Meet the Mumbai girl who opened the Champions League 2016 play-offs ceremony | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Meet the Mumbai girl who opened the Champions League 2016 play-offs ceremony

Shayaan Oshidar has been writing songs since she was 12. Now, she’s in a multi-ethnic pop band in Liverpool, UK

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Sep 02, 2016 14:39 IST
Poorva Joshi
HICARI is a Liverpool-based synth-pop band.
HICARI is a Liverpool-based synth-pop band. (Photo: facebook.com/HICARI)

Shayaan Oshidar has been writing songs since she was 12. Now, she’s in a multi-ethnic pop band in Liverpool, UK

An Indian lead singer, a Japanese guitarist, a Norwegian bassist, and two Englishmen on the drums and keyboard respectively make up HICARI - a Liverpool-based, multicultural pop band. On August 24, the band opened the second leg of the Champions League 2016-17 play-offs, at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, for the home team: Manchester City.

For frontwoman and lead singer of HICARI, Shayaan Oshidar, 20, it was a sign of making a mark on the UK music scene. “It’s wonderful to have people dance to your music, smile back at you, and fight to get upfront to watch you perform, that too at a football game in Manchester. It’s a big deal,” says Oshidar. It is, indeed.

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Born in a musically inclined family in Mumbai – her mother is a Hindustani classical singer, her father is a vintage record collector – Oshidar knew her calling early on. She was writing and composing music from the age of 12. Growing up, she found inspiration in the band, The Script, and independent musicians Ed Sheeran and Ryan Tedder.

Her next step was to apply for a degree in music production at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, UK, a music school established by The Beatles singer-songwriter, Sir Paul McCartney. And a few months into her first semester, Oshidar co-founded HICARI, a synth-pop band with a few classmates. “Hicari is Japanese for light,” she says.

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HICARI’s signature sound – inspired by the members’ multicultural backgrounds – embodies positivity and unity. Their music reflects traditional Japanese chords, ’80s pop music from the UK, and a hint of classic Bollywood vocals.

HICARI’s latest song, Catch Fire, released on YouTube on August 5, and showcases the strength of human friendships and global equality. “Our intention was simple: recognise the importance of equality in friendships and life before the world catches fire,” says Oshidar.