On a windy and cold evening in Chicago, Shuba arrives to Celeste to join our fashion editor and chief and editor with poise, true beauty and a self-awareness that is rare for her 21-year-old self. The ambiance is dark with candle light, and an eclectic soothing vibe with loud jazz music plays in the background.
Shuba has just come back from New York, where she was filming her music video the same time as New York Fashion Week. “It was a blast,” she explains with a smile. “The reason I got excited about NYFW was because of Gossip Girl she laughs. “It was one of the most fun weekends. I loved filming, I loved wearing the clothes. Only during that week can you do things like that – stuff I would never wear. I had a really fun time.”
“It’s a song about a relationship I knew wasn’t the best for me, but I was just in it, because I didn’t want to break off from it. It was my first real relationship ever. The guy called me stupid – and I think it gets easy to stay in those things when we know they aren’t good for you. But it’s empowering – it’s okay to get out of it and know you deserve more and walk away from it.”
Lyrics from the song include, “You say that I’m stupid. You say I didn’t think it through. How could I want somebody else, want somebody else. Do I want somebody else, want somebody to tell me I’m pretty. And take me out every night.”
Certainly strong lyrics that probably too many of us can relate to. But that’s not all. The song gives us hope and empowerment for what the future holds. When it comes to feeling powerful, Shuba looks at Rihanna.
“I love Rihanna – she has amazing songs – they’re ALL hits. She isn’t ever afraid to be herself. It’s hard to be a celebrity and be yourself and be current. She’s seamless,” she explains.
“It’s not forced, she doesn’t ever change -this is Rihanna and this is what she’ll always be! My mom and dad jam to Rihanna – she hits all audiences and all feelings. She shows a lot of female empowerment. With her new line she shows all her initiatives and ideas and puts all her personality into it.”
And Shuba isn’t done making her song even more powerful. She’s excited to release an acoustic version of her latest single.. “I think people will like it even more. I love it as a pop tune, but I’m excited for the acoustic version and video as well. We filmed in this gorgeous place in New York. The door was open, wind was blowing. I was like, ‘I want to do this forever, this is so fun.’”
“I love music videos. You’re telling the story, and maybe it’s different than the person thought in their mind. “
We can expect a lot from Shuba this year. As the delicious and aesthetically pleasing food makes its way to the table, she explains that her EP has four songs coming out. “There’s one about my sister, which is my favorite. It’s the beginning of this long, long journey. It has taken time to get out because I wanted to make it right – it feels so good to finally get it out.”
While her lyrics and voice speak loudly to us, Shuba has created more than just music. “We don’t have any Indian-American singers really in the United States – I want to have a voice. I have all these big goals and dreams. I want to take it one step at a time, but my EP is extremely exciting right now, and I hope I can soon be a voice to the world.”
While everyone orders their Ubers and throws on their jackets to head into the night, our editors ask Shuba about her creativity flow when it comes to writing. “Sometimes I’m on the CTA and get inspired – it’s different for me every time,” she notes.
“Sometimes it’s completely from scratch and I’ll facetime song writer friends and we’ll do a session. I think sometimes, you have to sit down and try to write. ”
There’s no doubt to our editors that Shuba will be a voice and so much more. And just like Rihanna, we can see all audiences being drawn to her light and captivating energy.