Indian singer/songwriter Ira Sharma doesn’t bring the voice of the Far East into her music but, instead, has proven herself to be a budding talent with limitless appeal in the popular music world. She debuted at the age of thirteen and, now past her fourteenth birthday, is rapidly developing into the one of the best all around young talents in pop today. Her ability to move across a variety of stylistic borders distinguishes her from run of the mill would-be pop idols and poises her just outside the upper levels of modern giants in the genre. There’s a lot of discernible influences in her music and songwriting, familiar sounds and approach, but listeners will be hard pressed to pin down any specific debt she owes. Instead, their inability to flesh out imitation in her work is the hallmark of an artist determined to offer something different from rote commercial fare. The production presents her in the best possible light and the news that she’s currently working on her first full length studio album promises that future releases will continue in this direction.
She’s uploaded three original songs to her SoundCloud account. “When You Are True” and the third song “Best Found Treasure” are exceptionally well constructed ballads that never risk sentimentality or self-indulgence. The first is a much bigger musical production than the latter. Acoustic guitars and piano follow Sharma’ s voice on “When You Are True” and the recording strikes the right balance between their contribution and Sharma’s while still ceding the spotlight to the singer. “Best Found Treasure”, on the other hand, buries the guitar deeper in the production mix and opts instead to focus its recording attentions on capturing the gently dramatic dual between Sharma’s singing and winding piano runs. Her voice ratchets up the intensity as the track progresses and there’s no question that “Best Found Treasure” builds to a thrilling conclusion. The SoundCloud page’s second track, “So Long”, is a funny and deliciously contemptuous brush off to a disappointing person and Sharma shows herself quite capable of making its adult viewpoint very believable. The music has a fat, relentless pulse from the outset and makes it difficult to resist. She sounds as confident as ever going after this sort of music as she did on the more traditional material.
There’s an unexpectedly awesome cover included as a video on her YouTube page. The unadorned artistry and honesty of her performing Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” is simply captured and it makes the quality of the vocal all the more enjoyable to see the clear pleasure singing the song and inhabiting its world for a time brings to Sharma. It’s also very impressive that she can handle this songwriting with such grace and ease, but it’s fluid from the first line to last and never tests her vocally while affording her ample chances to put her own stamp on the track. Performances of this quality, if they carry over to her upcoming full album release, will likely send her career into a much higher trajectory than before. It’s clear that Ira Sharma is ready.