Singer-Songwriter Shuba Proves She's More Than Just a TikTok Star With New Song 'Icon'
The first-generation Indian-American singer-songwriter is probably best known for her pitch-perfect impersonations of all of today's biggest musical artists, but we're not at all surprised that she also has her own powerful story to tell. "Icon" is just that—an autobiographical retelling of her life so far, and her dream of being someone that girls who look like her can look up to. We can't get enough of its rapped verses and infectious chorus, and we got the chance to ask Shuba herself what the song and its lyrics mean to her.
The Story Behind 'Icon'
Shuba: "Icon" was truly a work in progress. It was given to me with just open verses the first time I heard it, and I immediately loved how much room there was to give some sort of narrative. At the time, I had just really established myself on TikTok as someone who does playful impressions and funny skits with music, but that's not 100% who I am. I figured this was a good chance for me to say "hi" to the world as Shuba and share my true story. It was pretty easy to write because it felt like a normal conversation. I hadn't really written any songs up to that point that felt as honest or direct.
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What 'Icon' Means
Shuba: I hope "Icon" resonates with people who are bold enough to dream and visualize themselves living their ultimate purpose. I've always felt like I was kind of on the "B-Team" and sometimes, it gets so hard to persevere in this life if we haven't seen someone do the thing we're trying to do. This song is about how I plan on just persevering and being my own motivation to move forward even if I don't know exactly where I'm going or how I'm going to get there. Sometimes, we have to just become our own heroes.
Shuba's Favorite Lyric
Shuba: It's cheesy in isolation, but the lyric "I'll be making my dreams, promise you'll remember me," gets me every time.
I think there's a part of the line that feels a bit like "Go the Distance" from Hercules, (which is one of my all-time favorite Disney songs/movies), where he's not really sure how he'll reach his end goal but he knows he's going to get there somehow. I also love that there's a sense of confidence in the second part of that lyric, because it's sometimes important to have a healthy dose of delusion that the impossible is possible. I'm always rooting for the underdog.
If you love finding out the true stories behind today's greatest songs, click HERE to read our interview with master songwriter Skylar Grey on her new single, "Falling Apart."