Shirley Setia has come a long way from recording songs and shooting home videos locked inside her bedroom. The YouTube sensation from Auckland, who moved to Mumbai to pursue her dream of making it big in Bollywood, is today one of the busiest independent musicians of the country having legions of fans — 6.7 million on Instagram to be precise. And she is inching close towards making her Bollywood dream a reality as well. The cutesy singer with a mellifluous voice, who charmed the instafam with her ukulele skills during the lockdown, turned actor this year with the Netflix movie Maska that also starred Manisha Koirala. She is all set to make her big Bollywood debut next year. Titled Nikamma, the film will see her share screen space with Shilpa Shetty, Abhimanyu Dassani. And she has just started shooting for her Telugu debut as well.
But with the Holiday Season on, it is time to take a breather. We called up the singer-actor to check out her Christmas plans!
What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas to me means being kind, spreading joy through carols and sweets, spending time with your friends and family and being grateful to god for all the things we have been blessed with.
What’s your fondest Christmas memory while growing up?
I remember we used to go to watch the Santa parade in Auckland every Christmas and I would always wonder why there’s no snow during our Christmas like how we would see in the movies. Yes, Christmas is hot down in the southern hemisphere! So! I have actually never really experienced a snowy winter. Would love to someday!
How do you spend it back home?
Mostly, I would just spend time with my family. Usually around Christmas and right after it, there would be really good Boxing Day sales in the malls and we used to wait for those all year long if we wanted to buy something good!
What do you miss the most about the Holiday Season spent in Auckland where you grew up?
I really miss seeing all houses being decorated with creative lights and decor during Christmas. It was always so beautiful to drive past them on Christmas Eve.
What are your Christmas plans this year?
I will be at home in Mumbai spending my Christmas out here. Maybe I’ll order in some yummy cheesecake or make a nice cup of hot chocolate while catching some good shows on the OTT platforms.
What are your three wishes from Santa this Christmas?
I would like to wish for this pandemic to end super soon, and for life to go back to normal. I wish that I’ll soon be able to hug my friends and family without having to worry about their safety. I also wish that the people whose lives have been rocked by the pandemic find some peace and stability.
With the live music scene taking a massive hit due to the pandemic, are you focusing more on recording new music?
Yes, definitely I am working on a couple of tracks. However, with everyone being away in different cities it does get hard sometimes. I’ve also just begun shooting for my Telugu debut with Naga Shaurya , so that’s also keeping me busy.
In fact, you turned an actor this year with the Netflix movie, Maska. How are you planning to take your career forward from here? Would singing take a backseat?
I would love to continue to act more! Whenever good and interesting scripts come my way, I’d be extremely delighted to work on them. And no, not at all, I would never want singing to take a backseat. I love doing both quite equally! In fact, I would love to continue to do singles and also sing in my films. I sang one of the songs in Maska too, it is called I wanna hang with you.
Sum up 2020 in one sentence:
The year we wore pyjamas all day every day!