From Adnan Sami and Ali Zafar to Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan – several Pakistani artistes have worked in Bollywood projects. However, it is rare to find Indian personalities exploring work in the neighbouring country. But Shilpa Rao, who has tracks such as ‘Tose naina’ and ‘Manmarziyan’ to her credit, recently performed on a popular Pakistani musical TV series.
The show also has an Indian version, that has featured AR Rahman, Vishal Dadlani and others, in the past. “It is a dream come true. To be able to go to Pakistan, and perform there, was amazing. I have always been a fan of the show, and it was a wonderful experience,” says Shilpa.
Watch: Shilpa Rao’s song Manmarziyan
In the wake of the Uri terror attacks, IMPAA (Indian Motion Pictures’ Artists Association) recently ruled a ban on all Pakistani actors and technicians from working in the Indian entertainment industry. When asked to comment on the same, Shilpa says, “We should let bygones be bygones. We should move on with time. We should get rid of our smaller quibbles and look at the bigger picture.” Adding to that, the singer says she didn’t feel like an “outsider” in Pakistan. “Everyone there (in Pakistan) was warm and welcoming,” says the singer.
Watch: Shilpa Rao’s song Tose Naina
Shilpa started her career by singing in films, and hasn’t produced an independent album so far. Ask her if she is open to the idea of working on one, and the singer says, “I am open to any project that’s related to music — be it an album or a single.” The 32-year-old also adds that independent music needs more avenues to gain prominence. “But this genre is already getting recognition through music festivals, and indie bands, too, are gaining popularity,” she says.