Treat Me Like a Lady: a Conversation with Singer and Songwriter Vshali Sanas

I had the pleasure to speak with a remarkable young woman recently on my show, Vshali Sanas. Listen in or read the transcribed conversation below- you won’t want to miss this one. Thank you, Vshali!

Listen on iTunes or Spotify too!

Debbie DiPietro: Welcome to Courageously Go! where we will venture into places we’ve been afraid to go. Women of the world, we are going to start a movement, a movement towards courage. Hello, everybody, welcome to the show. My name is Debbie DiPietro, and this is the place where we have a global conversation about courage. Why do we do this, you ask. I do believe that when we live from our hearts by choosing courage, the life of our dreams and a better world for all are possible. No matter our age or circumstances, we never ever, and I mean never, need to feel stuck or alone.

Debbie DiPietro: Our essential truths are as follows: I choose courage. I use my voice. I embrace the new. I welcome challenge. I continue to grow. I am a woman of action. I courageously go. If any of those resonate with you, then you are most certainly in the right place, and I’m so glad you are here. As I mentioned earlier, this is a global conversation about courage. So this week’s guest is calling in to join me here. She’s from India, and her name is Vshali Sanas. She’s a singer/songwriter from Mumbai, India.

Debbie DiPietro: She has studied Indian classical and Western contemporary music in India and the United States in the Los Angeles area. Her specific genres are Indian, R&B, pop and soul. Her EP will be out by the end of the year, 2019. The songs in the EP are a fusion of Indian and Western music. Her single, Treat Me Like a Lady, was recently released here on March 8th.

Debbie DiPietro: She also has been a football/soccer player and has her own company called Win Innovations, which is involved in doing sports management, events, and running an academy. I am just so excited about getting to know this young woman. Vshali, welcome to Courageously Go!

Vshali Sanas: Hi, Debbie. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Debbie DiPietro: Oh, it’s a pleasure. I was so excited when you booked to become a guest on this show, because one of my goals for Courageously Go! this year is to really emphasize the global conversation. So I think that’s really important that we realize this global community of ours really isn’t that big after all once we get to know each other. So I’m just so thrilled to have you.

Vshali Sanas: Thanks for the lovely introduction. Thank you, thank you so much. I really appreciate the topic of today’s discussion. I actually believe in being global and not just being regional or just from one part of the country. So I’m pretty excited, too.

Debbie DiPietro: Right. I think it’s great. If I understand correctly, you’re traveling in India right now. What are you up to right now?

Vshali Sanas: Yes. So I’m back in Mumbai. I’m born and brought up here, but I was in LA a few years, and I’m back to work on some of my Indian music. I have signed a contract with an Indian producer for working on my Indian singles, Indian music singles. Also, as you mentioned, my company, which is a soccer company. We have a few projects coming on. Yeah, just to work on it for a brief while.

Debbie DiPietro: Well, my goodness. You have so many exciting things going on. Let’s start with your music, because that is definitely obviously something that you’re really excited about and working on. Have you always been a singer? How did you get started with the singing?


Vshali Sanas: Oh, my god. This is funny. I have never been a singer. I was nowhere into music until I was 20 or something, and I have no musicians in my family, but just one fine day I was like, “Okay, I want to explore this stream in my life,” and then when I decide something in my life that I want to explore and I want to do it, I just give all out. Then that’s why I went to US. I studied Indian classical here before going there. Then, yeah, here I am, released my first single.

Debbie DiPietro: That’s really encouraging and inspiring for those of us that maybe have an interest in something but we tell ourselves, “Well, I don’t know anything about that. What do I know about playing the piano?” Or “What do I know about … ?” That’s pretty exciting, because a lot of times someone like yourself, we assume, well, you were probably singing in the bathtub when you were three years old.

Vshali Sanas: Yeah. Yeah. I keep listening to everyone, all my classmates, when I was studying music, and all my colleagues, whenever I asked them like when did you start? Every one, almost everyone is like, “Okay, I started at four,” “I started at eight,” but I think that used to be [inaudible 00:05:53] with me before, but I think I started facing the fact that it’s okay, it’s never too late. Even if I’m here, I’m with the experiences, with other experiences in my life. That the 20 years experience in business, in other things, and I can use those in music and still go on.

Debbie DiPietro: That’s fabulous. You heard part of my introduction. That’s kind of one of my central messages is that no matter our age, we can always change it up. We’re not stuck. We can always change it up. I was a stay-at-home mom for many years. I’ve been a lawyer. I’ve been a teacher. I’m now a writer. You can always change things up. I’m really excited to learn more about all of the things you’re doing.

