Shirley Setia: The Melody Maker

With an Instagram family of over 7.5 million, Shirley Setia, a singer and a budding actor has amassed an international following

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By Shrabona Ghosh


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If things aren't working out as per our plan, perhaps it's working out according to God's plan. With an Instagram family of over 7.5 million, Shirley Setia, a singer and a budding actor has amassed an international following by singing cover versions of Bollywood hits. She calls herself "a tiny one with not so tiny dreams." Did she always wish to be a content creator, "Perhaps, no! I never aimed to be a content creator, I always wanted to be an actor. However, one day I ended up putting a YouTube video, which went viral and that's how I found my calling! I just used to record songs and share, the other requirements were taken care of by the musicians and producers who collaborated with me," said Setia.

In the initial years of her career she was advised by singing sensation Shreya Ghoshal to leverage the YouTube platform, "Though music was not something that I planned, as I started seeing a career choice in it, I wanted to reach out to more people but was very oblivious about it as I was from New Zealand and did not know how to reach out to my audience in India. In those days I was working in a radio station, where I happened to meet Shreya Ghoshal, who was there for an event. She advised me to leverage the social media platform."

When it comes to social media, there are various platforms and the algorithm of content is different for different platforms. "What might work on Instagram might not work on YT. Similarly, the audience of Twitter is very different. We have to find the right choice of content that would work on the different platforms."

When it comes to trolls, no one is spared. Over the years, Shirley has developed her own ways to deal with it. "Earlier, it was difficult, but today I have learnt to deal with it. It feels immensely painful when people start targeting you based on personal vengeance. If they do not like me, do not watch my content but commenting disgracefully hurts a lot. However, it's not only artists who go through it, this is the story of every individual." Fame also comes with an added responsibility, it even reflects in our day to day projects that we choose to work on. "To err is human, it's natural to make mistakes but to learn from it is important." She is also a pet lover and is doing her bit in raising awareness about animals.

Any investment plans so far, "Not yet, but if something interesting comes along, then why not?"

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 

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