Columnists,Shavinya Illankoon,Top Story l by Shavinya Illankoon l 26 Jun 2020     - 452

Introducing ‘Shehara’: Support Your Go-to Lankan Beats

With the world evolving at a much faster pace in this modern day and bringing us closer together, one would definitely agree that music is one of those very active sources.

Global music platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal etc have enabled us with amazingly large access to millions of songs around the world, providing us connectivity and constant updates about the latest songs, coolest genres and so on. So if anyone asks you what rap sensation Lizzo’s latest single is or what jaw-dropping beats your boy Khalid has dropped, you know where to find them!

Just like the international artists/musicians we praise so much, we also should definitely remember our Lankan talent; from Amaradeva to Rookantha to Bathiya & Santhush and many other esteemed Sinhala artists. However, let’s not also forget the Local English Scene which takes place in our beautiful island! Many of y’all may remember Sohan and the Experiments and Purple Rain from the olden days; enjoying the tunes of our favourite English songs flawlessly covered by these bands and swaying to their beats whenever they play live on stage or at venues. Many years have passed and it is quite refreshing to see that we now have a small community which includes fresh, new English artists who usually start off their journey by releasing a single or two and later, slowly pave their way into the Sri Lankan Music Industry! One such artist out there would be Shehara Jayathilaka Napoleon; the First Female Metal Solo-artist in Sri Lanka!

Shehara, being a mother of two, has successfully released her debut album ‘Fountain Of Memory’ just last year and has initiated a business of her own in May 2020 called “Shehara- Sri Lankan Music”. We were able to reach out to this talented soul who provided us with a very descriptive and detailed insight as to how it all works at;

Hello Shehara. We are super glad to have been able to get in touch with you! Tell us a bit about your musical journey so far.

Thank you so much for approaching me!

Music has always been a huge part of my life and it’s something I find true joy and purpose in making and communicating through.

I’ve been in the industry for almost a decade and throughout these years as a Singer, Metal Vocalist and Songwriter, I’ve emerged a finalist at TNL Onstage, played gigs in Colombo and Kandy, corporate events, award ceremonies and festivals, released many singles independently and through collaborations with amazing Sri Lankan Artists, was awarded the title of Youth Peace Ambassador by the United Nations Global Development Organization and released Sri Lanka’s first Metal Album by a Female in 2019.

Sounds very impressive. And now you happen to own your own e-music store! Which leads me to my next question; what is

It is Sri Lanka’s first virtual space for digital Sri Lankan Music. It’s a platform to financially support Local Musicians. Through Shehara-Sri Lankan Music, Local Solo Artists and Bands can sell their originals online and make 75% of the sales and also receive pay-outs directly to their Sri Lankan bank account every month. 

This is a site to highlight how awesome our Local Musicians are and bring together fans who wish to truly support their favourite Artists and Bands. The site is fully functional and fans can buy tracks through multiple, secure payment methods like VISA, Mastercard, Ez & Sampath Vishwa for just Rs.140 per track.

What made you start up this kind of a business?

Basically, the need to have solid support for Local Musicians.

As a Soloist and Independent Artist, I’ve had to overcome many challenges to release my Music. I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way. When I was in year 9, I vowed I’d be an entrepreneur in Music and do whatever I could to help the Sri Lankan Music Industry. In 2019, I vowed I’d go an extra mile to help the Metal Music Industry and I think in setting that intention, everything I’ve done in my musical journey has aligned perfectly. And I’m so thankful to have some of The Best, supportive people in my life as well, who have helped me get here. 

I’ve been a Graphic Designer, Web Designer and Video Editor by profession for many years too, so creating this website was a synchronized decision.

While this website was primarily for the Metal Community, I’m keeping it open to all artists and bands of all genres because I want to support every hardworking and passionate Musician and help them achieve things in their musical journey that I didn’t have help with when I was starting off.

Tell us about the milestones you’re hoping to achieve through! 

Successes would be when Artists & Bands make profitable income through this website, which will help them in some way to fund their projects, record new music, make merchandise or whatever they want to invest in.

So, I hope people support local Musicians and actually buy music.

How is the progress so far within this short time span?

It’s been good.

We have 8 artists and bands on the site and they are Shavi, Anil Balasuriya, Javeen Soysa, Senkadagala, Genetic Fallacy, Sacrament, Kanishka Kavirathna and Shehara (me). We completed our first month and every artist had sold their songs so, it was a good start. Some of the Artists are releasing new tracks this month and others in a few months so, fans have more great Music to look forward to!

But, more support, likes, shares on our social media pages and most Importantly purchases would really help more.

The most viral newspread these is none other than the ever-so famous Corona Virus! How did the whole covid-19 situation affect the initiation of your business?

It had no negative impact. This was a plan from a year ago and things finally fell into place. Sure, curfews meant I couldn’t meet the Artists personally but everything was digitalized and thanks to a few very special professionals who helped me get everything ready, I was able to work around everything and get things going.

Anything else exciting and/or important you want to share with your viewers?

Shehara is currently primarily an online store for local Music but we are also offering Artists and Bands distribution for merchandise and physical copies of their albums, EPs and compilations. We’ve also tied up with some of the best Sound Engineers and Videographers in the industry who Artists and Bands can work with in the future.

The one-time sign-up fee for Artists & Bands is Rs. 2,500 for 10 song slots and all the terms and conditions like safety of copyrights, usage of details provided are meticulously explained in the website. Each track is priced at Rs 140 and I encourage everyone to purchase Music and support Local Musicians.

Finally, any words of inspiration to your colleagues, fresh new artists and artists in the making?

Be patient! Trust that everything happens for a reason and work around the drawbacks. Never give up! And if you want help with anything related to releasing your Music, get in touch through Instagram on @srilankanmusic or I’m more than happy to help!

With that, we would like to remind you to support your local artists! Help them out by purchasing their music so they can make a living out of their passion for music! ‘Shehara’ is definitely the place to go to show some love to your favourite Ceylonese beats!


Shavinya Illankoon

I am an independent solo artist that debuted last October. I write lyrics, make my own music and collaborate with fresh and talented producers. I focus on themes such as Mental Health and psychological aspects of people in order to provide a voice to them and to let them know that we're all in this together and they are not alone.

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