Fourteen-year-old Shakila Karim releases her first charity song ‘Heroes’
You’re voice is amazing! Where did the passion come from?
I’ve always had a passion for singing and my parents said that I started before I could speak. I have always been a big fan of Michael Jackson, absolutely love Queen, Elton John. Before I go up on stage I do get scared but once I’m in my element, there’s no stopping me.
You’re only fourteen years old. How did your singing career come about?
I love playing different instruments. I learnt the piano, violin, took singing lessons, and then I started singing covers and decided that I want to be a musician.
Why did you decide to release a song for Help for Heroes?
I decided to do a song for Help For Heroes because they are doing a good job serving in armed forces, and it’s a good cause. It’s not about what I feel but how lucky we should feel that they are doing so much for us. I am so proud of my new song ‘Heroes’, because it’s dedicated to all those wonderful people in the armed forces who are true heroes. I appreciate the terrible things they have to do and I also know some of these people are coming back with horrific injuries.
How much input have you had to the song?
I was able to add my musical talents and played the piano on the recording and came up with all the vocal ideas, including the chorus and harmonies for the song. I’ve worked very hard with some very talented and generous people to release Heroes and I really hope people buy this song as I know it can benefit a lot of people.
You have a few friends parents serving in Afghanistan. This must be quite tough being so close to the situation that is happening in Afghanistan…
They are really brave and take everything on the chin. They are prepared for what might happen but at the same time they want to be just like their dad and are so inspired by them.
What difference do you hope to make?
The song has just been released and I hope it will make a big difference as its for a very good cause and for me to do this at my age, I hope it really does stand out.
I want to help raise as much money as possible for these amazing people who really need a lot of care and support. Help for Heroes does an outstanding job and I want to do whatever I can to help.
You are hoping to perform at the Olympic Games next year…
Just thinking about it gets me really excited. I hope I get the chance to perform as I’m from East London and it’s the biggest Bangladeshi community so it would be good to represent them.
What projects do you hope to take on next?
I want to carry on making good music and will hopefully be successful and become someone that I really want to be.
About Shakila Karim
Shakila Karim, 14, was born in Whitechapel, east London, in November 1997 at the Royal London Hospital and completed her primary school education at Gatehouse School in Bethnal Green. She is a talented musician who plays the piano, ukulele and drums – and has played the violin and recorder. Shakila has been influenced by many great singers - notably Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Amy Lee and Rihanna – and, from the young artists she listens to, Mylie Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Shakila has many interests in the arts including dancing, fashion, painting, acting, sports and photography. Shakila has strong connections to the East End and all her extended family still live there, as do a lot of her friends. She has her sights set on performing at next year’s Olympic Games and to be the first chart topping pop star of Bangladeshi origin.
ABOUT HELP FOR HEROES
• Thanks to the fantastic British Public, Help for Heroes (H4H) has raised over £116m since its launch in October 2007.
• All over the country, people are baking cakes, shaving heads, parachuting, walking, hiking, cycling and much much more to raise money for our heroes.
• H4H does not seek to criticise or be political. Our goal is to assist and work closely with the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force to provide support where it is most needed.
• To date, all monies raised for H4H have spent or allocated on the direct, practical support of our Servicemen and women who are wounded, injured or have become sick while in the service of our country, to include support and assistance to their families when appropriate. For information on how we spend your money, visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk/how_we_spend.html
• H4H has funded a variety of projects including the £8m Rehabilitation Complex at Headley Court, a new £3.5m treatment centre for Combat Stress, £1m for adaptive adventure training through the Battle Back programme and the creation of a £6m Quick Reaction Fund to support individuals in need.
• In February 2010, H4H announced its key role in the creation of five regional Personnel Recovery Centres (PRCs), which provide, in partnership with the MOD, The Royal British Legion and other Service charities, on-going training and support for the wounded after Headley Court. Locations of the PRCs are Edinburgh, Colchester, Catterick, Tidworth and Plymouth.