January 22, 2017
It’s been another productive and exciting week in music for me!
This week I performed at the Vampire Lounge in Beverly hills -a cozy little wine bar, with a plush, vintage look to it. It had been a while since I’d performed long acoustic sets, so I was a little nervous. Luckily, I sang alongside a very talented musician and guitarist, David Sampson. At the last minute, we came together to run through a diverse set of songs, spanning from pop, to jazz, to soul, and we made it work! People loved it.
It was also wonderful to see many of my friends come out and support, as well as meet new faces. It made it that much more comfortable and fun. One woman named Mona asked me if I loved doing this and of course I responded “yes.” She then said, “it really shows when you perform. The audience can feel it.” That was a sweet compliment and a good night.
(Friends, Dave, and I tucked in there -Vampire Lounge)
If you’re connected to facebook, feel free to check out our rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” here: https://www.facebook.com/ShaliniSings/videos/1080168188776277/?pnref=story
Later in the week, I had to make a game-time decision on how to spend my Saturday: Women’s March or NAMM. It was a tough call considering how much I believe in women’s rights and equality and what a crucial time we’re in, but I went with the latter, as I had never been to a large music conference. It was also an opportunity to meet fellow musicians and industry professionals, which I don’t do often considering my day-job is in a completely different field.
Once I arrived in Anaheim where the convention took place, I began to regret my decision. Parking was nowhere to be found. I circled for about an hour and then came up with the “bright idea” to park at my friend’s parents home about two miles away then take an Uber.
It was just in the nick of time, as shortly thereafter I was on stage with Bollywood musical legend, Bappi Lahiri. No, I had not planned this at all. It just happened!
Mark Nguyen of Planet LA records, my friend who helped me get in to the event, asked if I would sing backups with Mr. Lahiri and I couldn’t say no (even though I didn’t know the songs), so yes is what I said! Yes, I did it and it was great to share the stage with one of India’s beloved musicians and artists.
(Bappi Lahiri and I singing together in the Gibson Room at NAMM)
We all took a short coffee break in the Gibson VIP room, where I sat down with Mr. Lahiri and his son Bappa. We had a nice chat and then Bappi took the opportunity to offer advice to me: “You just need to tell yourself that you are going to be an established singer.” I think he was right.
Later we took a walk down the exhibition hall. It was huge; there were hundreds of vendors selling instruments and many musicians trying them out. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
As a salesperson for scientific instrumentation, it reminded me of vendor shows I’ve worked, but this was a completely different vibe -music was everywhere and potential customers were incredibly enthused to try new gear!
I stopped at the Blu booth, where they had a live DJ playing throwback R&B and hip-hop hits, with microphones and headsets to try. I came to the conclusion that my favorite microphone (especially for my higher register) is the Spark. I will keep this in mind for future recordings. 🙂
As we continued outside of the convention center, a drum circle commenced. About seventy people took a hold of difference percussion instruments, while the director stood in the center to queue each part, with such vigor and enthusiasm. It was awesome. It felt tribal in a way.
At the main stage outside, one of the original members of the Ronnettes performed. I didn’t see her up close, but noticed her voice still had that same signature Ronnette sound -decades later.
Before the after-party, which took place in Mark’s room at the Marriott hotel, I had a brief celebrity sighting of none other than Stevie Wonder! He came out of his vehicle with his entourage, so there was no opportunity for a photo, but it was neat to stand so close to greatness. Apparently, he performs at NAMM every year -who knew?
The after-party was fun -about fifty people squeezed into Mark’s room and we mingled and sang and simply had a good time.
That was my Saturday and needless to say, the commute and seemingly endless search for parking was worth it.
It was also great to get back on stage as a solo artist and perform a live set with Dave earlier in the week. Maybe I’m right on my way to being an established singer, as Mr. Lahiri said!
Next up: I’m performing in a tribute concert for George Michael, January 31. Mark your calendars and have a great week!