Marching to the beat of her own drum is the daughter of famous Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu. Shannon K has forged her own path, using the remarkable talent she inherited from her father. She released her first song, ‘Roll Back the Years’, when she was just 12. Now18, she’s already achieved more than what most people will in a lifetime! (Yes, we’re jealous too!) With an Artist of the Month award fromB4U UK, she is well on her way to even more success and fame. Read on for a candid chat about her work, music, and her father’s legacy.

Who’s your inspiration in the music world, either Indian or international?
Since childhood, Céline Dion and Mariah Carey have been major influences on my singing, which is why they are my inspiration. In Bollywood, Shreya Ghoshal is someone I admire.

How would you describe your sound?
I’d say that my sound is alternative pop, because I like being versatile and exploring different genres. But mainly I like to stick with pop or R&B.

Your first American collaboration was with the famed Poo Bear. What was the experience like?
Working with Poo Bear was absolutely amazing. I never imagined I’d get to work with such a great producer at 16; it was truly an honour! I had so much fun, and I got to learn a lot of things from him as a songwriter and as an artist. He tested me on my ability as well, because I didn’t know what I was going to sing till I got to the studio, which was quite new for me. He was so enthusiastic, and that really helped me get through the whole process. It was one of the best days of my life!

Who is the one singer you’d most like to collaborate with?
I’d say Ariana Grande because I love her so much! She’s an amazing singer. In India, I’d say Arijit Singh would be the one I’d love to collaborate with.

Being the daughter of such a famous singer, and now such a great singer yourself, do you feel pressure to live up to his legacy?
There’s not a single day when I haven’t felt the pressure of living up to my dad’s legacy, or living up to people’s expectations. I  knew that the moment I started my music career, everyone would have their eyes on me. But dad told me that I’m climbing up the ladder step by step, doing well, and succeeding, That’s why I shouldn’t let the pressure affect me. Somewhere at the back of my mind I’d always be reminded of the legacy. However, that pressure will always keep me in the right direction and help me know where I want to be.

At such a young age, you’ve already achieved a lot. To what do you attribute your success?
I guess my success is due to my loyal fans and my family, who’ve always kept me going and have stuck with me through tough times as well. I don’t think I’d be able to achieve success if it wasn’t for my fans, my family, and friends.

After a long hard day of work, do you unwind by listening to music? Who do you listen to?
My playlist has so many different genres of music that it’s crazy. I love listening to foreign songs like French, Italian, and Hebrew. I like expanding myself as an artist, which is why I have songs from the ‘50s to the present. It’s so cool to see how music has evolved over the years. Most of the time, I listen to Céline Dion, Whitney Houston, and Ariana Grande. Along with that, I do listen to some Hindi songs of my dad, Shreya Ghoshal, and Arijit Singh.

You have performed live across America on many occasions. What’s been your favourite performance so far?
Every performance is a whole new experience for me, since it’s at a different place with different people. But if I had to pick, I’d say it was when I performed in Washington D.C. at the Warner Theatre. I had so much fun performing for the people of Washington; they were absolutely the best crowd I’d ever seen, and I’d love to go back and perform for them again!     –as told to Devanshi