Devika Chawla is an Indian pop singer who started vocal music training in New Delhi at a very early age. Devika continued her music training and advanced into the enthralling world of Hindustani Classical Music and Ragas. The classical training offered Devika, a sound base for extension to other popular styles. She frequently performed in her high school, Modern School, New Delhi. Devika utilised both classical and popular styles to enthral the audience. She received training under the supervision of great teachers including Chandra Rao, who was a student of famous violinist Dr. N. Rajam. Currently, Devika is training under Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan and Ustad Sukhawat Ali Khan, sons of renowned Ustad Salamat Ali Khan.
Devika Chawla experimented at the time of her undergraduate study in Georgetown University, Washington DC, with a fusion of Indian Classical Music and electronic music. With Holmes Ives, an electronic music creator and producer, she formed a team to create the album titled Satyriasis, the track of which was remixed many a times. Devika’s solo self-titled debut album bagged the honour of being a unique collaboration amongst artists from three countries, India, Pakistan and the US. She collaborated with Holmes Ives and performed vocals for her album, Satyriasis. Shehzad Hasan, also known as Shahi, a music director and producer composed the musical score for the album. The additional compositions have been composed by Anshuman Chandra, composer of the movie French Fries and Curry, Noor Lodhi and Manesh Judge. Phat Phish Records, winner of the 2005 MTV Immies Best Video of the Year award, directed the video for the title track named, Kehnde Ne Naina.
Early life and education
Devika started vocal music training in New Delhi, India when she was eight years old. She continued her training and advanced to Ragas and Hindustani Classical Music, learning under the supervision of several great teachers. The classical training provided her a great base for expansion to other popular styles. She performed frequently through high school (Modern School, New Delhi), using both classical and popular styles to capture her audience.
She moved to the United States for her undergraduate study in Computer Science at Georgetown University. It was during these years that she experimented with a fusion of Indian classical music and western compositions and teamed up with Holmes Ives and performed vocals for the album titled Satyriasis. After graduation she resumed her formal training in Hindustani Classical Music.
She recorded a self-titled Indian pop music album with Shehzad Hasan (Shahi) of Vital Signs, Pakistan’s most well known pop band, Noor Lodhi, Manesh Judge and Anshuman Chandra of SaazMantra. Phat Phish Records, winner of the 2005 MTV Immies Best Video of the Year award for Rabbi Shergill’s song “Bulla Ki Jaana Mein Kaun” has directed the video for her title track – “Kehnde Ne Naina”.
Sony BMG India released a compilation called “Teri Deewani” with her hit track “Kehnde Ne Naina” in August, 2007. The compilation has been billed as the “Top 14 Sufi Music Tracks of all time”. Other artists on the compilation include Kailash Kher, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sona, Roopkumar Rathod, Rabbi, A. R. Rahman and Rekha Bhardwaj.
Teri Deewani, featuring Devika’s “Kehnde Ne Naina” was the #1 top selling music album in India for 6 months in a row. Devika was featured on 4 tracks in Bohemia the Punjabi rapper’s album “Da Rap Star”, including the featured hit track “Ek Tera Pyar”. The album was released through Universal Music India, and remained in the Top 10 pop albums of 2009.
Saregama India Limited (HMV India), India’s oldest and largest record label released Devika’s second solo album “Saari Raat” on 17 November 2009. Saari Raat, a contemporary Sufi album was #1 on India’s non-film music charts. Saregama (HMV India) released a compilation called “Colours : Sufi Ke Anek Rang” in December 2009 featuring the track “Barkha Bahaar” from Devika’s Saari Raat album. The compilation features tracks from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, A R Rahman and Sonu Nigam. Devika’s track “Kotthay Uttay” was remixed and licensed by the producers of “A Beautiful Wife”, a Barbara Mori movie that was dubbed in Hindi and released in India in November 2010 as “Spanish Beauty”.
Sony Music India licensed “Barkha Bahaar” and “Kehnde Ne Naina”for their compilations titled “Sufiaana : The Complete Sufi Experience” and “Judaiyan” in 2010, and for “Javeda Sufiaana” in 2011. Devika’s latest collaborations “Aaja Piya” (with Holmes Ives) and “Naraaz Mausam” (with Zohaib Kazi from Coke Studio Pakistan) have been featured on Sony Music India’s album “Lounge Nirvana”. Devika’s vocals were also featured on Apple’s iMovie App for iPhone and iPad in the default Bollywood trailer – one of the 14 trailers in the app. Saregama India Limited (HMV India) is all set to release Devikas’s contemporary rendition of “Tujhse Naraaz Nahin”.
- Satyriasis (Shaken Not Stirred Records, 2001) with Holmes Ives
- Devika (2007) with Shahi Hasan, Manesh Judge, Noor Nodhi, Anshuman Chandra
- Teri Deewani (2007) a compilation with Artists including A. R. Rahman, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Kailash Kher, Rabbi and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
- Ek Kaagaz (2008) an Internet-Only advertising supported single with Pralay Bakshi and Saazmantra.
- Da Rap Star (2009) with Bohemia
- Saari Raat (2009) with Shahi Hasan, Manesh Judge and Noor Lodhi
- Colours : Sufi Ke Anek Rang (2009) a compilation with Artists including A. R. Rahman, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sonu Nigam
- Sufiaana – The Complete Sufi Experience : (2010) a compilation with Artists including A.R. Rahman, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
- Judaiyan : (2010) a compilation with Artists including A.R. Rahman
- Javeda Sufiaana : (2010) a compilation with Artists including Kailash Kher, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and others.
- Bijuri – The Single (2011) with Zohaib Kazi from Coke Studio Pakistan
- Lounge Nirvana (2012) a compilation with Artists including A.R. Rahman, Rahul Sharma
- Phir Ek Tera Pyar (2020) Bohemia ft Devika *Remake of ik tera pyar – 2007)