Former Hockerill girl Shakila K looking to power into the charts with Electricity
A 20-year-old songstress who cut her gigging teeth by performing at the Half Moon in Bishop's Stortford is set to release her next single.
Shakila Karim – whose stage name is Shakila K – hopes to make it as the first chart-topping pop star of Bangladeshi origin.
The Whitechapel-born singer moved to Stortford with her parents when she was 11. She started her secondary education at Hockerill Anglo-European College, where her musical journey began.
She took private singing lessons at the Dunmow Road school and, during her first year there, passed her Rockschool grade 3 exam.
When she was 13, the starlet started performing at the Half Moon during the popular Bishop’s Stortford Acoustic Club shows.
“It was really nice. I was probably like the youngest person there and people told me ‘Wow, you’ve got such a strong voice’,” Shakila recalled.
During her teenage years she twice performed at the Bishop’s Stortford Music Festival and the town carnival.
Her father, Karim Ullah, encouraged her to post covers of popular songs to YouTube. She has since branched out to include several original songs.
One of Shakila’s most viewed videos is an original song, Heroes, which she released in November 2011 in aid of Help for Heroes. It has been watched over 4,800 times.
Her new single, Electricity, will be the second she has released since she started studies at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) in London – her first being The Mask Is Always On – and the new song has been produced by two of her fellow students, Milxnake and LVCAS.
Karim, who now acts as his daughter’s manager, believes in Shakila’s ability to reach the official UK top 40 singles chart with her new song so much that he has placed a bet on it with bookmaker Paddy Power at odds of 100-1.
“When I heard the very first version of Shakila’s Electricity I had a feeling that it had the potential to be number one,” Karim said. “Everything about it is great and should prove to be popular with the public.”
Coincidentally, singer-songwriter Dua Lipa collaborated with Silk City duo Mark Ronson and Diplo to release a song also called Electricity last month.
“I had no idea anyone else would be creating a song called Electricity at the same time as me,” said Shakila. “When I heard the name of the track and the collaboration between Dua Lipa and Silk City I could hardly believe my ears!”
Shakila featured – albeit briefly – on a documentary about Dua Lipa’s rise to fame, See In Blue, produced by New York City-based magazine The Fader and YouTube Music.
“A while ago I did a cover of Dua Lipa’s song Hotter Than Hell and uploaded it to YouTube,” she said. “I didn’t think anything would happen, but I got an email from The Fader wanting to use some footage from my video.
“I thought that was cool, even though they said they’d only use a small clip. Who’d have thought that a year later Dua Lipa and I would be releasing a song with the same title?”
She added: “I’ve worked hard to create this track and I’ve had great support from Milxnake and LVCAS. I really love the result of our collaboration.”
Shakila’s Electricity will be available from September 28 on 28 online platforms, including iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon and Shazaam.