Shaima is a young, dynamic singer with a huge creative edge musically uniting her mixed cultural identity via what she playfully calls a ‘Bolly Beat’ – fusing pop, hip-hop and R&B via modern and more traditional instruments such as sitar, Arabic flute and tabla. She released her new single ‘Outsider’on 24 June 2020.
Shaima’s unique cross-cultural musical brew created quite the industry buzz: Spread the Love was a huge club success and the follow up singles 911, Girl Gang and Phenomenolachieved great support and accolades from across the media including the BBC Asian Network. She has also worked with the likes of Skales, Chopstix, Bandit, Vodka, David Asante and Harry Clarke to form a unique and addictive cross-cultural sound. She also runs her own record label – M Dynasty Records – to unite the East and West through positive lyrics and beats.
‘Outsider’is very personal song about Shaima’s feelings on her own mixed heritage identity: “.It is about the fact I’ve never really fit in in the West (UK) or East (Pakistan or India.) In either situation, I’ve always felt a bit like an outsider as I’m different to most people religiously, culture wise or gender wise- even my outlook in life and the way I do go about things.”
But that’s not to say being an ‘Outsider’ isn’t a positive thing, indeed it can be something to celebrate and Shaima realised she could embrace her ‘difference’. At school in West London she was only Muslim Asian girl and wasn’t allowed to have boyfriends, go to house parties, drink or have male friends over at the house. At a young tender age this made her feel a bit like an outcast from her friends, so initially she would try to compensate for that. But then she realised this was part of her very uniqueness. This only served to make her work harder and push more boundaries leading to her many successes in life. As she says herself: “How hard you work and having God on your side makes all the difference, it doesn’t matter if other people view you as a “outsider” or weird you can make it.” This philosophy has made Shaima stronger and more determined: she has nothing to prove to anyone and has stayed true to herself and always will.
‘Outsider’also touches on the current issues with racism we have been experiencing all across the world echoing Shaima’s own feelings towards this movement, in a hopeful wave of acceptance against different races, cultures and religion. She says: “These days everyone is a mix of so many different countries/cultures and it’s so important to embrace that and say “I LOVE BEING DIFFERENT” “I LOVE BEING AN OUTSIDER.”
Want the latest music news, opinions and reviews?Subscribe to the GIGsoup newsletter today
Explore the latest music from the comfort of your own inbox