IshqShava Songstress

Stardust (English) - - COVER STORY - Words SHIVANI BISHT

Mov­ing to Mum­bai from Jamshed­pur at the age of 13, the su­per tal­ented singer SHILPA RAO started her jour­ney as a jin­gle singer. Lend­ing her voice to some of the hit songs of Bol­ly­wood like Aa­j­jaanek­izid­nakaro and Tose­nainalage from An­war,she­made the lis­ten­ers go Malang with her soul­ful voice. Khu­da­jaane how she man­aged to make peo­ple feel IshqShava, maybe be­cause of the Jazba she had! Read on…

What and who has been your driv­ing force?

It has to be my par­ents, yeah both of them. They in­spire me all the time!

How did you get into Bol­ly­wood?

Well, I com­pleted my school­ing in Jamshed­pur and started my col­lege here in Mum­bai. And Shankar Ma­hade­van was some­body who I knew and he was re­ally help­ful in guid­ing me. He was the one who made me un­der­stand how to start singing in stu­dios and how to record and ev­ery­thing. So he in short helped me a lot and of course, he also gave me my first song in Salaame-Ishq: A Tribute to Love. And then Mithoon at the same time called me for An­war and both the songs re­leased at the same time so that’s how ev­ery­thing started off.

You have worked with some of the most no­table mu­sic com­posers, share your ex­pe­ri­ence.

Well ev­ery­body has their own way of working. I mean it has al­ways

been a plea­sure to work with all of them, like each one has their own style of working and you get to learn a lot when you are working with them. So, I re­ally have to say a big thank you to all the com­posers. For the way that I was casted in ev­ery song and in a way that they al­lowed me to be my­self and did not change any­thing in me is the best feel­ing. I think I need to say a huge thank you to all the com­posers who I have worked with.

Which is your most favourite mu­sic genre?

Well, I have not limited my­self. I choose a lot of other mu­sic, I don’t want to stick to any one par­tic­u­lar genre. If any song or any al­bum ap­peals to me, I will def­i­nitely lis­ten­ing to it. So, yes I am pretty open to lis­ten­ing to new mu­sic all the time.

How has your mu­si­cal jour­ney been so far?

It’s ac­tu­ally been great! A lot of times you feel that there are a lot of places you want to be at but frankly speak­ing, be pa­tient, it might want to give you more what you ex­pected from life. So, yes, hav­ing that kind of pa­tience and faith what are very im­por­tant.

From the re­lease of your first song to now, do you still get but­ter­flies in your tummy?

Yes! And I think it is good thing to be anx­ious or be ner­vous. It just makes you work bet­ter, it makes you more alert and fo­cused in what you do. It’s im­por­tant to be ner­vous.

Share a mem­o­rable anec­dote about a star or a story be­hind any of your songs?

Ev­ery song ac­tu­ally makes me re­alise new things about my­self. Like for ex­am­ple if I talk to Pri­tam da, we never re­ally talk about work. When I meet him, we end up talk­ing about a Harry Pot­ter book or a movie or share with him my ex­pe­ri­ence of trav­el­ling to Ice­land to watch the North­ern Light. That’s a very great way to start work on a song.

If not a singer, what would Shilpa Rao be?

I don’t think I am ca­pa­ble of do­ing any­thing else. Singing is all I can do.

Com­pe­ti­tion in the mu­sic in­dus­try is grow­ing day by day. What are your thoughts on that?

Our in­dus­try is pretty di­verse there are a lot of dif­fer­ent kinds of movies and mu­sic that is be­ing made and to cope with it ob­vi­ously we need dif­fer­ent kind of voices. It’s a great ex­change of de­mand and sup­ply and there are dif­fer­ent songs and voice and not one per­son can do ev­ery­thing. So it’s great to have dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. I think what­ever work you get, you should do it with a lot of hap­pi­ness. I mean baaki cheezein apne aap hoti nahi hai vaise bhi. Aap jo kaam kar rahe ho usko aap khushi se karein and that will take you places.

You have sung for many well­known faces in Bol­ly­wood, with whom was your best ex­pe­ri­ence?

I don’t think there was any bad sit­u­a­tion with any­body yaar. I

I don’t want to stick to any one par­tic­u­lar genre. If any song or any al­bum ap­peals to me, I will def­i­nitely lis­ten to it.”

guess I have been re­ally lucky and for­tu­nately, when I have worked with all these peo­ple and more than working with them you end up learn­ing so much from the peo­ple you worked with. So, that has been re­ally fan­tas­tic. Working and learn­ing from them.

Be­cause mu­si­cians work be­hind the screen, they don’t get that much of ap­pre­ci­a­tion. What are your thoughts on that?

No! We get ap­pre­ci­a­tion all the time. In fact, it’s re­ally nice when some­one who doesn’t know who you are but they re­ally like your voice. They re­ally change you, and they have an ef­fect on you and that’s an amaz­ing power to have. And of course, things are chang­ing ev­ery day. You now see that singers per­form these days and you can, of course, go and watch them and wit­ness their en­ergy.

You have given your voice for some of the most fa­mous sen­sual num­bers in Bol­ly­wood, which song is the clos­est to your heart?

Tose naina laage will al­ways be

my favourite.

What is your take on ac­tors who are try­ing their hands in singing? Isn’t that giv­ing rise to some tough com­pe­ti­tion?

Like I said, it’s a big in­dus­try. Peo­ple are com­ing in from ev­ery­where. There is a lot of space for every­one. I think in­stead of see­ing who is say­ing what and what ev­ery­body is do­ing, just do your work. There is enough space for every­one. Like aisa hota hai na that you have a big house and even if five more peo­ple come, you can make space for them. With the amount of work peo­ple are do­ing ev­ery year and the amount

It’s re­ally nice when some­one who doesn’t know who you are but they re­ally like your voice.”

of films that are be­ing made, there is space for ev­ery­body. So, I think the more wel­com­ing we are with ev­ery­body, the bet­ter for us.

What do you en­joy morecon­certs or play­back singing?

Both! Both are equally chal­leng­ing and both are equally dif­fer­ent. It’s great to be able to do both.

What ac­cord­ing to you is the best and the worst part about the mu­sic in­dus­try?

The best part right now is that peo­ple are very open to ex­per­i­ment­ing more, so that’s re­ally great. The bad part is that the ex­tra mar­ket­ing is sort of ham­per­ing the mu­sic value. So, I hope we can value things a little more sen­si­tively and let’s see how that goes.

If you could change one thing about your­self, what would it be?

Ac­tu­ally noth­ing! It takes a lot of years to be able to say that but I do not want to change any­thing about my­self.

Do you fol­low a regime to main­tain the flex­i­bil­ity of your vo­cal chords?

Yes. And it’s al­ways good to be able to prac­tice ev­ery sin­gle day. That is some­thing which I try to do ev­ery day. And of course, you need to lis­ten to a lot of mu­sic, watch con­certs. It’s a good mu­sic diet that you need to fol­low.

What is your big­gest strength and weak­ness?

I am a very in­con­sis­tent with my choices. My will power, my pa­tience and a lot of thing are very in­con­sis­tent. Some­times I am very pa­tient with a lot of things and some­times, I get hurt be­cause of a very small thing also. But I feel it’s both my strength and as well as my weak­ness. I am talk­ing about my­self and yes, that’s me!

Any mes­sage for Star­dust read­ers?

Thank you so much for be­ing there for me and be­ing so sup­port­ive for all these years and lis­ten­ing to my mu­sic and lik­ing it and lov­ing it. If it weren’t for all you guys, I prob­a­bly wouldn’t be here. So, I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank you guys for be­ing there.

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