It’s not often you meet an Indian singer called Serena. Actually, the possibility is close to zero, unless you count Serena van der Woodsen of Gossip Girl on your living room TV. So it came as an even bigger suprise when this gorgeous Swiss-Indian artiste told us that her latest single was inspired by a Tamil lullaby! “My mother would softly sing Arararo Arareraro to put me asleep when I was little,” the now London-based lawyer begins. “And given the time difference between the UK and Coonoor, where I was raised,” she adds, “I don’t get to talk to her much after a long day at work.”
Hence the conception of Lullaby — Serena Kern’s new song that was launched in the city recently. While the lyrics are completely in English, the chorus maintains the folk melody refrain exactly as her mother sang it years ago... “There’s a video as well that was uploaded on YouTube a couple of days ago,” she flashes a smile.
If you’ve never heard of this singer before, it’s likely you’ll develop an easy crush a couple of minutes into the video, aside from the fact that she sings like an angel.
But why fly in from London to Chennai to launch a single song? “Well, considering where my inspiration for Lullaby came from, it seemed only appropriate... Plus my aunt is from here and it’s an opportunity to spend some time with the family over New Year,” she adds.
With more songs in the pipeline for her second album, due to be released in early February next year, the 25-year-old tells us she’s collaborating with some pretty big Indian names. These include tabla exponent Fazal Qureshi (brother of Zakir Hussain), flautist Rison M and film music composer Sunny Vishwanath.
“Between Skype and email, it’s so much easier to work with musicians around the world these days,” Serena reveals. “So the album is going to be quite a mix — pop, carnatic beats, and maybe even a little rock.”