Surrey’s Hidden Gems: Singer Karishma Deo
The first thing that caught the attention of my ears, is this incredible partynextdoor cover by the local band, DmEdge. This month’s feature, the talented vocalist of this track, Karishma Deo, has been killing it in her covers both in the studio, and on the live stage. I am so glad to have gotten a chance to talk to her music.
What got you into music?
My mom got me into music. She saw my interest in singing and playing instruments when I was very young. As a result, she put me into piano lessons and vocal lessons (classical Indian and Western vocal). I am so grateful to her.
What are you listening to right now?
“Love Lies” by Khalid and Normani is my jam at the moment. I also play “Zingaat” from the Indian movie Dhadak, and “2002” by Anne-Marie a few times a day.
So, you’re allowed to perform two songs on stage. What songs do you pick, and why?
The first song would probably be “Jhalla Wallah” by Shreya Ghoshal because of how fun it is to sing and perform, and also because this was the song I sang to open for, Bollywood singer, Sunidhi Chauhan in Calgary, so it’s really special to me. The second song is probably “Love On Top” by Beyonce because it is my go-to pump up song when I’m preparing for a performance, it lifts my mood up to a whole new level.
Who is your dream collaboration?
That’s definitely hard to answer. I would have to say Alicia Keys because she is one of my biggest idols in music. It would be an absolute dream come true to sing with her, and Shreya Ghoshal who is also a huge inspiration for me in music.
It is only recent we are starting to see the arts be a bit more accepted in the South Asian world, what advice would you give someone who has a hard time wanting to pursue their art, but feel unable to do so due to societal pressures?
I’ve been very fortunate that my parents are so supportive of my passion for singing and music. You need to have the courage, as well, to pursue your art because it requires your innermost authentic emotions and expression. However, one thing I’ve come to realize is that everyone will have opinions about you regardless of what you want to pursue, but if you make the genuine effort to appreciate the work of other artists, you will build a community that supports each other.
What advice would you give to other upcoming musicians?
Be yourself and don’t feel like you need to be like anyone else in your art. Your art is unique because it comes from you, your experiences, and your voice.
Coolest thing you’ve experienced SO FAR in your music endeavours!
This year has been so monumental for me in my music and I am extremely grateful for it. Earlier this year I got the opportunity to perform with a legendary Bollywood music producer, Pritam Da. It is one the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in music. I’ve also been fortunate to perform at this year’s Juno Awards with Canadian R&B singer, Daniel Caesar.
Being raised with Indian and American music culture, there is a variety of music genres in both, and certain elements in all of them that strike a different chord with me. However, I really like r&b, qawwali, and hip-hop.
How does your music tie in with the city you live in?
Surrey has been so supportive of my singing since I was a kid. No matter if it was Indian or English music, the cultural diversity in our community created a very open and welcoming environment for everyone, and I have always loved this about our city.
What do you want to add to the Vancouver/Lower Mainland music scene?
There is a lot of musical talent in Vancouver/Lower Mainland that is very underappreciated. A lot of musicians feel the need to travel to other cities for music, but I feel that there is so much we can do as musicians in Vancouver, and I’m so excited to see how Vancouver’s music scene develops. One of my goals is to increase awareness of Vancouver’s multicultural music scene.
I see you met A.R. Rahman, what was that like?
It was so humbling and a huge honor to meet A.R. Rahman Sir. I was attending his concert in Seattle and had previously entered a video for a music competition as part of this show. I was fortunate to be picked as one of the winners and got the chance to meet him after the show. I am still in shock that this has actually happened!