Shama Rahman


I am Singer, Sitar player, Scientist, Composer and Explorer Dr Shama Rahman.

I am the first Sitar player to perform on the ice in Antarctica where I was invited to be an explorer on an expedition with the first Antarctic Biennale.

I am the first artist-in-residence with the pioneering wearable technology gloves.

I take the sitar out of the traditional context, composing and performing across genres including, jazz, psychedelia, live electronica, hip-hop, drum ’n’ bass,  worldbeats, Indian/western classical melodies, folk storytelling and beat poetry.

My poetic songs draw inspiration from my Bangladeshi roots, the childhood desert landscapes of the Middle East, and my later move to the UK, where everything I knew collided with London’s vibrant urban energy and musical characters. My compositions reflect multiculturalism and embody diversity in all its forms.

I play with my electroacoustic band and my sound is nicely described by these folks:

“Imagine Dead Can Dance and Björk getting together in a folk club, to make jazzy trip-hop records… with sitars.” – Songwriting Magazine.

About ‘Let The Light In’:

“Shama Rahman embarks on stage with musicians met during her many trips to give birth to a musical universe without borders. Jazz, electro, folk and psyche come together, illuminated by the soft and bewitching voice of the multilingual artist. We lose our notions of time and styles as the result turns out to be unique and personal. We can venture to speak of “new genre”. Shama clearly has a lot to say, to sing and to show us; we must not miss the passage of the comet which will flood the Molotov room with light” Journal Ventilo

“On her third album, the multi-instrumentalist and singer continues her poetic quest for a universal sound by mixing her Bangladeshi sitar with urban productions, jazz improvisations and folklores from around the world. As in her previous works, the crossing of cultures is the essence of the eight songs that make up the album, the common thread of which is the passage from dark to light . She takes the Sitar out of its traditional context in a brilliant contemporary exploration, rearranges Shundhor mysterious regional folk song from Bangladesh sung in the dialect of the region, evokes the theme of identity, exile, cracks from which illumination sometimes springs.”  FIP Radio 

“In the company of musician friends from all over Europe, Shama Rahman offers us a third studio album which once again leads us to discover multiculturalism, her own path and makes her an artist apart. Far from the beaten track, with this sitar, that we have little opportunity to hear in our latitudes and that it leaves its traditional context, it offers us an intense sensory trip, wonderful exploration of new emotions, sensations from elsewhere. No wonder, then, that we let ourselves so easily, and definitively, be trapped in its light and that we find ourselves following it to the end of its worlds …Multi-instrumentalist singer Shama Rahman is releasing a new album, Let the Light in .  Divertir

‘Let The Light In’ by Shama Rahman, a third luminous album at the crossroads of culture. An opus at the confluence of several cultures that talks about flaws, love and … Brexit. France TV

About ‘Truth BeTold’:

“The triumphant expression of a unique vision and inimitable sound’ Songlines 4* review

An album by a singer-sitarist who’s also a scientist, neuro‑philosopher and actor, and dons wearable Mi.Mu gloves to trigger sounds by movement, is likely to be acutely cutting-edge. The sonic panorama stretches as far as the listener’s imagination, and then some.‘ Team Rock

‘Shama has managed to create an album that is so astonishingly unique’ GigSlutz

‘With Truth BeTold Shama surpasses good. She’s great.’ Echoes and Dust 

‘The result is a wonderful, genre-bending opus, illustrating an artist confidently reaching new musical and storytelling heights. Shama comfortably takes her sitar out of the traditional context, demonstrating a versatility rarely heard. Shama is an artist who deserves attention; a storyteller who embraces artistic expression in all its forms. Her avant-garde performance broke through the boundaries of live performance, delivering a breathtaking show.This EP and her forthcoming new album should see Shama recognised as a truly individual and uniquely talented artist.’ Folk Radio UK 

“You’re about to get goosebumps, seriously. Releasing the title track to her upcoming album, “Truth BeTold” is the haunting new track from Shama. With stunning melodies and a dream-like vibe, Shama switches between English and French vocals throughout the track to always keep us on our toes. An absolutely gorgeous track, prepare to have it stuck with you long after you’ve finished listening” Wonderland

​About ‘Fable:Time’:

“Fable: Time” is an ambitious piece, that rare combination of unconventional creativity and the focus to bring it into a successful fruition. It’s certainly the only album you are likely to come across this year with a circular track listing”

“..consistently able to combine new elements & sounds with what is already present to create an incredibly unique record… a musical & paramusical strength that many others could take valuable lessons from, may her own work continue to show those strengths for a long time to come.”-7bitArcade

Artist Residency

I was an artist-in-residence with a very special new form of music technology called the gloves – gloves which respond to the wearer’s movements. I use them to explore new electro-acoustic cross-genre Sitar-led songs & spoken word with jazz, electronica, hiphop, drum’n’bass & worldbeats, Indian/Western classically-inspired melodic arcs & folk-inspired storytelling.
My residency culminated by scaling up the songs from the album into a multidisciplinary cross-arts performance via a collaboration with my live band of musicians, dancers and visual projection mapping artists. This was developed through public Lab sessions at the Southbank, with a final showcase in May 2016. This showcase involved a pioneering movement approach to an immersive theatrical Sitar cabaret/libretto performance of storytelling songs. The goal was to push the technology to discover its strengths and where it can add to modern possibilities of story-telling for musicians over the coming years.
To write and ask me how I use the gloves in my music, Click Here.

5 thoughts on “Shama Rahman

  1. lovely vocal chops! – great noise!!

    We’d like to discuss an opportunity for representing your music at Midem 2017. If you are budgeted and want to get your music in front of some of the world’s top licensors for movie, tv, media possibilities, foreign record label licensing deals plus gigging agents and promotional touring, then look no further –

    if this interests you, for more details please respond to Charley Foskett – – +44 (0)7917 156867


  2. Dear Shama
    I am working on a community based event taking place on Sunday the 19th of April in the City of London, to celebrate the Bengali New Year. It is aimed at an audience of between 500-1,000, mainly residents.
    I am currently reaching out to a variety of artists and would be grateful if you can check the availability and confirm what the charges, any technical information, would be for a 30 minute performance on that date.
    Kind regards,

    Halimah Abubacker


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