Shankar Mahadevan is probably one of the very few artistes in the music industry, who can switch from playback singing to composing to crooning Indian classical numbers with great ease. In this interview, he chats about donning all these hats and more.
We haven’t heard SEL (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) compose for movies for a while.
That’s because all the movies that we’ve worked on didn’t release as scheduled. Currently, we are excited about Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. We feel really blessed to be a part of the project. Farhan (Akhtar) is like family. And it’s great to work with him and Rakeysh (Omprakash Mehra) because they’re so dedicated. Besides this, there is Karan Johar’s 2 States and Shaad Ali’s next also.
You are also teaming up with Indian Ocean for the first time at the Storm festival in Coorg. Rahul Ram (Indian Ocean vocalist) and I have been friends and we admire each other. I really wanted to collaborate with them because they are great musicians.
There’s also a youth fest that you are going to play at this weekend in Goa. You have been quite active on the festival scene.
We perform for various events — corporate shows, festivals, concerts and weddings. But there’s no better feeling than to perform for a young audience. It touches our hearts to see them respond enthusiastically to our music. At the Channel V Nokia India Fest, we are looking forward to singing all our hit songs for the youth.
There’s a revolution underway in the indie music scene, with many festivals debuting and the established ones expanding. What do you feel about this growth?
Although I’m a proud mainstream musician, I also believe that there’s more to musical talent in India than just Bollywood. In India, we are starved of good performances, whether in theatre, dance or music.
So the growth in the number of festivals is a very promising trend. This is the best time to be a musician in India. I live in Navi Mumbai and the other day, I went to the Kabir Festival. I walked in and was pleasantly surprised to see the auditorium packed. What I feel great about these endeavours is that they give you a chance to witness great talent.