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Sheherazaad is an American performer-composer, whose contemporary folk-pop synthesis joins the new wave of South Asian diasporic soundscapes.


Native to the San Francisco Bay Area and brought up second-generation in an immigrant household, Sheherazaad gleans from Western classical and South Asian sonic lineages. Her contemporary voicing, though inherently genre-defiant, may be described as alternative folk or experimental ballad. Sheherazaad’s original lyricism modernises certain existing Hindi-Urdu poetic forms, channelling questions of displacement, mother tongue, imagined homelands, and beyond. Currently, she allows the experience of shifting between India and Brooklyn, NYC to shape her eccentric and hyphenated musical aesthetic. 


Sheherazaad’s namesake is the revolutionary figure from the largely Middle Eastern and South Asian epic collection of folktales The One Thousand and One Nights, more commonly spelled Scheherazade. This major character’s storytelling prowess brings an end to the mindless genocide of women. 


Expanding further, Sheherazaad says: “she has been a favourite and beloved character of mine since childhood for her ferocious storytelling ability that saves lives. 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.”


Translating to “castle” or “fortress” in Urdu, Sheherazaad's debut international release Qasr is indeed a monument — like encapsulation of the real strains of displacement, the push and pull of diaspora, and the depravity of erasure and forgotten roots. These experiences and their inherent violence, hysteria, and romance imbue her sonic deep-dive into the world of the so-called in-between. 


Qasr was recorded at The Glass Wall in Brooklyn, produced by Arooj Aftab, mixed by J. Valleau, and mastered by Heba Kadry. It features performances by Ria Modak on classical guitar and Firas Zreik on kanun.


Erased Tapes was founded by sonic architect and explorer Robert Raths in 2007. It is a truly independent record label that has disrupted the industry and rejuvenated the musical landscape. The London-based imprint has consistently nurtured genre-defying artists from all around the world without losing its avant-garde ethos. It is home to forward-thinking international artists, including Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds, German pianist Nils Frahm, Japanese vocal artist Hatis Noit and UK electronic producer Rival Consoles amongst many others.

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