London born Shivali Bhammer (lives between Mumbai, London and New York) has a degree in Economics and Philosophy. She was the youngest and only artist to ever be signed by Sony Music BMG for bhajans. Her devotional albums, The Bhajan Project and Urban Temple reached the top position on the iTunes world chart. Shivali was nominated for two Global Indian Music Awards at the age of 23 and was listed as the Top 25 under 25 South Asian Artists in England.
What do you feel is your biggest strength right now?
My desire to be better and to understand that my life and experiences is a process of self-discovery. Sometimes the work can be painful and hard but it is work that everyone needs to do for themselves and having the courage to do it is my biggest strength. I’d say another one is developing empathy for another. Despite my experiences, or how someone may behave towards me, having enough compassion and love to understand what they are going through.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the pandemic?
Being stuck alone for seven months was pretty difficult. But I overcame it by relying on strong friendships and more importantly building a routine for myself. Exercise, simple meals, long walks, music and arts, became a regimented daily plan. It makes you realise, you have a lot within your own self that can sustain you both mentally and physically.
What would you do with 15 minutes of fame?
I would give a public speech addressing every single thing that goes wrong and will try to make it right and put everyone on same pedestal.
A marketing gimmick that you believe is pure gold and why?
First one that came to mind was Nike’s Just do it, because it’s simple, to the point and 100% true. You can think, you can fuss, you can debate, you can procrastinate, you can become anxious about the future, you can be caught up in the past, OR you can JUST DO IT!
Your current web-series obsession and why?
I don’t watch any web-series!! But I think Delhi Crime was one of the best Netflix drama’s to air, and The Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan made my 2020. When you watch MJ on the court, his energy and commitment will bring you to tears. You feel his passion and wish you could imprint it on your soul.
An app you can’t live without?
Let’s be honest, it has to be Google Maps, who can live without Google maps now? Everything else fine but I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have a clue how to get around if it didn’t exist.
Your favourite travel destination?
So many! New York because I lived there for 5 years and it feels like home and has an energy that will revitalise you. Otherwise anywhere in Italy, because it will remind you of how beautiful this world is, how simple you can live, how wonderful food from the farm tastes, and the peace that can be gained from being by the coast.
Your mantra during a pandemic?
Let it challenge you, if you face it with a cool and calm mind, you will rise to the top.
What advice do you have for the next generation?
Work on your insecurities and issues early on. Many people hide behind the illusions of life, don’t be one of them. Remember social media isn’t a true depiction of reality, discount everything you see and don’t be afraid to stop using it. Make sure you are never a slave to technology. Whilst everyone is out partying and socialising, do something useful with your time – create a framework for yourself and your dreams so that you can achieve them. You don’t need to be massively popular or always seen and out and about. You want to be respected, that comes from working hard, having a small handful of close friends, and giving yourself that love and attention. Don’t think there is anything you cannot do or achieve, you are the creator of your universe. Don’t let people put you down – everyone has an opinion, it doesn’t mean each one is worth listening to. Try and lead by love, there are enough problems in this world, we don’t need to add to them with our attitudes. Show love to everyone, especially those who are less fortunate than you, or those you have less power, like animals. The universe runs on energy, you should be vibrating at the highest frequency.