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About 10 years back, anything except Bollywood was almost unimaginable: Shilpa Rao

Singer Shilpa Rao talks about collaborating with local and international artistes for her upcoming album. She also says independent music scene in the country is “going in a positive direction”.

music Updated: Jul 15, 2017 17:00 IST
Rajany Pradhan
Rajany Pradhan
Shilpa Rao,Bulleya,Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Singer Shilpa Rao says she been a huge fan of Ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan.(Photo: Yogen Shah)


Shilpa Rao is selective when it comes to singing Bollywood numbers. However, the songs that she does decide to sing end up having a strong recall value. The singer, who lends her own style to her renditions, is working on an independent album right now. “I’m busy with my album right now, for which I’m collaborating with other local and international artistes. These will be the musicians I met during my tours; those who influenced me.”

When we asked what she feels about the independent music scene of the country, the ‘Bulleya’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil; 2016) singer says, “The independent music scene in the country is definitely going in a positive direction. You see [musicians such as] Mukhtiar Ali and others going abroad and working with other international artistes. Of course, they are being called because they have such talent.” Calling independent music a growing [trend] in the country, Shilpa adds, “Now, many festivals such as Jaipur Literature Festival give prominence to independent music over Bollywood music. The change is slow, but what more can you expect. About 10 years back, anything except Bollywood was almost unimaginable.”

Singer Shilpa Rao during a performance. ( Photo: Anup Shrikumar )

Shilpa, who has sung soft tracks such as ‘Manmarziyan’ (Lootera; 2013) and foot-tapping numbers including the title track of Anjaani Anjaani (2010) says she is open to each genre of music. “Because of my father, I have been listening to all sorts of music since I was a kid. I have even tried to sing different things and not restrict myself to one particular style.”

So is her father her inspiration? “He is for sure. I wouldn’t have been what I am today, if it wasn’t for him. He made me a literate musician,” she says. Further talking about her favourite musician, Shilpa adds, “I’ve a been a huge fan of Mehdi Hassan saab. Before him, ghazal was all about poetry and the writer. Ghazal starts and ends with him.”

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First Published: May 27, 2017 19:15 IST