It all started on a whim when Shirley Setia decided to record a song and upload it in YouTube, to be a part of the contest conducted by T-Series. Surprisingly it went viral. The song Tum Hi Ho sung by her in front of a webcam, wearing pyjama, got her the title ‘Pyjama Popstar’ by New Zealand Herald.
Her journey is interesting and inspiring to youngsters who are talented but do not know how to reach out to larger audience. The appreciation the young singer received tells us how social media is indeed a powerful platform, where true talent gets fair chances, be it from any corner of the globe.
Born in Daman and brought up in Auckland, the singer has always been attached to Indian music but never thought of becoming a singer. “I never knew I would take it forward professionally,” she says.
Talking about her life as a student and part-time radio jockey while being consistent on YouTube, Shirley shares that the journey has been splendid. ‘Though it was a little difficult to manage everything on my own, the experience has been really great. And, working as a part-time radio jockey on weekends was fun,” she shares.
While radio jockeying, Shirley met Shreya Ghoshal, who she always admired. “I have always been a big fan of her and she is really great as a person too. She motivated me to keep my singing going and also suggested me to Riyaz, which was a great help in my career,” she adds. She shares that it was an amazing experience when singing Raabta in T-Series MixTape with Shreya Ghoshal later.
None from Shirley’s family is into music and entertainment, but her parents’ love for Hindi music played a major role in Shirley developing an interest in Hindi music. “I grew up listening to songs sung by Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh and others and it helped me a lot,” Shirley shares.
There is no doubt that every time she uploads a cover, it goes viral, but her talent is not only limited to social media. The talented youngster has already entered Bollywood. Disco Disco from the movie A Gentleman, sung by her is one of the most loved songs on dance floors.
“It was very sudden. I always admired the works of Sachin-Jigar and one day I got a call asking to visit the studio to record a song. Recording this particular song was a great experience and is special. As I always used to upload romantic covers, the genre was completely different for me and I am looking forward for interesting opportunities,” Shirley concludes the conversation.