Shayan Italia garnered global acclaim after his version of Jana Gana Mana, the Indian National Anthem, became the most viewed national anthem of any country in 2018. The rendition, which he created for the 71st Independence Day celebrations of the country, had attracted more than 100 million views on YouTube, beating the record held by the French National Anthem. Devoid of lyrics, the rendition is simple yet moving, which he played on a grand Steinway Model D piano.
Now, his latest track, Warriors has already garnered 80 lakh views since it released three weeks ago. Warriors, he tells us, took him two weeks to write, compose and sing in his home studio in Mumbai. Shayan is thrilled about how his track has been received.
“The uplifting lyrics, inspiring rendition and universal message have worked in the track’s favour. I’d felt that such songs are the need of the hour to spread positivity, hope, belief and faith during these time we are in,” expresses Shayan. The acclaimed and self-disciplined pianist, who shuttles between London and India, tells us that he is currently busy working on his forthcoming assignments, including a YouTube channel.
Music for life
A multi-faceted personality, Shayan was born and raised in a Zoroastrian family in Secunderabad, where music was a large part of life. He went on to graduate from Nizam College. He, however, moved to London in 2009 after he lost his parents — mom to bone marrow cancer and dad to multiple sclerosis.
Shayan has fond memories of having spent his formative years in Secunderabad (West Maredpally). “I remember when I was young all members of my father’s extended family used to live in the city. We used to have gatherings so often that I never had time to meet friends. When I look back, I feel lucky to have been raised in such an environment,” says Shayan. “Of course, that house was sold out long back.”
Does he frequent his childhood city, we ask. “The last time I was in Hyderabad was in 2016, when my brother and niece came down from the UK. She’d wanted to see the places my brother and I had spent our childhood in.” replies Shayan, who also thinks Hyderabad is a great place with a rich heritage. “It has grown by leaps and bounds with the city’s landscape having changed dramatically over the years.”