Marital Status: Unmarried
Father: L Subramaniam
|Known for||Being the eldest daughter of noted Indian violinist Dr L Subramaniam|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 158 cm
in meters– 1.58 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 1”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms– 55 kg
in pounds– 121 lbs
• Double violin
|Birthplace||Los Angeles, United States|
|Hometown||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|School||Kalakshetra creative arts school in Chennai, Tamil Nadu|
|Educational Qualification||Studied opera vocals with professional opera singer Tantoo Cardinal in Sherman Oaks, California.|
|Hobbies||Travelling and Modelling|
|Relationships & More|
Father– Dr. L. Subramaniam (violinist)
Mother– Viji Subramaniam (classical singer)
Grandfather– V. Lakshminarayana (musician)
Grandmother– Lakshmi Shankar (singer)
• Dr. Narayana Subramaniam
• Ambi Subramaniam
Sister– Bindu Subramaniam
|Singer||Beatles, Madonna, M.S. Subbulakshmi, Lata Mangeshkar, Ella Fitzgerald, Bach, Billie Holiday.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Gingger Shankar
- Gingger Shankar is an American singer. She is an accomplished music composer and multi-instrumentalist. She has developed the music for several films including Circumstance (2011), Brahmin Bulls (2014), and Heartbeats (2018).
- Gingger Shankar was born into one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential musical families. She started singing and learning musical instruments at a very young age from her father, Viji Subramaniam, who was an Indian classical singer, and her mother, Dr L Subramaniam, who was a violinist. Her grandmother Lakshmi Shankar was the sister-in-law of prominent sitarist Ravi Shankar.
A childhood picture of Gingger Shankar with her grandfather
- When Gingger Shankar was a child, she learnt to sing, dance, and play the violin and piano. Soon after attaining music education from professional opera singer Tantoo Cardinal, she started modelling and acting in stage productions.
- On 9 February 1995, her mother died, and in November 1999, her father married the Indian playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy.
L Subramaniam with Kavita Krishnamurthy
- At the age of fourteen, Gingger Shankar started performing musical shows. Her first show was at Madison Square Garden. She debuted as a classical singer with the Ainadamar, an opera by Osvaldo Golijov under the music company Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Later, she performed this song at Carnegie Hall.
Gingger Shankar while performing at a music concert
- Gingger Shankar has worked with top singers, producers, and film composers including The Smashing Pumpkins, Saul Williams, Mike Nichols, Meryl Streep, RocNation, Marilyn Manson, Peter Gabriel, and Steve Vai. She has lent music and voice in multiple films and television series such as The Passion of the Christ, Charlie Wilson’s War, And She Could Be Next, and We Will Rise: Michelle Obama’s Mission to Educate Girls Around the World.
- According to Gingger Shankar, she likes fashion and modelling. In a media conversation, she stated that she had worked with several Indian designers and music companies. She said,
I love fashion and I think music and fashion go hand in hand. I worked with various companies modelling for clothing and music companies. What I really want is to meet upcoming designers in India to collaborate with.”
- In 2004, in the movie The Passion of the Christ, Gingger Shankar worked as a music composer along with the composer John Debney. In 2007, she was one of the six film composers who attended the Sundance Institute Composer’s Lab. In 2008, Gingger Shankar worked as a music composer in the film The Forbidden Kingdom. She composed the songs for the film Circumstance, which won the Sundance Audience Choice Award in 2011.
- In 2003, Gingger Shankar worked on the music album titled Enlightenment along with Indian musicians L. Shankar, Zakir Hussain, and Vikku Vinayakram. In 2008, she released her music album titled The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! along with Saul Williams. In 2010, Gingger Shankar worked along with Solo EP on the music album ‘Anywhere But Here.’
- Gingger Shankar made her debut in 2012 with the project ‘Himalaya Song’ at the Sundance Film Festival. This project contained a live film. The narration and music of the film were created by Gingger and Mridu Chandra under the Shanghai Restoration Project.
