Dubai: She is only 15. But this Indian student in Dubai has released 51 covers and two original songs on her YouTube channel.
Shirene Sanjay’s first original song–Chalte Chalte—that was released six months ago has got more than one million views.
Not just that. In total, her eponymous channel has received more than three million views since its launch on November 5, 2017.
A grade 11 student of Delhi Private School Dubai, Shirene is blessed with a melodious voice. She sings in English, Hindi and Punjabi, her mother tongue. “My mother has told me that as a baby, I used to crave two things—food and music. So, indeed music has been a fulfilling element in my life,” the teenager said in an interview to Gulf News.
Her first public performance was at the Guru Nanank Darbar Gurudwara in Dubai’s Jebel Ali, following which she started getting more appreciation for her vocal talent.
“A lot of encouragement from my family, especially my maternal grand mum, inspired me to start official training in music.”
Shirene said she then joined vocal lessons with Monique Hebrard.
“Her lessons helped me with my western singing skills and voice modulations. My grandma inspired me to go on YouTube.”
With the support of her mother Dr Imneet Madan, a laser specialist pediatric dentist in Dubai, and her studio music coach Sreejith Pillai, Shirene ventured into making cover songs.
Million reasons to smile
Shirene said her singing evolved with continuous practice, hard work and overnight recording sessions.
“I started to believe in the gifts of hard work and dedication. It boosted my confidence and helped me change myself from an introvert.”
Having hit the one million button on YouTube, the young singer is counting her blessings and thanking all those who supported her throughout her musical journey—her brother Yuvraj, who is studying audio engineering, her caretaker, driver, coaches, school, friends and the fans who played and shared her songs.
“When I read the comments, it is so nice to see how supportive people are. It means so much to me that every single time I open my channel it just brings a smile on my face.”
Chalte Chalte, a song about eternal love and happiness, is a collaborative effort of Shirene, her mother, who wrote the Hindi-Punjabi lyrics and her studio coach.
Dr Imneet, who credits Shirene’s inborn singing talent to her late father’s musical skills, said she tried her hand at penning lyrics for the first time for her daughter.
The mother-daughter duo made the musical video over five months.“We have great memories about making it,” said Shirene.
The Thursday night recording sessions would go on till 6am, she recollected.
“It was like having a sleepover in the studio. Our nightouts, late night drives, all the coffee, late night pizza, discussions, sleeping on the couch at the studio, arriving home in the mornings and going straight to tuitions…these are the experiences that were a vital part of my childhood. There is so much learning, fun and emotion in every moment. So in two words my journey has been “extremely fulfilling”.
Besides Chalte Chalte, her other hits include Noor-E-Khuda, cover versions of Rewrite the Stars, Memories and Mere Satguru Ji.
Balancing her science stream CBSE syllabus and her musical passions, Shirene, who is currently taking her grade 11 final exams, wants a career in music.
“I would like to be a playback singer and also do some shows to get more audience appreciation,” said Shirene, who admires the singing talent of Beyonce and A.R. Rehman’s compositions.