Debbie DiPietro: Back to your music, though. You came to the United States to study. When did you start recording? Did you connect with other musicians? How did you get your music out there and turn it more into you? How did you get it known, get recognized?
Vshali Sanas: First two years I was just focusing on learning stuff, gaining the knowledge and everything. Then slowly with my classmates, with my colleagues, and my professors, who actually my vocal coach, he was the one with whom I recorded my first single, and he helped me a lot with the arrangement and the production and stuff. I think I actually took care of both my profits for my first single but, otherwise, because I had been performing at the same time when I was studying, I started performing in clubs and bars so that I gained experience. So I had a band there. Yeah, just by going out, talking to people, networking, it all just kind of fell in place.

Debbie DiPietro: That’s courageous. I feel like you’re one of the most courageous people I’ve had on the show, to do something like that.

Vshali Sanas: Thanks.

Debbie DiPietro: Really. Do you have a band that works with you on a consistent basis? Or do you work with different musicians in the recording studio? How does the music part work?

Vshali Sanas: I usually work with this musicians just because I keep traveling. Like last month I was in Spain for almost like 20 days, then because of my soccer stuff, I keep traveling. That’s why I cannot maintain a standard band or like one band. I have to keep collaborating with musicians whenever I have my gigs, my concerts. Yeah, I just collaborate. Like in Mumbai now, I’m here, I have a few other colleagues and friends who are going to travel with me for my few performances lined up for this month.

Debbie DiPietro: Is there a particular type of music that you … Do you have a favorite style? I know you perform some different things, but do you have one that really is your favorite?

Vshali Sanas: Yeah, I think lately I have realized my love for R&B more in Western music. Otherwise, my all-time favorite is the Bollywood and Indian music. Yeah, both. R&B and Bollywood.

Debbie DiPietro: Tell us about this single that was released here in March, Treat Me Like a Lady. I listened to it. I was on your You Tube. I love it, and I’ll definitely share it on my website. So tell us a little bit about that. Do you write your own music? Did you write this song?

Vshali Sanas: Yeah. As I told you, I started late in the whole musicianship. I think in the beginning I thought I can never write even like one word in songwriting, but I had a class in my school. I studied in California College of Music. I took up songwriting just to explore. Everything in my life, I just do it to explore. Then that’s how I wrote a few of my songs. One of the songs was Treat Me Like a Lady. It’s actually based on my real experiences with my boyfriend, boyfriends, you can say. That’s how I just started, and I kept improvising, and I was like, “Why not just release my single?”, because I have the song, I have the producer. I have the melody and, yeah, I just wrote the song.

Vshali Sanas: Two of my other friends helped me too, Nicholas and Andre. That’s how we made the song. I felt 8th March, which was Women’s Day, and it was kind of … It was a coincidence that it was coming along. My song actually speaks about women power. They were like why not on the Women’s Day? That’s how I release andedit on 8th March.

Debbie DiPietro: Yeah. I think that you recently … I was listening and watching the one where you had the lyrics, and it’s quite a powerful message, and there’s just a lot of feeling behind it. Why don’t we, while I’m thinking of it, if we have people out there listening to our show right now, and they’re really curious and they want to hear your song, where can they go? I know I was on You Tube, but maybe you can point them in the right direction.

Vshali Sanas: Sure. It’s on Spotify, and it’s on SoundCloud, as well. It’s called Vhsali Sanas, V-S-H-A-L-I. Or they can just type in Treat Me Like a Lady, and you can find it on Spotify. I think it’s also on Apple Music now.

Debbie DiPietro: That’s exciting. You also have some other recorded music that’s coming out soon, is that correct?

Vshali Sanas: Yes. My second single is coming up in July.

Debbie DiPietro: Do you want to tell us about it? Or is it going to be a secret when it drops?

Vshali Sanas: I can tell you about it. It’s actually called No More. It’s again something … I might sound a lot like feminist, but it’s again about my feelings, my experiences, but it’s more on the pop side. Like my first single was more on the R&B kind, but my second one’s definitely a pop song. I wish to make it more like a danceable song. Yeah, I’m pretty excited about it.

Debbie DiPietro: That sounds great. I’d love to get you with my daughter. I have a 21-year-old daughter here in Jacksonville, Florida, and she loves music. She’s writing her own music, Vshali, and she just does it all on her iPhone. I don’t know how she does it. You probably do, but there’s apps, and she just creates this music. She doesn’t consider herself a singer, but she definitely loves song writing, and kind of similar, kind of similar themes. Anyway, if you weren’t so far away, I’d love for you guys to meet.

Vshali Sanas: That’s amazing. Sure, I will be traveling back again.

