Indian pop singer reaches for stardom through social media

Photo courtesy Nabil Moo

Learning how to take advantage of social media and everything the internet has to offer is crucial for aspiring musicians in today’s industry. Singers like Justin Bieber and Karmin, who were both discovered on YouTube, would probably agree.

And it seems like Asha Sing, a senior at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, is following in their footsteps. The singer-songwriter has already written music for Latin Grammy Award-winning artist Daddy Yankee and performed as a back-up singer and dancer for Shakira at Premios Juventud 2010.

“Being on stage with Shakira was one of the best experiences. It all started with a Facebook message from a girl who was casting. I didn’t even know who I’d be performing with. I just knew we’d be getting paid,” she laughs. “And it turned out to be Shakira, which was obviously amazing.”

Most recently, Sing qualified for E!’s new TV show “Opening Act,” which surprises up-and-coming musicians with the opportunity to open for musicians like LMFAO and Lady Gaga. Although she didn’t make it on the show, she was one of the top 10 finalists.

“It was unbelievable to see all the support I was getting,” Sing said. “I didn’t even have a Facebook page until June. I was shocked that I was in the top 10.”

The Internet has obviously played a big role in Sing’s career so far. Since joining social media in June, her Facebook page has reached more than 400 likes and her YouTube videos have more than 2,000 views.

“It’s amazing how you can reach people on the Internet and also the opportunities that are available through it,” she said.

Her videos on YouTube include covers of Adele’s “Someone Like You” and Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” But Sing’s sound isn’t generic pop. She has managed to infuse an Indian twist into her music.

“My music is made for the American market,” she said. “Sometimes people hear the word ‘Bollywood’ and say, ‘Oh, I don’t relate to that.’ But I grew up in America, and I loved the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. And now I listen to EDM, pop, country, anything really. The only difference is you might hear a dhol [a double-headed drum used in India] instead of a drum in my music.”

Sing says she hopes to introduce America to the concept of Bollywood so that people can better understand the fusion present in her music.

“I look at Shakira’s dance moves, her constumes, and I love that global appeal she has,” Sing said. “I look to her for the cultural aspect of my career. I love the way she incorporates her culture into her music and performances.”

With a new track, “We Can Make It,” coming out in late September, it seems like Sing’s career is just starting despite her impressive accomplishments thus far.

“I hope to do a regional tour,” she said. “I want to do at least a statewide tour with my own music. I want to emphasize to America what my music and this fusion is about.”

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