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Shabir winning award 2012
Background information
Birth nameShabir Tabare Alam
GenresIndiepop, Film Score, World, Rock, Folk
Occupation(s)Music producer, composer, arranger, songwriter, vocalist, lyricist
InstrumentsSynth, harmonium, keyboards, guitar, vocals
Years active2005–present
LabelsShabir Music, Think Music India, Sony Music India
Associated actsM Ghibran, Drums Sivamani, Emcee Jesz, Naresh Iyer

Shabir is a national award winning singer-songwriter, record producer, music composer and performer from Singapore whose works are predominantly in Tamil. He is the winner of the inaugural singing competition Vasantham Star 2005. The talent quest was hosted by MediaCorp Vasantham TV Channel.[1] Shabir's Yaayum song from the film Sagaa became a sleeper hit in India and all around the world. [2] In 2012 he wrote and composed "Singai Naadu", the National Day Parade 2012 Tamil song that won praise from the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.[3]. Shabir was awarded the Singapore Youth Award, the highest national honour given to young achievers by the Singapore government. He was the first artist of Tamil/Indian descent to win the award. [4]

Personal life[edit]

Shabir is born in Singapore. His father's origin is Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. He is of mixed heritage from an Urdu speaking father and a Malay/Tamil mother.[5] Shabir started songwriting at an early age and wrote and composed his first song at the age of 12.


Shabir started songwriting and song composition when he was 12 years old. Starting out as a self-taught keyboardist, he went on to learn Hindustani Classical Music under the tutelage of violinist Sri Veereshwar Madhri and guitar from Steeve Vatz. Shabir also graduated with a bachelor's degree in music production and composition and is an alumnus of SAE Singapore.[6]

Shabir remains one of the leading recording artiste in Singapore with a strong fan following in the region having released three albums to date 'Alaipayuthey',[7] 'TraffiQ' and 'Swasam-Scents of Prose'. Shabir's music is known to be an eclectic concoction of various genres and influences that includes pop, indie, alternative rock and world music. Shabir's lyrical style consists of wordplay, metaphor and he often experiments with cadence.[5] His edgy vocal rendition marks a distinct style that owes itself to his early metal and rock influences such as Rage Against The Machine and Metallica.[1]

Film Music

Shabir started his film music career in Tamil cinema as a playback singer and songwriter. Shabir sang two songs in the Indian film Vathikutchi produced by A.R Murugadoss.[8] He also wrote lyrics and recorded a rap based on a ragaa for one of the songs. Shabir received positive reviews from critics for his rendition of the song Ari Unnai.[9] The audio of the film launched on 13 Feb 2013 in Chennai.[10] Shabir recorded a song for Drums Sivamani titled "Yaaro Yaar Aval" from the movie Arima Nambi [11] In 2016 Shabir wrote and sang for the Venkatesh starrer Telugu film Babu Bangaram. He is now making his debut as a film composer for a Tamil film called Sagaa. The film is slated for a late 2017 release. The song titled "Yaayum" from Sagaa became a hit upon its release, receiving acclaim from critics and fans. Shabir signed 3 more films titled Sangu Chakkaram produced by the makers of Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara, Neeya and an untitled film starring new actors. Sangu Chakkaram released on Dec 29 in 2017 to good response. Shabir's music for Sangu Chakkaram won praise unanimously from critics and audiences.[12][13]

Independent Music

Shabir was one of the first few to drive the international Tamil independent music movement. His first album "Alaipayuthey" was released in 2005. Shabir's independent music from his later albums TraffiQ (Dejavu & Nagaravaytai) received regular airplay on both local and international channels including MTV Asia .[14] and Channel V.[15] which garnered him a good following in South East Asia.

"Swasam – Scents of Prose" produced by High Breed Media was released on 7 April 2012 to positive reviews.[16] The album has an eclectic combination of various musical styles and features poetry recitations by prominent personalities and luminaries from Singapore such as the nation's 6th President S.R Nathan, Minister S Iswaran, former NMP Viswa Sadasivan and many others.[17]

Shabir is currently the CEO of Shabir Music Academy, a music school based in Singapore, which is affiliated with Rockschool UK.[18]


Shabir has courted controversy since he took part in inaugural Vasantham Star competition in 2005. The singer received mixed reviews on his performances, and was under scrutiny for his pronunciation and slang when singing.

After impressing the judges during the quarter finals, he was eventually expelled from the competition altogether during the semis. This provoked an eruption among his growing fan base. His departure resulted in the local community writing a petition that was signed by more than 500 members of the public.

