February 07, 2014

Reposted from http://lifebeyondnumbers.com/sagarika-deb-the-musician-with-a-voice-for-the-voiceless/

By Vikram Dutta

Coming from a musical family, singing has always played a big part of Sagarika Deb’s life. She first stepped on the stage at the tender age of two and a half years. Passionate about mixing the styles and sounds of Western music with Indian music, a fusion, she started a musical project which introduced her to some of the best talents from different parts of the world, taking her to a completely different level in music. Since then there was no looking back.

Her song ‘Teacher’ became semi-finalist in the ‘UK Songwriting Contest’. She is getting Air Plays in BBC Radio, Radio Warwickshire, UK, NewUSB Radio and many more. A beautiful pop ballad, ‘My First Broken Heart’ was number one on the ‘Indian Online Music Charts’ for six consecutive weeks which got her a lot of appreciation and recognition.

Apart from music, Sagarika’s other interest lie in helping the voiceless. She is extremely attached to animals, especially the ones on the streets. “My principle motto in life is, not to tolerate any sort of cruelty, be it on people or on voiceless animals. I must thank my parents for my heart and for the person who I am today”, says Sagarika.

In an exclusive and extensive conversation with LifeBeyondNumbers, Sagarika Shares her heart with us talking about her journey, experiences, achievements, challenges and lots more…


The Person

My entire life juggles around music, my family and my stray dogs. I am blessed to have an exceptionally supportive family and team who understand me as a person and supports me in every move of my life. At present me and my team are preparing for my first Solo EP. We are finalizing the songs and hopefully will be able to release it within this year. It will be a Pop Album and the songs are written and composed by songwriters from Europe and America.

Mostly my day ends after I feed my beloved stray dogs. I have spoiled them well enough to damage my outfits even when I am going out for a video shoot or an event. They have the liberty to approach me anytime with their tantrums and I feel more than happy to oblige to their demands.

The Singer

I started singing professionally after my collaboration with France based music firm, HorizonVU Music. HorizonVU Music is created to promote best emerging female musicians and industry professionals in rock, alternate and folk. I was spotted by them I very strongly believe everything starts with your self confidence.when my lyricist and a very close friend Mellina Barnett saw their post asking for life stories of exceptional female achievers in the field of music. They loved my story and more than that loved my music and together we collaborated to achieve more success in the field of music.

My first musical venture with them was to record my single ‘Shine A Light’ in 2013. The song is really special, not only for me and the women and young girls in India, but for women all over the world. It is written in the hope of bringing light and awareness to those who struggle and suffer with hardship. The lyrics were written with great sensitivity by Mellina Barnett and the music was composed by Billy Playle, both from the UK. I have recorded the song in English and Hindi. The Hindi version was composed for Dr. Kiran Bedi’s NGO, Navjyoti India Foundation, which is used for their Women Empowerment campaign against eve teasing called ‘Bigul’. And I am delighted that we have dedicated the video for “Nirbhaya/Jyoti”.

The song is written in a hope to bring awareness about the brutality which young girls go through in their lives. It’s about hope for a new light for women not only in India but all around the world.

The Achievements

I have been inducted in the prestigious Limca Book of Records in their music special addition 2012. In late 2012 I was awarded with “Assist World Records” by the Honorable Chief Minister of Pondicherry Mr.Thiru N.Rangasamy and was added in their world records book as a part of their research on outstanding achievers.

My hard work was also then noticed by “Delhi Desire” by Dainik Jagran Group and I was honored as the Young Achiever/Top 10 Shining Faces of Delhi/NCR for the Year 2012.

Finalist in the prestigious ‘mBillionth South Asia Awards 2013’ under ‘m-Entertainment’ Category. I had been a speaker for my project at a parallel session on ‘Mobile solution for Entertainment Services’ at the “mBillionth South Asia Awards”. Finalist in the prestigious ‘Manthan Awards Asia Pacific 2013’ under ‘Social Media Excellence and Empowerment’ category. Has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition for the same.

The Humanitarian

I am very closely associated with Dr.Kiran Bedi’s NGO, Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF) by spreading awareness through music. I was first approached by them to compose the theme song for their Women Empowerment campaign called ‘Bigul’ against eve teasing.

It’s a pity that even in today’s world women don’t feel safe even in their own countries. We always wanted to do something about this, since it may be a cause for others but – especially for me, this cause is life. As a young girl residing in Delhi, my parents are scared to let me go out alone because of the fear of losing me forever. Just with the hope of throwing some light on the plight of women not only in India but everywhere, we have composed the song and the video has been shot in Delhi by two French Film Makers, Casandra Prerost and Bruno Acard. We will continue our fight along with NIF by our side, hoping one day we will be able to bring some change.

It’s a pity that even in today’s world women don’t feel safe even in their own countries. My association with Animal Rights has been by birth. Me and my family are very fond of animals, especially the strays. I was filled with horror and revulsion when I found out the ways the voiceless creatures are tortured by humans. That forced me to give up eating meat and fight for animal rights.

Today apart from feeding the stray dogs, me and my friend, Abhishek Kachhawaha run a facebook community and blog with the name of ‘We Feel The Pain For Animals’ educating people about the cruelties on animals and trying to bring some positive change in the world.

I am also a “Colony Care Taker” for the stray animals and hold the ‘Government ID Card’ for the same. It states very well in Article 51-A(g) of the Indian Constitution that – “It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.”

I don’t see why anyone will have to be heartless towards the creatures that do not have their own voices to speak about their plight. I and people like me proudly says, we are “voices for the voiceless”. Perhaps I can give jobs of taking care of the animals to the jobless people and give them an opportunity to earn their own living respectfully and also compassionately.

The Challenges

My journey so far has been like a roller coaster ride, full of ups and down. Starting the venture with an internet based project was not easy at all. At the starting of my career people thought I was out of my mind when I said I had no money but I wanted to make my project a reality. There were hardships and challenges, but who hasn’t faced hardships when starting something new?

The biggest challenge I have faced is sitting on the computer to communicate with my team mates. What people don’t know about me is – I am a person who likes to be active, up on my toes. Sitting on the same spot, answering emails the entire day was like a personal challenge. Because of this I am unable to watch a movie which is longer than one and half hour (laughs…).

Professionally, at the early stages there were communication gaps, cultural differences and one of the most important factors and time differences making the working process difficult. But slowly we are able to overcome all of these issues. Now me and my current team of HorizonVU Music are working brilliantly together. I have learned thoroughly to work as a team and my biggest learning has been it’s always ‘WE’ not me. Whatever I have been able to achieve today is due to a team effort. The support that I got from all of the members and of course from my family was unbelievable. A successful artist only wants a team on whom they can rely on, without the fear of losing anything and luckily I am at that stage now.

The Way Forward

Five years down the lane I see myself as a successful music artist as well as a social worker for the causes. I also see myself setting up an NGO for animals which will not be restricted to animals but for many other as well. I have a very dedicated management and creative team and I see myself growing fully as a music artist under their guidance and influence. I am already working on my solo EP, waiting for my first video release and preparing for my second video shoot. Everyone will be surprised to know that I haven’t met any of my team mates in person yet, and just after knowing me virtually and over the phone they have managed to arrange for the video shoot and had sent film directors, all the way from Paris.

I very strongly believe everything starts with your self confidence, so all of this makes me want to think I have a bright future as musical artist ahead and this is just the beginning of my journey…