A look at Gingger Shankar's Nari (Part 3 of 3)
I capped off my conversation with Gingger Shankar on a rapid fire riff about a variety of topics including the many talented artists she has worked with thus far. Here are some of the highlights from my fascinating chat with the incomparable Gingger Shankar.
[PP]: You lost your mother to cancer. She was only 42 when she passed. I believe cancer is an affliction that is not given enough attention in our community and recently wrote a piece called F Cancer about that very topic. What are your thoughts on this matter?
[GS]: We as a community are bad about getting tested and treatment. We are bad about openly discussing illness, and even admitting that illness is a possibility. There is a great stigma attached to disease in our community and we need to be better about that.
[PP]: You’ve worked with Mel Gibson and Dr. Luke, both of whom are very talented but later found themselves in controversy. What are your thoughts on them and the controversies? You can pass if you don’t want to comment.
[GS]: Mel Gibson is one of the finest filmmakers I’ve met. He’s so talented and dedicated to the filmmaking process. I worked with him on the Passion of the Christ and it was an amazing experience. I learned a lot from him. The controversy came later so I wasn’t around for that, but my experience with Mel Gibson was very positive.
[PP]: And on Dr. Luke?
[GS]: I think I’ll pass.
[PP]: You previously worked with Trent Reznor as well on “Niggy Tardust.” I was a Nine Inch Nails fan in college. What was he like?
[GS]: He’s brilliant.
[PP]: You also worked with Katy Perry on “Prism.” How would you describe her?
[GS]: She is a very sweet person.
[PP]: You’re currently working with Jay-Z and Roc Nation on an upcoming project. Tell me more about that.
[GS]: Yes, it’s called “Heartbeats” and it is with Duane Adler who did “Step Up.” I’m very excited about this project. It will have a great fusion sound mixing hip hop and Indian music.
[PP]: It sounds amazing. I remember when Jay-Z did “Beware of the Boys” with Panjabi MC many years ago. I was hopeful then that a hip hop- Indian fusion sound would take off, but it never really materialized. I’m excited to see how you mix the two in “Heartbeats.”
[GS]: We have great people working together on both sides of the sound of “Heartbeats,” including Jay Z and Roc Nation. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
[PP]: You have famous relatives who are also contemporaries in Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar. Are there any plans to work together in the future?
[GS]: We’re family and we love each other and we’re proud of each other. There are no current plans to work together soon, but maybe someday. Actually, I did play with Norah at Brian Fest last year so we have played together.
[PP]: I really enjoyed the film “Brahmin Bulls,” which you also worked on. What was that like?
[GS]: It was great fun and Roshan Seth is fantastic. I was introduced to Mahesh, the director, through friends and that’s how I became involved in the project.
[PP]: What’s next?
[GS]: I have an album coming out called “Beautiful Imperfections” that I’ve been working on with Linda Perry and other great people.
[PP]: Any thoughts on the upcoming election?
[GS]: There’s not enough substantive policy discussions going right now. It’s become mostly about personal attacks, which is a shame.
I sincerely enjoyed speaking with Gingger and I hope you all will get a chance to check out “Nari,” “Beautiful Imperfections,” and look out for “Heartbeats” as well. Unfortunately, due to illness, Gingger was forced to cancel a few of her recent “Nari” shows, including the one Sava360 featured at City Winery in Chicago. Please continue to check her website here for rescheduled dates.