- In 2013, Gingger Shankar composed the music for the thriller film Monsoon Shootout, which was directed by Amit Kumar, and this film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the same year. In 2013, she played the double violin in Katy Perry’s song Legendary Lovers. The music of the film Brahmin Bulls was also composed by her in 2014, and this film was opened in the US. Several film awards were also won by this film. Gingger Shankar composed the music for the film ‘Project Syria,’ which was directed by Nonny De La Peña, and this virtual reality documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015.
- Gingger Shankar is associated with the Sundance Film Festival on its Artist Advisory Board. She is an associate of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
- Gingger Shankar is regarded as the only female in the world who has mastered the double violin. In a media interview, Gingger Shankar revealed how she mastered the 10-string double violin. Gingger Shankar said that initially, it was very challenging, and she learnt it very slowly. She described,
Very slowly! It was definitely very challenging to learn. I actually started playing the violin and cello and found it difficult to carry many instruments around to shows and to mic them. The double violin covered the entire orchestra range, so once I started on that, I have always used it. It has such a unique sound and it plays such a big part in my live shows as well as my soundtrack scores.”
- Several live motivational shows often invite Gingger Shankar to their show as a guest speaker. She frequently visits TEDx and often speaks on the topics related to girls’ education and their empowerment and environment. Other speaking platforms such as Davos, UNESCO, the Nobel Prize Summit, Carbon Footprint Summit, and the Cartier Women’s Initiative frequently invite Gingger Shankar as a guest orator.
- Soon after Gingger Shankar ventured into the music industry, she established a non-profit organisation named Little Indian Girl for the empowerment of young Indian girls who have a passion for artistry. This venture provides sponsorships and scholarships in areas such as science, music, and leadership to young Indian budding artists. her other projects related to the empowerment of women include Promises of Our Grandmothers and Nari. Promises of Our Grandmothers is a project related to the recording of the problems faced by the women groups battling environmental issues in India. The Nari project comprised the stories of women from India’s first music family. In this project, she explored the experiences of her mother, Viji Subramaniam, and grandmother, Lakshmi Shankar, who faced several challenges artistically and personally in their motherland when they tried to establish Indian music in the west.
The grandmother and mother of Gingger Shankar while performing a musical show
- The Rolling Stone ranked her multimedia project ‘Himalaya Song’ (on climate change) as one of the ’10 Best Music Films at Sundance’ soon after its release in 2012, The Filmmaker Magazine ranked her as ‘25 New Faces to Watch’ in its magazine in the same year.
- In 2018, Gingger Shankar produced the documentary titled Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, which was screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. In 2020, she launched the album And She Could Be Next, which featured Aloe Blacc, Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball, and Saul William.
- In 2020, ahead of the 2020 presidential elections in America, Gingger Shankar co-directed and produced multiple spots for South Asians. She composed the song “Promises of Our Grandmothers” in 2020. In 2021, this song was featured at the Nobel Prize Summit.
- She is often featured in renowned magazines and newspapers in their articles.
Gingger Shankar in an article of a newspaper
- In one of her conversations with a media house, Gingger Shankar disclosed that she spent most of her childhood in Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay. She said,
I spent a lot of time in Madras growing up, and Calcutta and Bombay in my teen and adult years.”
- Gingger Shankar is the co-founder of Naughty Horses Records. It is a record label, which releases music composed by dynamic women artists from around the world. This helps in the preservation of the global classical recordings, and many of its recordings are from the Shankar family dating back to the 1930s.
- She remains very active on various social media platforms. She is followed by over 67k people on Facebook. On Instagram, she has over 36k followers. She has a YouTube channel, which has more than four hundred subscribers. She often posts pictures and videos on social media.
- In June 2022, she became the first Indian musician to compose a song in a Marvel project, Ms Marvel. The track ‘Rozi’ of this project is written by Pakistani rapper Eva B and is co-written by Gingger Shankar. Soon after announcing the news on one of her social media accounts, she stated in a conversation with a media house that she had been a huge fan of Marvel and wouldn’t believe that she received the opportunity to work with Marvel. Gingger Shankar said,
I’ve 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.”
An Instagram post by Ginnger featruing a still from the song Rozi