Shivali was born and brought up in the City of London but was knew her shlokas from the age of 3. Before her record deal with Sony Music BMG, Shivali had graduated in economics and philosophy and worked as a summer analyst for investment bank Goldman Sachs. She also found time to write for the Finance Times and other prominent publications.
Shivali deeply desired to bring devotional music, known as bhajans, into the mainstream and thus set out to modernise them while retaining their soulful roots. An example of this is 2010’s The Bhajan Project, an album released through Sony Music India, which is devotional songs given a contemporary feel with guitar, cello, tabla, western drum kit, strings and sitar.
This 9-track album was nominated for two Global Indian Music Awards, Best Debut and Best Fusion Album.
London singer-songwriter Arjun Coomaraswamy, who has produced Shivali since she was 15, provided the acoustic guitar in Shivali’s sound.
In 2012, Bollywood company Eros Music released her second album Urban Temple, in which Shivali and Arjun challenged themselves to push boundaries and experiment with sound. The album reached the top slot of the iTunes world chart.
According to Times of India, Baroda Times, DNA Mumbai, The Mumbai Mirror, The Bombay Times and others, Shivali is the Devotional Diva. Hence, BBC radio turned to Shivali to provide insight into Hindu festivals and she starred in a BBC 3 documentary about a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith, the Kumbh Mela.
The third album, also produced by Arjun, will be in English and reflect attitudes from both western and Asian cultures. As Shivali, who considers herself to be wacky and wild, says it will reflect “our relationship with consciousness and also the narrow mindedness and prejudices of society”.
Rock and acoustic
The first single will be “Breathing In Love,” which promises nods to western genres RnB, pop rock and acoustic and is remixed by Hed Kandi’s and Ministry of Sound’s Mikey Gallagher and is set for release on 26 May 2014.
Shivali is well prepared for all aspects of making sensational video promos, with acting from the New York Film Academy, community theatre, grade 8 ballet with distinction, Indian classical dance called kathak and to top if off she is also a competitive Latin dancer.
Breathing In Love is out on 26 May. The video is on: