Singing, my first love

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Shankar Sahney talks about making a mark in the world of music

The pop king of Punjab, Shankar Sahney is one of the best stage performers in India. By proving his worth with songs like ‘Kudi Kurmuri’, ‘Oye tera kya kehna’, ‘Yaari yaari’ and ‘Jat luteya gaya’, the international artiste has carved a niche in the field of singing and music direction. Shankar shares his experiences.

How difficult was it for you to switch from chemical engineering to singing?

I was into singing since my childhood. Being the head of the music department in a Government College, my father was aware of the ordeals one has to face for establishing oneself in the field of music. So he wanted me to get an academic qualification for financial stability. I went on to do my chemical engineering. I used to sing regularly at college functions, which helped me get stage show offers. I worked as an engineer for about three years even while struggling to make a career in music.

‘Wari jawan ishque’ is a popular number. How was it to sing with the legendary Asha Bhonsle?

Singing with Ashaji was a lifetime experience for me. A true admirer of music, a wonderful human being and a great singer, Ashaji has always been my inspiration. She doesn’t sing much now but when she heard our project, she said, ‘I don’t sing these days, but I would like to do an album with Shankar’. Being the music director of that album, I never felt that I am working with a legend.

Do you have any plans for singing for the mainstream cinema?

I have a song coming up in the film Poison . I am working on four to five films right now. One is Bloody D and the other one is Ishq . I am a singer, but I am getting offers for music direction since I’ve directed Ashaji, Sunidhi Chauhan and Pankaj Sharma. I am also making my acting debut.

Since you’re a music director yourself, while singing for other composers, how do you deal with the creative differences?

For a music director his song is like his offspring. Since I’ve been on both sides of the table, I understand the expectations a music director has from his singer. He would want the singer to render the song just the way he has composed it. I give my inputs to the music director, if he likes it, he keeps it, and if not, then I don’t have any ego issues, because I’ve been in their shoes.

You are into singing, music direction, recording for albums and acting, what is that you enjoy the most?

Since I was a singer, these things came to me incidentally. I never planned anything. My first love has always been singing.


Since I’ve been on both sides of the table, I understand the expectations a music director has from his singer



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