Debbie DiPietro: Okay. Well, we’ll have to stay in touch, and you’ll have to come see us in Florida sometime, okay? Or we’ll come see you. We’ll come see your performance, when you’re on tour, when you’re on your grand global tour, how about that?
Vshali Sanas: Sure. Yes, of course. Thank you.

Debbie DiPietro: Of course. We know about your music, but you have … You’re a young lady, it sounds like you’re an athlete and you’re a business owner. Tell us about some of these other projects that you’re excited about that you would like the world to know about.

Vshali Sanas: I came back because I’m working on this project, which is a soccer tournament for kids, especially from the age group of 10 years to 17, because I believe youth is our future, and what we don’t have is opportunities. What I want to do with my company is to give them platform to perform, to show their talent, to get experiences. Because when I was playing in school days, we didn’t really have a lot of important teams to play, basically gaining more experience is my motto.

Vshali Sanas: I feel this tournament, at least once a year, I have plans to replicate this tournament in other regions, also maybe globally. I think if this happens, the kids get a chance to show their talent, and I’m planning to arrange for scouts, so that if there’s a gem in the team, he might get scouted. I have relations with a few academies in [inaudible 00:15:22] so if he gets selected, he/she can go abroad, study, and perform, and join clubs. So that’s what I want to do, and especially for girls.

Debbie DiPietro: That sounds so fabulous. I have goosebumps just listening to you. I really do. How do young people find out about … ? Is it through the schools? Do you go into the schools and tell them about this league with this tournament? How do the families, the kids, know about it?

Vshali Sanas: I have a team here, [inaudible 00:15:56] team, which works on communications and PR with the schools. So anyone who is registered with a school or an academy or a club can participate. They just need to have a team. We are working on our digital presence, plus we are looking for investors and sponsors. There are a few people who are really interested in the project and I think within two or three months the things will be clear, and everything would be out there. Yeah, we’re just trying to connect with the schools, especially.

Debbie DiPietro: That’s great. Let’s help you out a little bit. Is there an email or a website or anything in particular? If there’s anyone that wants to support this endeavor of yours, where they can find out how they can help to support it or get involved?
Vshali Sanas: Oh, that’s good. Yeah, yeah. We have a website, which is under construction, but it’s called wininnovations.in. We also have a Facebook page, Instagram, and everything. The email ID for that is wininnovations1, that’s number one, @gmail.com. Either one will connect me …
Debbie DiPietro: I’m sorry, was that one ‘n’ or two? Just one ‘n’? Win Innovations. Okay.

Vshali Sanas: Yes. Win Innovations with ‘s’ and number 1@gmail.com.

Debbie DiPietro: Okay. Sounds great. Well, you’re just doing all kinds of exciting things. I’m really curious … I’ve never been to India before, and I know there’s still a lot of traditional things with the families. Tell us a little bit maybe about your family. You’re a very independent woman, and maybe tell us a little bit about what it’s like to be an independent young woman from India these days. What’s the landscape like there?

Vshali Sanas: I know there have been stereotypes about India, but the modern India is amazing. If I’m not wrong, I think they say that India is the topmost on the youths demographic. We have the largest number of youth here. I think the youth is really energetic, and they’re amazing. They’re doing great things, and the families are supportive of that. Yeah, there’s great progress here, and I think there are a lot of opportunities, now especially. I think I’m doing the right things at the right time, because I think I came back more because, of course, I want to give back more to my country, and I think the country has given me more opportunities, that’s why.

Vshali Sanas: Being independent, because I honestly don’t live with my family, because I am exploring my own stuff and, of course, families do not support everything you do, and I’m pretty rebellious on what I need to do. I think I like to make my own decisions, and I want freedom to do what my vision is so, yeah, I’m living by myself. I have a home here. I’m doing my music and my sports. In fact, my office for Win Innovations started from my home. We used to sit here and we used to have ideas over a coffee. Yeah, that’s how it all started.

Debbie DiPietro: Wonderful. Do you have many siblings? Do you come from a big family?

Vshali Sanas: Not really. I have my uncles and aunts, but my family is just four people. I have a sibling. I have a brother. He’s three years older to me. My mom and my dad, yeah.

Debbie DiPietro: Are they pretty supportive of, maybe not everything like you said, but what do they think of your music and all? They have quite a daughter and sister.

Vshali Sanas: Actually, they are supportive of nothing, because I am just doing exactly opposite of what they wanted me to be an engineer or a doctor of course. I actually wanted to go all opposite. Like I used to play, they did not know. So I used to sneak out, put my soccer shoes outside the window and go play and come back. It’s all good. I understand it, because they are adults and they are from a different decade altogether. So it’s cool, then.

