Vivek Shraya: Embracing Authenticity in Music, Writing, and Art

Vivek Shraya: Championing Diversity in Canadian Culture

In the vibrant landscape of Canadian arts and culture, Vivek Shraya stands as a beacon of creativity, diversity, and empowerment. Born on February 15, 1981, Shraya has carved a unique path as a trans femme of color, infusing her identity into her music, writing, visual art, theatrical productions, and films.

Currently residing in Calgary, Alberta, Vivek Shraya not only produces remarkable artistic works but also dedicates herself to fostering opportunities for emerging BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) writers over 50 years old, through her groundbreaking publishing imprint, VS. Books.


Shraya’s journey in the realm of music commenced at the tender age of 13, where she found solace and expression through songwriting. Her debut album, “THROAT,” released in 2002, marked the beginning of a prolific musical odyssey. Over the years, Shraya has explored various genres, releasing a dozen solo albums including notable works like “If We’re Not Talking” (2007) and “1:1” (2011).

Collaborating with her brother Shamik Bilgi, she formed the band Too Attached, producing albums like “Bronze” (2015) and “Angry” (2018). Shraya’s musical prowess has graced stages across North America, sharing platforms with renowned artists such as Tegan and Sara and Dragonette.


Beyond the realm of music, Vivek Shraya’s literary contributions shine brightly. Her first book, “God Loves Hair” (2010), garnered critical acclaim, offering a poignant collection of stories centered around a genderqueer child in an immigrant family.

Subsequent works like “She of the Mountains” (2014) and “even this page is white” (2016) further solidified Shraya’s position as a literary force, exploring themes of identity, race, and everyday struggles with grace and depth.

Through initiatives like VS. Books, Vivek Shraya continues to uplift marginalized voices, providing mentorship and publishing platforms for young writers of color.

Media and Visual Arts

Shraya’s artistic endeavors extend beyond music and literature into the realm of visual storytelling. Her short films have captivated audiences at festivals worldwide, while her photography series “Trisha” offers a poignant reflection on family, identity, and legacy.

Notably, her theatrical work, “How to Fail as a Popstar,” weaves together personal narrative, original music, and societal commentary, inviting audiences into a journey of self-discovery and resilience.

Advocacy and Impact of Vivek Shraya

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Shraya is a dedicated advocate for LGBTQ rights and representation. As a director on the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation, she contributes to initiatives promoting health, economic justice, and visibility for LGBTQ women.

Through her activism and creative endeavors, Shraya continues to challenge societal norms, champion diversity, and inspire individuals to embrace their authentic selves.

Personal Journey and Identity

Vivek Shraya’s personal journey is as multifaceted as her artistic repertoire. Identifying as bisexual and transgender, she courageously came out on her birthday in 2016, embracing her true self and affirming her use of she/her pronouns. In navigating her identity and experiences, Shraya’s art serves as a testament to resilience, authenticity, and the power of self-expression.

Also Read:Rosette Sharma: A Canadian Icon in Music

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