Zayira Ray

Sheherazaad seeks humanity within the urban sprawl on “Mashoor”

“Mashoor” is the Indian term for ‘enchanting’ or ‘bewitched’, terms that certainly qualify when Shererazaad‘s dirgeful debut single via Erased Tapes enters your ears. The Bay Area-based composer and songwriter makes music that travels the median zones between her Western and South Asian lineages.

Produced by none other than Arooj Aftab, “Mashoor” is a stunning and ethereal piece of music, sparked by Sheherazaad’s expressive vocal majesty and Ria Modak’s intricate playing on classical guitar. The song is described as a subtle rebuke against common notions of vanity, fame and status, finding the reprieve and humanity in-between the oppressive geometric structures that divide us.

Sheherazaad’s moniker is named after the Scheherazade, the famous storyteller of the medieval chronicles The One Thousand and One Nights; stories that broke the cycle of femicide by the sultan who imprisoned her.

“She has been a favourite and beloved character of mine since childhood for her ferocious storytelling ability that saves lives,” Sheherazaad says. “Also, in Hindi and Urdu,  Sheherazaad translates to ‘Free City’. I love the idea of a person, especially a woman, being a kind of ‘city’ entity in and of themselves. In the South Asian context, this idea of ‘sheher’ (city) is more visceral with metropolises historically being centres for innovation, forward-thinking, and more social mobility for women specifically.”

Watch the video for “Mashoor”, filmed during the heat wave in New York, below and find the song on streaming services.

Follow Sheherazaad on Instagram, Facebook, Bandcamp and her official website.