Meet Falguni Shah, aka Falu, Indian-American singer who won Grammy
Indian-American singer Falguni Shah, also known by her stage name Falu, made India proud on the Grammy Awards stage on Sunday. She won the Best Children's Music Album Grammy for A Colorful World. "I have no words to describe today's magic," wrote Shah about the feat on Instagram. Here's more on Shah's life, career, and journey to this prestigious achievement.
Shah is the second Indian artist to win a Grammy this year. The other was music composer—Grammy 2015 winner—Ricky Kej, who won the Best New Age Album award for Divine Tides. Falu—in her second nod after 2019—was competing against Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (Crayon Kids), 123 Andrés (Actívate), 1 Tribe Collective (All One Tribe), and Pierce Freelon (Black to the Future).
The questions by her son Nishaad—a nine-year-old who attends a New York City school with people of varying ethnicities—regarding racial identity had led Shah to simplify serious and dire issues through colorful songs. Thus, in her song Crayons are wonderful (from A Colorful World), Falu tells how the world has different colors that can live peacefully with others (like different crayons in a box).
Growing up in a musical family in Juhu, Mumbai, Shah undertook training in Gujarati folk music, ghazal, and other genres. After this, she trained in Hindustani classical music under sarangi maestro Sultan Khan and later under leading classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar of Jaipur Gharana. It was in 2000 that she moved to the US, following her marriage to Gaurav Shah of the band Karyshma.
After joining Karyshma as a vocalist, Shah released her self-titled first solo album in 2007. Her 2013 album—Foras Road—made it to the Grammys shortlist but her first nomination came with 2019's Falu's Bazaar. Falu has worked with AR Rahman, composer Philip Glass, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Notably, she's the only Indian-origin woman to be nominated in Best Children's Music Album category at Grammys twice.