Debbie DiPietro: As a parent, and at some point, when you have kids, and your kids grow up, Vshali, at some point you realize, you know, they’re not little miniature versions of you; they’re actually their own people. They’re going to do what they’re going to do whether or not. At some point, as a mom, I’ve had to resign myself to like, “Okay. These kids, they’re their own people. They’re going to have their own lives.”

Vshali Sanas: Yes, that’s what I said, actually.

Debbie DiPietro: It doesn’t matter what Mommy wants. They’re going to do what they’re going to do.

Vshali Sanas: I wish parents would understand what you just said. It’s [inaudible 00:21:28] to understand that. Oh, my god.

Debbie DiPietro: I’ll write to your parents and …

Vshali Sanas: Please.

Debbie DiPietro: You’re just a delight. I know we’re going to run out of time quickly, because this is just a half-hour show, but you are definitely such a courageous young person, and you’re enjoying a lot of, as you say, opportunities there in India right now, and enjoying some success, but what keeps you moving after failures? I’m sure, in every pursuit, whether it’s your sports or your music, you’ve had challenges. How have you overcome those to get to where you are at right now?

Vshali Sanas: I think one thing I don’t like in life is having regrets. That fear of having regrets keeps me going. I’m like a few years down the line, I don’t want any regrets that, okay, I have this in mind and I did not do it. When I fail, I feel the same thing. Okay, I did not get up today, and tomorrow I’m going to regret. I think the fuel to my fire is being independent. I know there’s no support financially or emotionally sometimes. I think it’s just me. It’s the feeling that you’re born alone, you live alone, you die alone. It’s like you have to run your own show. I think that keeps me going, is the fear that tomorrow I end up losing everything, but one thing I have is that I tried everything. I think that’s what keeps me going.

Vshali Sanas: When I was, I was pretty young, I was 19 or something, I was kind of kicked out of my house by my brother and my mom because I was doing my own shit, and they were like, “Okay, we’re not going to support what you do. If you want to do … Yeah, you can do it all on your own.” I think that keeps me going, that my people did not supported me, and I think I’m going to do it by myself, and I want to give back to those girls, those people who would need support eventually from me.

Debbie DiPietro: That’s fabulous. I hope that all the people out there, women and girls, people of all ages, are listening to this, because I think you are such an inspiration. There are a lot of times where I myself, for example, I’ve been timid, and I don’t go for … I haven’t gone for things, and now that I’m 52 years old, I’m kind of realizing life is, as you say, life is short, and you got to kind of go for it and do some things, try some things. Whether you fail at it or now, but just do it. No regrets.

Vshali Sanas: Yeah, no regrets.

Debbie DiPietro: I’m getting that now, so that’s kind of why I’m doing this show, so I think it’s fabulous at such a young age you’ve kind of embraced that, and you live that.

Vshali Sanas: I think you have done a lot, Debbie. Your introduction was like a huge list. I’m sure you don’t have regrets either.

Debbie DiPietro: Well, you’re very kind. We’re going to run out of time quickly. Let’s go ahead and tell people out there how they can support you, listen to your music, one more time. I want to make sure they learn more about Vshali Sanas. So where should we go?

Vshali Sanas: Sure. My music is online on Spotify, on SoundCloud, on You Tube. I am kind of active on You Tube, and they can get in touch with me on Vshalisanas@gmail.com, as well, for my music. For my work, for soccer, Win Innovations is the name of the company. Wininnovations.in is the website, and the email ID is wininnovations1@gmail.com. We are on Instagram, on Facebook, everywhere digitally. I would want to just tell people one last thing is that no matter what, they have to act on their dreams. If you just keep thinking, thinking, and planning, it’s not going to help. It’s just important to just get up and act. That’s it.

Debbie DiPietro: That’s a good note to end on. I thank you again so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend time with us here. You’ve certainly been an inspiration to me, and I know you will have a great impact on many, many of our listeners out there, so thank you so much for being my guest today, and I’d love to stay in touch with you, and I wish you much success.

Vshali Sanas: Yeah, and thank you for having me, Debbie.

Debbie DiPietro: It’s my pleasure. All right, everybody, we’re out of time. This is Debbie DiPietro. Thank you for joining us here on Courageously Go! You can learn more about the show at courageouslygo.com, or you may email me, Debbie, D-E-B-B-I-E, @courageouslygo.com. I would love to hear from all of you. Always enjoy hearing your feedback. Ladies, until next time, remember this: It’s our time to shine. Let’s make it so, and courageously go!

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