Shilpa Rao: Music is music, I don’t look at it as whether it’s for films or independent
Her Bollywood discography is full of chartbusters such as Ghungroo (War, 2019) and Manmarziyaan (Lootera, 2013), and she has sung for the biggest of stars. Yet Shilpa Rao doesn’t see either playback singing or independent music better than the other.
“Music is music, I don’t look at it as what it is for, I always look at the recording or song as it is. The effort is to always make it your own, relatable for anyone who listens to it,” she reasons.
Her latest project, Roz Roz in collaboration with the band The Yellow Diary, was an independent one. Revealing how it all came together, she tells us. “I know them for many years now. In 2020, the lockdown started, and we had a conversation to do this. We kept going back and forth with recordings, and finally, after working on it for 10 months, it is out. It’s been a long journey as artists to collaborate, and it was a good one.”
Having been around for almost 15 years, Rao has witnessed a lot of changes in how audiences consume music, and even look at platforms as consumers. From a time when Bollywood music was everything people knew, to now artists releasing music independently, she is only happy with the change.
“I think with developing nations, it takes its own time. We’re in a place where in the 1990s, nobody would have ever thought that independent artistes will create music. In the 2000s, we saw things grow bit by bit. I still remember, the first few seasons of Coke Studio, it was such a struggle to even make it happen for people creating it, not even artists. I am sure it must have gone through so much struggle to make that property happen,” recounts the singer.
The 36-year-old is glad that today, there are independent artistes who’re known for their songs and music that has nothing to do with films.
“Maybe in the next five years, it will get better, I hope it does. One thing we learnt in 2020 was that art saves the day, and it can come in any form,” Rao concludes on a hopeful note.