“Pre-Grammy” Weekend!

February 17, 2017

The weekend leading up to the Grammy’s is an exciting time, here in L.A.!

There are so many special networking and musical events that take place and fortunately for me, I was able to partake in some of them this year.

It started with the Pre-Grammy Party hosted by Whole Planet Foundation, a charity event benefiting microlending around the world.  The venue was beautiful, packed with elegantly-dressed people, and plenty of food and drink to try from the sponsors of the event.

Lucky for me, I came just in time to listen to the jazzy sounds of Grammy-nominated vocalist, Rene Marie!  Her voice was reminiscent of old jazz favorites -Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald – a rare find in LA and something I’m often in search of.

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(Remy Marie performing with her jazz band)

Later on, I was surprised to see the Katey Segal, who played Peggy Bundy in ‘Married with Children’ as the lead singer of a folk-rock band called The Reluctant Apostles.  She has a very soulful voice -what talent!  The evening was lovely and worth the evening commute.

The next night, I had to rally myself to get to a networking event right back in Hollywood.  It was for the Southern California Music Industry Professionals, hosted by Tune Registry. I had been wanting to attend one of these events for several months and this time I committed to it, in spite of the raining weather and traffic.  (My new motto should be:  there is no gain without a long drive.)

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(Color-coded sign-in sheet at the mixer -clever idea!)

It took place in a cozy bar called Bar Lubitsch, known for it’s cocktails, as well as the music room in the back, where many bands will play, including my brother-in-law’s, called American Bloomers.

The room was packed -not just with music professionals from LA, but also from San Diego, San Francisco, and even Tennessee!  I was inspired by their dedication to travel the distance for this event and it served as a reminder to me to stay focused and driven.

This networking event led to another one, as a lyricist from Tennessee named Terrance, offered an extra ticket he had to attend a BMI event the next day, called “How We Wrote that Song.”  It took place at this cool club and performance hall called 1 Oak on Sunset Blvd.  While dance hits played and aspiring songwriters filled the venue, a panel was being set up on stage for famous songwriters of today – Dallas Davidson, Alex Da Kid, Laura from the Matrix, Manny Fresh, and Fat Joe.  After their songs played, each of them described the conceptions of their songs and the special ingredients that made them hits! Laura and Dallas even sang a couple of songs they wrote and I noticed how different it was to hear it from the songwriters.  One could tell that these songs were undeniably their own.  The artists who popularized these songs didn’t  have the same emotions behind them as the respective owners.

 

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(A quick “celeb” selfie.  Standing next to me is my new friend from Tennessee, Terrance.)

After this inspiring event, it was my turn to shine.  I left Hollywood to Pasadena for a Pre-Grammy live event, where I performed a couple tunes.  I started to run low on steam, as the week was long, I had been rear-ended before the BMI event, and there were some personal matters on my mind.  But as they say “the show must go on” so on I went!

At Red Gate Records in Pasadena, many artists connected to Planet LA Records performed their songs.  I used this as an opportunity to get a feel from the audience  for my current Hip-Hop and R&B project.  I performed an original tune written by yours truly called “What it Means to Be,” a 90’s R&B-style song with a modern vibe.  My collaborator, Savvy-OS, composed the instrumentals.  The song was well-received, as the crowd went from silent and attentive during the song to excited upon completion.  I followed this one with an a cappella favorite,  “Summertime.”

It and was a good night and a fulfilling weekend.

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(Me during my performance at Red Gate Recorders.)

Those were all my pre-Grammy activities!  It was great to be involved with these musical happenings.  I felt inspired and better connected to people on a similar journey.

Until next post!

~Shalini

 

The Daily Grind and George Michael

Hello All!

Life has been pretty eventful these past couple of weeks, challenging and uplifting my mind, body, and spirit.

For those of you who may not know, I don’t just sing, I spend most of my waking hours as a Scientific Sales Professional. I provide solutions to Analytical Chemistry Labs for nano-scale separations of polar or charged molecules by the technique called Capillary Electrophoresis. (To learn more, go to http://www.sciex.com or e-mail me and I’d be happy to explain further!)

I’ve been employed at this company for just over a year and like any new sales position I’ve had, it has taken a lot of time and effort to learn the ropes. Out of nearly eleven years of being in this field, this past year was one of my best. Recently, at the National Sales meeting in Las Vegas, I was recognized as the top performer on my team, a proud moment for me!

It made me reflect on what I do to be successful in my job. It also made me think about why my mentor who has been a sales professional for nearly three decades consistently does well. One thing we both have in common, besides a strong work ethic and persistence, is we are both performing artists!  He plays guitar and has been performing in a band for many years.

I truly believe that sales is part art and part science and having a background in music and theatre has surely helped me in this profession. I also really love to help people, which has always  been a driving force for me.

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(Receiving my award, from my boss, my boss’s boss, my boss’s boss’s boss, and my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss!)

When I was at my National Sales Meeting, I had very little time to prepare for the George Michael Tribute concert I mentioned in my last post (hope you were paying attention!) Meetings were all day and socializing with colleagues was all night, so I ended up using spare minutes the following weekend before the show (in between throwing my sister’s baby shower -yay, I’m going to be an Aunty!) to prepare.

As I wrote down the lyrics of my song, “Kissing A Fool,” a method I use to help me memorize, I was amazed. Not only was George Michael a powerful singer, he was a profound writer. I understood why he was so beloved by his fans.

It was an honor to pay tribute to this great artist after an enduring work week and wonderful to be among the most talented musicians and vocalists of Los Angeles (no exaggeration!) Please free to watch my performance here:

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(Intently watching Janice Freeman, an amazing vocalist, at the George Michael Tribute.  Photo Credit: Alton Arnold)

Thanks for tuning in and learning about Shalini the Artist and Science-Lover!

P.S. My next gig will be on Valentine’s Day singing for the elderly -one of my favorite types of audiences.  I’m looking forward to spreading a little love through music 🙂