This cosmopolitan performer of Indian heritage, born in the United States, brings a highly individual flavor to her songwriting and performances. Her astonishing youth, only fourteen years old, necessarily means that she’s at the start of what promises to be a long journey in the music world, but the level of talent she shows ideally sets her up for such an extended run and equals that of far more traditionally “experienced” performers. She is currently working on her debut full length album, but songs she’s released on her SoundCloud and YouTube pages offers listeners a clear aural window into her already considerable skills. Her growth will likely continue to be exponential from here out and will be thrilling to follow as she’s obviously not a songwriter or performer who will readily allow outside forces to determine a single direction for her creative future.
Anyone expecting a smiling pop chanteuse or teen idol will be immediately surprised. The first track on her SoundCloud page, “When You Are True”, is inspired balladry with an epic melodic edge thanks to the piano and guitar accompaniment. They pick all of the right notes to play in counterpoint with Sharma’s voice and fill the breaks between the verses and chorus with high-flown lyricism and solid musicianship that perfectly suits the track. “So Long” is as enthusiastic of a kiss-off song as you will ever hear. The relish that Sharma takes in delivering the vocal is evident from the first line on, but she never lays on the indignation, mock or otherwise, too heavily. This is a pure dance pop track and has a great, physical feel to it that’s sure to engage listeners from the beginning. The final song on her SoundCloud page, “Best Found Treasure”, exceeds the drama and musicality of the first song while never cheapening it. The piano lines are a little more patient here than the earlier song and the guitar isn’t quite as prominent as before, but the stripped down quality of the performance gives a chance to Sharma to show off an impressive combination of vulnerability and musical talent of such magnitude that it suggests this would make an ideal album closer.
Her cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” found on Sharma’s YouTube channel is equally entertaining. She really immerses herself in Swift’s underrated lyric and shows the sort of confident phrasing that a lot of much older performers lack when covering another artist’s material. It’s equally evident that she is enjoying herself immensely, but while she’s smiling throughout, she still takes great care to give Swift’s words the phrasing attention they deserve. Her ability to move so seamlessly between original songs and those from other artists is just one of many examples why Ira Sharma is one of the most promising vocal talents to emerge in some time. These songs are far from fledgling first efforts in an attempt to define herself as a performing artist. Instead, they sound like fully-realized offerings from a performer who’s command of the art will only grow from here.