If there’s one thing Shefali Das will give you, it’s pure story combined with perfect pitch. It was in 2019, when Shefali released her first EP, “Dear Somebody”, which consisted of five of her self-penned songs, each with a unique story, a unique perception. Yes, she is both a singer and a composer! His musical project received a positive response, and it was not surprising, since Shefali had always put this “Shef’s Kiss” in all his musical projects.
Born and raised in New Jersey, USA, Shefali was moved by her own desires and passion for music, and had an engaging and quite joyful musical journey. However, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had her share of ups and downs. Until 2020, she went by her stage name, Das, under which Shefali also has the song “Tired” which crossed 600K streams on Spotify. The music is personal to him rather than a mere commodity for the public. Since her previous profile didn’t resonate with the singer-songwriter on the same level, she changed her name to a profile more in tune with her. And so a new aura emerged, a new stage name, ‘Shef’s Kiss’ (there couldn’t be a better stage name for her!) and we frankly look forward to the music that’s yet to come in this refreshing new chapter. of his!
Here’s a deeper dive into Shefali’s approach to music, his lyricism, and a little heart-to-heart on the enigma of the art.
Music is more than just melodies for Shefali Das: early childhood and the beginning
The beginning of Shefali’s musical journey is different from others. No, she wasn’t born with a natural inclination for music, nor did she adopt it on her own. Rather, it was her father who insisted that his daughter learn the piano. Just one of the many things in the neighborhood where kids were supposed to pick up a creative hobby or two. Therefore, at the age of four, Shefali started practicing the keys. It was just one day at the church recital, which literally made Shefali the singer she is today.
At the recital, there was a 10-year-old girl who played the piano and sang. The way she sang, as described by Shefali, “full body facing the audience, broad torso, feet plantedwas something she had never witnessed before. She was dazzled. Shefali’s father immediately asked the piano teacher to give his daughter singing lessons, but she wasn’t really looking forward to it. One thing Shefali struggled with as a child was interacting with people she didn’t know. She wanted to stay hidden from the eyes of others. Because of this, her parents tried to involve her in several creative and sports activities, and music was one of them.
Despite being against vocal lessons, Shefali eventually had to give in to it, and what came out of it was so worth it. There’s something so beautiful about the way Shefali describes the opening moments of her very first singing performance. Recalling those emotions, she said: “I pushed my shoulders back, I took in more breath, I kind of physically took more space, and then the way that sound reverberated through my chest, the way it felt in my hips, in my lips, for the first time I felt it was okay to take up space. It was good, it was a little different. And so far, the best thing about it is the way it feels. It taught me that I had the right to take up space, that I had the right to be heard, in fact maybe, if I was crazy enough to think that maybe people wanted hear me too,” and so began the new journey of Shefali.
The school orchestra gave her a sense of community and creativity, where she found a sense of comfort and space. Plus, her dad always had songs playing on the speakers, which kept her surrounded by disco-pop, classic rock, Motown, and her favorite, Bruce Springsteen. So, when asked what fuels her zeal for music, she simply replies that growing up, there was always an intrinsic desire within her to be surrounded by creation, to be surrounded by music. She never did and had to question it.
Currently, the singer-songwriter is pursuing his doctorate. from Yale. It is a dual program in sociology and African-American studies. She also pointed out that a lot of new music is in the works and should be released soon!
Music, Social Media and Transition: Stepping Stones to Shef’s Kiss Music
As a singer-songwriter, Shefali consumes a lot of media: movies, books, songs, etc. She is not only inspired by musicians like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Dua Lipa or 70s-80s disco pop, which happens to be her favorite genre, but also finds her inspiration in designer architects and decorators. interior. All forms of creativity and art are a source for her to embrace, learn and grow through them.
While promoting her debut EP, “Dear Somebody,” Shefali took to social media. Although she found an incredible community of artists, a huge following, and a phenomenal response to her music, the bad side overwhelmed her. She regularly posted cover songs to stay on trend, or trying to fit the idea of what people wanted, or impostor syndrome, all of which cost her dearly. The claws of the internet have tainted the relationship she had with music. The social media bug severed the connection she valued the most. So, she finally took a break from music all together. It was also the time of the pandemic. She then focused on other creative pursuits like baking, movies, and reading books.
After the break, Shefali knew she had to rename herself, and that’s when she changed her stage name from Das to Shef’s Kiss. She created a new Spotify profile and decided to create music for herself and express her true form, as she had always wanted. It was a shift towards a more sustainable way forward.
Tapping on Lyricism: Shef’s Kiss as a Songwriter
As for the lyricism, Shefali recalls her childhood where she spent a lot of time in her own head. She would put all her feelings and thoughts on a sheet of paper, and then, through that, it would become a therapeutic outlet for her. His lyrics have a lot of weight, symbolism and metaphors. As a songwriter, his lyrics derive not only from personal experiences, but also from his environment, the stories of others, the social and the political. For example, his song “Tired” tells the story of a suffocating relationship, a relationship in which someone is not able to live with and without the same person. The song also echoes feelings of frustration, isolation and mental exhaustion from the pandemic. Meanwhile, his song, ‘Forty-five Pt. II’, is a very political song. It’s about American politics and Trump. There are implicit metaphors and powerful feelings of anger, action and questioning. The lyrics play a crucial role in the essence of the songs and its purpose, and apparently this songwriter’s pen brings out her personal expressions very easily in the words.
Message for budding artists
Shefali Das believes that talent is acquired rather than inherent, however, the exceptions are always there. She herself is living proof of this, having acquired her vocal and songwriting talents. She also adds that the creative spirit and the desire are innate, but not the talent. A person must have the will to create. She also says that we always have to question ourselves and ask ourselves why we do it. Currently, with the 70s-80s vibe in the mainstream industry, she almost feels justified in following her. But in times like these, she always wonders why she’s into music in the first place. You have to find the balance between desires and tendencies, and always do what makes you feel fulfilled.
One of the life lessons she learned, which she also applied to her music, was when she gave up on pursuing a medical education. His pre-med high school years were just his quest for some kind of stability, a common immigrant motivation. She was chasing someone else’s expectations. When she got to college, she realized that pursuing medicine was really not viable for her. She confessed to her parents about the decisions to change majors, and it was as if a dam had broken. Parents often look at unconventional career paths, but the best way is to have a candid conversation with them and give them time to understand.
Shefali Das wants her mind, body, and soul to be one hundred percent involved in everything she does. When she dropped her old profile, “Das,” which still has 15,000 listeners a month, it felt like the plane was finally taking off. But Shefali decided to jump just then, because that direction was not for her. With her Shef’s Kiss identity now, she released the song ‘Expectations’, produced by ShiShi. The song echoes mixed feelings of anger and despair after a breakup.
So, for budding artists, the songwriter has only one word to say: go for it! If that means anything to you, then that’s the end of it all. Even though money is a big factor, especially in this capitalist world, your own creation and art is what keeps you going.