The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is debuting its first Pakistani-American superhero with its latest outing Ms Marvel. The show has been creating a buzz on social media for its bold, diverse casting. The cast includes debutante Iman Vellani, who plays Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel, along with other noted South Asian actors such as Farhan Akhtar, Fawad Khan, and Mohan Kapur. Indian-American musician Gingger Shankar—daughter of Indian violinist L Subramaniam and Viji Subramaniam—has composed the track Rozi, sung by Eva B, Pakistan’s first female rapper. In an interview, Gingger tells us about how she got the part and what’s next for her:
Tell us about the song you composed for Ms Marvel.
The track is called Rozi. It is an anthem for women’s empowerment and has Indian-Pakistani hip-hop and cinematic elements to it. Eva and I worked on it through the pandemic between Los Angeles and Pakistan; we are thrilled for folks to see it debut on the show.
How does it feel to be part of a franchise like Marvel?
When I heard about Ms Marvel, like many desi folks in our industry, I was eagerly awaiting the release. Our community was buzzing with excitement. Seeing the incredible women behind the show (creators Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Sana Amanat, and Meera Menon) resonated so deeply with Eva and myself. During that time, we were creating these anthemic tracks talking about what it is to be a woman. For this to be the debut of our musical collaboration is so meaningful.
I have always been a fan of Marvel, but if you had told me five years ago that we would be creating a hip-hop track with Pakistani and Indian influences, with the first female Pakistani rapper, I wouldn’t have believed it! I think it makes me more of a fan honestly.
Tell us about your experience collaborating with Eva B.
It has been so magical. I first started working with her about three years ago. I had come
across her video Gully Girls (a play on Gully Boy) and I was blown away by her personality, her swagger, and overall message. We started working on a project together when the pandemic hit. From the first track, we knew we had something special. We are currently working on a full-length album.
What’s your next project?
I am working on The Gray Man, a film starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas. I got to work with one of my favourite music collaborators, Devin Parker, for the trailer of this thrilling film. The music is extremely cinematic, with influences of hip-hop, Indian and Western classical strings.
‘Ms Marvel’ is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar