Vivek Shraya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vivek Shraya
Born (1981-02-15) February 15, 1981 (age 36)
Edmonton, Alberta
Genres Electro, dance, rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Writer, Visual Artist
Labels Skinsongs

Vivek Shraya (born February 15, 1981 in Edmonton, Alberta) is a Canadian musician, short story writer, and visual artist. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.[1][2]


Shraya began writing songs at the age of 13, went on to perform and have success at a talent competition, until recording her debut alternative pop rock record THROAT in 2002 featuring instrumentation by Russell Broom. Three songs from THROAT were remixed by John Wozniak from Marcy Playground and were included[3] on the independent release of the THROAT EP in 2003. During this time, a quietly intense, single voice and single guitar project titled Samsara: The Sketches was also recorded and released.

Shraya moved to Toronto in 2003, playing at local venues and music festivals and released A Composite of Straight Lines, a six-track EP featuring a guest performance by Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara. It was named the #5 record of 2005 by Soul Shine Magazine,[4] and its "single," Logic Vs., was the winner of We Are Listening's 2005 International Singer/Songwriter Awards.[5]

In 2007, Shraya changed direction entirely, releasing an electropop record titled If We’re Not Talking, featuring the other Quin, Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara and produced by Meghan Toohey, which was reviewed and showcased on numerous music blogs with unfortunate comparisons to Prince,[6] Of Montreal[7] and Justin Timberlake.[8] This was shortly followed by the "release" of the inevitable electro dance cover of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" as a free download[9] on MySpace and Shraya's website.

Shraya has toured across North America, sharing the stage with: Tegan and Sara,[10] Dragonette, Melanie C, Team Dresch, Melissa Ferrick, Brian Byrne and Greg MacPherson. She released her follow-up to If We're Not Talking in the fall of 2009, titled Keys & Machines.

In 2010, Shraya released the short story collection God Loves Hair.[11] At the time, she identified as male and queer,[11] and the collection explores gender politics, queer theory, religion and regionalism. The book was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in the Children's/Young Adult category at the 2011 Lambda Literary Awards.

In 2013 she served alongside Amber Dawn and Anne Fleming on the jury of the Dayne Ogilvie Prize, a literary award for LGBT writers in Canada, selecting C. E. Gatchalian as that year's winner.[12] She was consequently awarded an Honour of Distinction at the 2015 Dayne Ogilvie Prize.[13]

Shraya's 2014 novel She of the Mountains, named one of Globe and Mail's Best 100 Books of 2014,[14] was launched on a joint book tour with Raziel Reid, whose debut novel When Everything Feels Like the Movies was published around the same time.[15]

In 2016 Shraya released her debut poetry collection, even this page is white, which addresses everyday racism and colonialism in Canada.[16] The collection was included in the longlist for CBC's literary reality show Canada Reads.[17] The same year Shraya also released photo series Trisha, which displays photos of her mother side-by-side re-creations with Shraya as the subject.[18]

Personal life[edit]

On February 15, 2016 Shraya came out as transgender[19] and announced via her Facebook account that she is now using the pronouns she and her.


  • Samsara: The Sketches (2002)
  • THROAT EP (2003)
  • A Composite of Straight Lines (2005)
  • If We're Not Talking (2007)
  • If We're Not Talking Single (2008)
  • Keys & Machines (2009)



External links[edit]