Indian-American Singer-Songwriter Shannon K Takes on Bullying with ‘Give Me Your Hand’
The 17-year-old daughter of Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu has also teamed up with star singer Sonu Nigam for her next single
The public spotlight was shone on Shannon K fairly early in her life, considering she took to the stage with her father – veteran Bollywood playback singer Kumar Sanu – at his shows across the U.S. She says, “As an artist, I have been told that I am a public figure and whatever I do or say will be out in the open. This was pretty scary for me since I knew that my failures and accomplishments would be shown to the world and as a person who’s very introverted, I didn’t want anyone to know this part of my life.”
Born in India and bred in London (where she studied at the Royal College of Music) and now based in Los Angeles, Shannon says she later realized the importance of using her standing for messages of encouragement. Her new song “Give Me Your Hand” focuses on how to rise above bullying and finding care, support and love. Shannon, who just debuted earlier this year with “A Long Time,” worked with producer-composer Kyle Townsend (an Academy award nominee for his work on the title track for Silver Linings Playbook) on “Give Me Your Hand.”
Shannon, who also worked with Justin Bieber’s songwriter-producer Jason Boyd aka Poo Bear on “A Long Time,” says she’s not necessarily looking for celebrated and acclaimed composers to work with. As is the case with “Give Me Your Hand,” which is a straight up emotive pop song, the message is the most important. “For me, my music isn’t about looking for people who are guaranteed hit makers but rather finding yourself first as an artist then collaborating with those who understand each key of my thoughts and can bring justice to them,” she says. The video also adds a bit of star power, featuring actors such as David Arquette, Molly Burnett and more as they dismantle hate-filled placards.
Where “Give Me Your Hand” is as serious as it gets, her latest track “OMT” – featuring Sonu Nigam – is a summery pop tune about love and relationships. She knows her father has almost built an identity and aesthetic of his own in Bollywood music, but adds that he too explored “all kinds of genres and moods.” She adds, “Obviously, I can’t be what my father is because I like to think he’s one of the few people who really leave a great deal behind for generations to come. I always try to work towards that.” One of her formative influences include rock bands like Paramore as well as the classics from Queen, The Beatles and Nirvana. We might just see a turn to pop-punk from Shannon soon, then.
Until then, she has her own makeup and jewelry line launched and a few performances in the works. Shannon might just start college and study psychology – it’s something she looks at from the perspective of being able to help people who may not have a support system. “I could probably be a therapist and help people free of cost to find themselves and just get through tough times.”