Is making music hereditary? For Hindustani performer Falu (Falguni Shah), it was always important to carry on the work of 11 generations of her family. Now based in New York but originally from Mumbai, India, the Grammy-nominated Falu has released her latest collection for children, A Colorful World. It’s a pleasant trek around several familiar concepts, delivered through Falu’s sensibilities with impeccable production and a host of elite backup musicians.
Songs such as “Happy,” ” My Train,” “Visit To the Farm,” and “Crayons Are Wonderful” aren’t groundbreaking in any ordinary way. Except they are being sung in English by an Indian performer, surrounded by a cadre of socially conscious professionals. The lovely “Lullaby for Nishaad” is a standout track if you need to put down kids who’ve tired of your other American contemporary artists.
Falu emigrated to the United States more than 20 years ago and was appointed Carnegie Hall’s ambassador of Indian music in 2006. Her authentic South Asian voice is one of the reasons she’s been dubbed the “Hindi Kindie” and the title is appropriate in many ways. Music connects people across cultural and geographic divides. Falu has used her skills to bring her Jaipur musical traditions as far and wide as Lincoln Center and the White House. Puppet shows and Bollywood style dancing are components of the Jaipur styling. Modern parents who have taken their kids to kindie shows are familiar with those interactive elements (although synchronizing children to dance in step at a Bollywood level might be beyond even Falu). With A Colorful World, Falu adds to her performance arsenal and gazes optimistically to a time when she returns to a full schedule of touring to share her latest offering.
Hear Falu’s song, “Rainbow”: