Internationally acclaimed recording artist, songwriter and producer Shaheen Sheik is one of the most promising young artists on the World Music scene today. Her global notoriety spans from the United States to India and includes the honor of Top 10 Finalist by Los Angeles radio station Star 98.7FM in the 2007 Unsigned Artist Search, and being named “India’s Answer to Sheryl Crow” by the Mumbai press.
Based in Los Angeles, California, Shaheen Sheik has recorded two full-length studio albums: the first titled “Rock Candy” and her newest release, “REVOLUTION“. While “Rock Candy” highlighted Shaheen’s singer/songwriter skills, “REVOLUTION” is a bold departure that reflects her unique cultural perspectives, rich global instrumentation and contemporary, stylized vocals. The result is a brilliant mix of dance, urban, electronica and lounge tracks.
“I wanted to create this disc on my own terms in order to tell the world who I am,” explains Shaheen.
The new songs do not resemble the folk-pop repertoire on “Rock Candy”. I took lyrical risks I didn’t realize I had in me and wrote songs that touch on various types of politics – social, economic and sexual. All the songs explore the power in being a woman – an ability to be carefree, seductive, and compassionate all at once.”
“REVOLUTION” features an array of diverse guest artists, including female rocker Jungli, multi-instrumentalist and composer Shane O’Madden of Govinda, and acclaimed dhol player Teginder S. Dhanoa. Shaheen states that “being able to share a creative moment with these friends and talented artists was a thrill for me.”
Shaheen cites a vast array of inspirations and influences including music artists such as Yesudas, L. Subramaniam, U. Srinivas, the Chemical Brothers, Wyclef Jean, Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel, and Stevie Nicks. In addition, Shaheen was exposed to Indian, particularly South Indian, classical dance and music at a young age. Now an accomplished Principal Bharatanatyam dancer with the Rangoli Dance Company under Guru Malathi Iyengar, the Los Angeles Times has hailed Shaheen’s performances as “commanding” and “breathtaking”.
“I first learned music through my body,” explains Shaheen. “Dance has played a huge role in my music because it has taught me the subtleties and complexities of rhythm and how they can impact you emotionally. I experimented a bit with beats on Rock Candy, but with REVOLUTION, I became obsessed with them.” Dance also cultivated Shaheen’s drive to study classical Indian music. After years of learning the sarod under David Trasoff, she has recently begun publically performing the instrument.
A humanitarian at heart, Shaheen devotes time and music supervising skills to bring together artists in support of Free the Slaves, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating slavery. Most recently, Shaheen joined Deeyah Presents: Sisterhood, a collaborative project highlighting Muslim women artists in an effort to encourage other Muslim women to creatively express themselves.