, but after Berklee I was sure that I wanted to write music that reflected my roots, culture, heritage, and fuse it with the styles of Western music like jazz, R&B, soul, that I had felt a close relationship with while studying there,” she told Rolling Stone India.
In her teens, her brother introduced her to western artists and she found herself drawn to the voices of Norah Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Erykah Badu. After graduating with honors from Berklee College of Music, Shilpa released her debut EP, Indian Soul, in 2016.
She’s worked with Grammy award-winning composers like A.R. Rahman and Bobby McFerrin, and was featured as a vocalist on the recent Grammy-nominated album ONA by Thana Alexa. She has also partnered with SapnaNYC and Sakhi.
And those are only a couple of her early career plaudits. Not only was she awarded the title ’Best Independent Artist’ at the Blue Rhymez Entertainment Honorary Awards 2020, but Shilpa is also the recipient of both the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre 2020, as well as the Music Grantee 2020, for the Café Royal Cultural Foundation, New York.
For her Greylist, Shilpa has picked 13 songs that will take you through the dreamy scenery of what she has on repeat.
1. “Align 2.0 - ARKTKT Remix,” Shilpa Ananth
2. “In the Dark,” Aleksandra Denda
3. “Head to Your Toes,” Kanika
4. “Make Out in My Car - James Blake Version,” Moses Sumney
5. “A Palé,” ROSALÍA
6. “JA ARA E,” Burna Boy
7. “Energy (feat, Mahalia),” Pa Salieu
8. “Bring Me the Moon,” Iris Lune
9. “Home,” Priya Darshini
10. “Ona,” Thana Alexa
11. “Laputa (Taylor McFerrin Remix feat. Anderson .Paak),” Hiatus Kaiyote
12. “Traveling,” Bhrigu Sahni
13. “Human,” Sevdaliza
Shilpa is currently finishing up her second EP Reproduction, set to release in Fall 2021.
You can hear her music on SoundCloud and watch her latest avant-pop video for “Align 2.0 (ARKTKT Remix).”
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