‘It’s a joy to watch people dance to my songs at weddings’

Shefali Alvares 30, Singer

What are your early memories of music?
There was a lot of music involved in my childhood. The first time I sang was at the age of four, in a church. I did my first show at 11 with my father at a product launch. Later, I started getting offers for advertisements and albums. It has been quite a journey for me, but I believe I was born for music.

What is it like to be the daughter of ace jazz vocalist Joe Alvares?
I am very attached to my father. My whole life is influenced by him in every possible way. It was a little tough in the beginning, trying hard and living up to his expectations, getting all that criticism as well. But he provided me with support and a platform at a very young age.

How does jazz define you as a person?
Jazz is a way of life and for me it means singing with all my heart. I like to think of it as an exercise for the soul — emptying all the emotional baggage I carry and then refilling it with renewed energy.

Tell us about your initial stages in Bollywood?
Following word of mouth about my style of singing, I got a chance to work with Pritam as my first music director. He has a mass appeal, so I was honoured to work with him and we bonded over music. We got a chance to work again and delivered some hits like Subah hone na de, Desi boyz and Party on my mind. Following which, I collaborated with Vishal-Shekhar and Amit Trivedi to deliver some more tracks.

How difficult is it to adapt to Hindi cinema music?
My style and voice fits in more with the fast, peppy, party numbers, like Badtameez Dil. The kind of response I have received in this genre of music is amazing, especially from the young college crowd. It’s a joy to watch people dance to these tracks at weddings. However, I am also aware that my style of singing won’t be suitable for soft romantic numbers like Tum hi ho.

Anything big coming ahead?
Last year, I started working on an album with guitarist Niranjan Dhar. With eight tracks from different genres, the album is scheduled to release in the coming month of August.


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