Avina Shah a British Indian singer & songwriter, performing artist, influencer, and entrepreneur who rose to fame with her charity debut song 'Tere Bina' which supported victims of domestic violence and raised proceeds for the Southall Black Sisters Charity. She is best known for her hit singles such as ‘Husan Di Rani’, ‘Playboy’ and her latest release ‘Groove’ which featured the West Indian cricket legend Chris Gayle. Avina is also a huge supporter of Women's Empowerment and other charitable organizations, particularly as many of her songs focus on spreading a social message.
Aside from the music, Avina also owns an entertainment and management company called Eastern Illusion and also the founder of a beauty brand called “Faces by Avina”. From sharing a stage with Shahrukh Khan, singing for the Middle Eastern Royal families, and performing to thousands live in Las Vegas, Avina Shah prepares to share her forthcoming song releases for her fast-growing worldwide audience.
1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?
I’m born and brought up in London but love to travel and explore new cities. I travel fairly frequently both for work and leisure. But my home away from home would definitely be Mumbai, India – I just love it there!
2) What are your proudest achievements?
If I look back, I feel happy that I followed my dreams from a very young age (my first stage performance when I was 3 and setting up my beauty brand at the age of 12). My work has taken me around the world and introduced me to so many wonderful people in my life.
3) What inspires you?
People inspire me. I’m a true people person and I feel everyone I meet inspires me in some way. Everyone is truly unique and special in their own way and it’s always amazing to meet positive and uplifting people.
4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career?
There was a point in my career where I lost confidence and stopped believing in myself. I wish I could turn back time so I could tell my younger self the lessons I know now. I guess it’s all a learning experience and it’s made me a stronger and resilient person to believe in myself, being different and making a difference.
5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
My family always encouraged me, so I feel they have been my biggest influence – especially my sister who also sings and my dad in his passion for both business and music. In terms of musical artists, I have been influenced greatly by the classic Bollywood greats in the golden era (such as Lata, Asha, Kishore and Mohammed Rafi) as well as Western artists such as Rihanna, Beyonce and Britney Spears.
6) What is the best aspect about your current role?
Freedom to do what I love. I love being my own boss and being able to express my creativity.
7) And the worst?
Expectations to constantly share your life online. I’m still a fairly private person and try to take a social media break every once in a while.
8) What are your long term goals?
My aim is to live life to the fullest. I want to keep growing, challenging myself and get better at my craft as well as explore new hobbies and interests. I’d also like to help others discover and grow their talents.
9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?
I would change the schooling system and curriculum that students learn at school. Kids should be taught real-life skills that are more relevant to the world we live in today and be encouraged to dream big and realise their natural talents early on. I’d lose the algebra, Pythagoras’ theorem, and the other irrelevant compulsory topics. I remember studying so hard to get straight A’s and graduate with a degree, but never used it! I think entrepreneurship should be supported more from a young age because I truly believe that with hard work and passion, anyone can achieve their dreams.
10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why?
It would have to be somebody that I could have interesting conversations with and sing or write songs to keep us entertained all day! I think someone like John Lennon would tick those boxes, especially since I grew up listening to the Beatles because of my Dad!