Though she’s had no formal training in music and no ‘godfather’ in the film industry, young Shilpa Rao has made a place for herself in Bollywood. Filmgoers love her sultry, unique voice. Her first song as a playback singer, Saiyan re saiyan re, from Salaam-e-Ishq, got her instant fame. The pacy Woh Ajnabi from The Train and the romantic Khuda jaane from Bachna Ae Haseeno catapulted her into the big league. Now, she will be heard in Ken Ghosh’s Yahoo, Balki’s Pa, and Onir’s Kill Chhabra.
If you woke up and found you had turned into a man, you would...
I would pester all my female friends who’ve troubled me in the past.
What are you reading at the moment?
The manual of my new LCD TV.
Rate in order of importance: Fame, money, power.
I want all three at the same time.
What are you addicted to?
Lots of sugar. I don’t have a sweet tooth, I have a sweet jaw!
Your worst date ever?
This guy I was with started to cry. I told him I had to go to the loo and quickly made an escape.
The one fashion trend you do not understand?
Five musts in your wardrobe.
Comfortable shoes, a clean comb, black clothes, black clothes and black clothes.
Which current reality show would you participate in and why?
I’ll take part in any of the reality shows and give them a reality check.
Your song for all moods?
Shaam tanha by the band Agnee.
Your idea of a great weekend...
Going out with friends, having good food and enjoying a live music show.
If you could ask for any one talent/skill, what would it be?
To be able to play the guitar. I have always wanted to do that.
Your zodiac sign?
The sport you like to play...
If I were good at sports, why would I be a singer?
If someone were to write a biography of you, what would you want it to be called?
Sing Your Way Through Life!
One thing nobody knows about you?
I can sing badly if I want to.
You are shocked by?
People who don’t like desserts.
If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be and where?
I am scared of needles. But I would like my partner to get one.
Your biggest phobia?
Flying over water at night.
Your fitness mantra...
Music helps me detox.
A substitute for chocolate. Not vice versa.
— Interviewed by Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi