Tanvi Shah is the first Indian woman to have won a Grammy and one of the most sought after voices in the music industry today.
Tanvi shot to fame when she won the prestigious Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Motion Picture or Other Visual Media for her Spanish lyrics for the song “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire (2010), an award she shared with maestro A.R. Rahman and lyricist Gulzar. She is the first Indian woman to have won this coveted award. She also shares the World Soundtrack Award (2009) with Rahman and Gulzar besides receiving the BMI Award in 2009 in London for the same track.
Following this roaring success, Tanvi featured in Snoop Dogg’s song, “Snoop Dogg Millionaire”.
While she has done her fair share of playback singing for the film industry in India, she is an international star. This versatile singer’s appeal lies in the fact that she can sing in several different languages, which has won her fans across the world.
Tanvi sings in Spanish, Portuguese, Afro-Cuban, Arabic besides Hindi, Tamil and Telugu and experiments with a wide range of music with her band. Her adaptability has been proven in her collaborative work with international music producers such as Jeremy Hawkins (USA), Che Pope (USA), David Batteau (USA), and DJ Salah of Germany.
Tanvi has walked the green carpet at the Latin Grammy in 2011 while promoting her song, “Lluvia Lejana”, with Gustavo Alarco, and recently shared the stage with Lebohang Morake, South African singer and composer, famous for arranging and performing the music for The Lion King movies and stage productions.
She firmly believes that we all need to give back to society. She is actively involved with the Cancer Institute and with the “End Polio” campaign of Rotary International along with Mr. Amitabh Bachan, A.R.Rahman and Mr. Anil Kapoor. She has donated her song, “Zindagi”, produced by JHawk, to the End Polio campaign album that features international artistes such as Itzhak Perlman, David Sanborn, Ziggy Marley, Donovan and members of the Congolese band, Staff Benda Bilili.
Tanvi’s keenness to learn from experiences has led her to explore life in all its myriad colours. She is a talented jewellery designer, a vocation that has perhaps come naturally to her as the daughter of a gemologist mother. But she has not shrunk away from extending her creativity to other challenging areas. The starting point for these ventures remains music. It was Tanvi’s recording of the unplugged version of a song originally composed by Rahman, that got her noticed among care-givers and teachers dealing with children with “high anxiety” disorders. Global Health was the subject of her talk at a TEDx conference in San Francisco in November 2012 where she shared her thoughts together with pioneers in the field of technology, medicine, business and education on the subject, “7 billion well: Re-imagining global health”.
What keeps her going is Tanvi’s own take on life. She believes that “Life is too short for any kind of negativity, it is important to be true to yourself and stick to your roots”.