Understanding the dynamics of his participation, the producers for the first time in Tamil television history, introduced a wild card entry which made way for Shabir's re-entry into the competition.

Shabir eventually won the talent quest.[1]


As playback singer
Year Title Language Song
2013 Vathikuchi Tamil Singer-Songwriter for "Amma Wake Me Up" & "Ari Unnai"
2013 Pranam Kosam Telugu Singer for Erugara
2014 Arima Nambi Tamil Singer for "Yaaro Yaar Aval"
2016 Babu Bangaram Telugu Singer-Songwriter for Babu Bangaram Theme
2019 Kadaram Kondan Tamil Singer & Rap Lyrics of Kadaram Kondan song written by Shabir
2019 Nenjamundu Nermaiyundu Odu Raja Tamil Singer for "Nenjamundu"
As composer
Year Title Language Notes
2017 Together Apart, The Manifest[19] English
2019 Sagaa Tamil
2019 Neeya 2 Tamil
2019 Dhilluku Dhuddu 2 Tamil
2019 Nenjamundu Nermaiyundu Odu Raja Tamil
2019 Raju Gari Gadhi 3 Telugu


  • Vasantham Star 2005 (Winner)[20]
  • Derana TV Awards Best Music Video for Nagara Vaytei by Shabir ft Dinesh K & Ramya 2009 (Winner)[21]
  • Pradhana Vizha 2011 Best Actor (Winner)[22]
  • Singapore Indian Artistes Association (Honored Best Actor) 2011[22]
  • Pradhana Vizha 2012 Most Popular Song (Winner)[23]
  • Kannadasan Award 2012 by Association of Singapore Tamil Writers (Winner)[24]
  • Edison Awards 2013 Best International Singer (Winner)[25]
  • Highly Commended Award for Kshatriyan soundtrack at Asian Television Awards 2016
  • Pradhana Vizha 2016 Best Soundtrack (Won for Nee Indru Kshatriyan)
  • Singapore Youth Award 2017 [26]


  1. ^ a b c Leong Wai Kit (January 2010). "Gangster turns Icon". NTUC Lifestyle Magazine. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  2. ^ "I wrote my first song when I was 12: Shabir". Archived from the original on 2 December 2017.
  3. ^ Singapore – Lee Hsien Loong Most of us know Munnaeru.... Facebook (22 August 2012).
  4. ^ "Music that heals and inspires". The Straits Times. 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 2 February 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b Tashny Sukumaran (19 July 2009). "The Urban Poet". The New Sunday Times, Sunday People. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Shabir". Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  7. ^ Sajini (9 April 2006). "Shabir's New Music Video Shoot". Our Truest Life Is When We Are in Our Dreams Awake. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  8. ^ Vathikuchi audio set to launch on February-13 | Preview – Movies Archived 28 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine. ChennaiOnline (7 February 2013).
  9. ^ Vathikuchi Music Review Dhileban, Anjali, A.R. Murugadoss Archived 28 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (13 February 2013).
  10. ^ AR Murgudos's Vathikuchi audio on Feb 13 [+ Trailer Video] | Tamil Cinema News › KollyInsider Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine. (8 February 2013).
  11. ^ Audio Beat: Arima Nambi – Sivamani belts it out Archived 6 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine The Hindu – 31 May 2014
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 December 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ MTV Asia (1 January 2010). "Dejavu". MTV Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  15. ^ Channel V (2009). "Shabir". [V]AMP.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Premium Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. The Straits Times.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Shabir Music Academy". Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Project Lapis Sagu - Updates". Project Lapis Sagu. Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  20. ^ Hall of Fame – Vasantham on xinmsn Entertainment Archived 7 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (19 September 2011).
  21. ^ Tv Derana – Sri Lanka's Premium Entertainment Channel – Teledrama, Mp3, Music videos, Reality shows and Fanclub Archived 27 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ a b Pradhana Vizha 2011 – Vasantham on xinmsn Entertainment Archived 30 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (29 June 2011).
  23. ^ Pradhana Vizha 2012 – Vasantham on xinmsn Entertainment Archived 9 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (19 September 2011).
  24. ^ சிங்கப்பூர்த் தமிழ் எழுத்தாளர் கழகம் Archived 30 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (5 March 2011).
  25. ^ sg-cafe – Timeline Photos. Facebook.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

News, reviews and interviews[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Taufik Batisah
with "Usah Lepaskan"
Singapore in the ABU TV Song Festival
with "Maybe"
Succeeded by
[to be determined]