Economics and inspirational music may seem like an unusual combination to many. Or perhaps one would necessitate the other. But to find one person who has tackled both of these careers sounds like a challenge – unless you’ve met Radhika Vekaria, the London-based singer/songwriter who studied Economics at University College in London and is also the composer of the song “Stand Up,” an original song whose proceeds are dedicated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Vekaria first learned of St. Jude through their campaigns while visiting the United States. Her friend Tiffany Schleigh, a co-producer of Spotlight on St. Jude and creator/producer of Cabaret for a Cause. Vekaria then met Carolyn Chamberlain, the Broadway Ambassador for St Jude, who was in the process of organizing Spotlight on St. Jude.
Vekaria had written “Stand Up,” a few years prior to meeting Chamberlain, while on a songwriting trip in Sweden. Having the song performed at Spotlight on St. Jude is a dream come true for Vekaria, who says she had always hoped to have her songs performed on Broadway. She has written music for Kamel Ouali’s Cleopatre: La Derniere Reine D’Egypte, which was shown in France, Switzerland and Belgium. But her career has not been limited to theater; she has also performed as lead singer and had a song in Franco Dragone’s India Show in Germany and cut songs with artists in Japan, Europe, the United States and Asia.
“I always felt that the song should belong to a powerful cause such as this,” Vekaria said. “I’d been wanting to find a home for this song particularly in the few months preceding the event and I’m so humbled that it has been embraced by St Jude.”
“Stand Up,” was performed by Soshana Bean at the first annual Spotlight on St. Jude and is available on iTunes, where the song’s proceeds go to St. Jude. The lyrics to “Stand Up” are extremely inspirational and motivate the listener to persevere through challenges.
“When writing a song like this, I think it’s about being honest about how you feel,” Vekaria said. “That can only come from the heart. I, as I’m sure many others, have had internal struggles, personal situations that have felt hard to overcome. Sometimes we feel alone, lost amongst the crowd and really do feel like no one can hear us. However with the support and strength from people around us we’re are able to stand up. Not just for ourselves but for others. This is where the song comes from.”
“Stand Up” was recorded produced by Kevin Savigar, with Broadway actress Shoshana Bean singing lead and Pamela Olivia & Ken Stacey singing backup vocals.
“There has been a wonderful response to Stand Up,” Vekaria said. “Many feel the message of the song, as I honestly believed they would. If this song makes the listener feel uplifted even for a second, then that is what is meant for.”