INTERVIEW Shaan on singing to motivate people with disabilities, his upcoming projects and issues close to his heart
Uncle Shaan seems to be the new Santa Claus. Of course this tall, lanky, clean-shaven singer has no resemblance to the rotund old fellow in red but if the number of children gathered around him is anything to go by, this man appears to be just as popular. Shaan was in the city to perform at the inaugural of Abilities 2010-2011, the National-level games for persons with disabilities at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. He sang the anthem titled, ‘Hai hum yahaan — zanjeere tod ke', which has been written by him. “I was approached by EMI to do this song in Hindi. They already have this track in English and it's called ‘Here we are',” says Shaan.
Confessing that he is usually sceptical about his own work, Shaan wasn't sure how the anthem would turn out but after it was recorded he was happy with the result, especially as it helps motivate these children. “I wanted to keep the song very positive — it is about overcoming hurdles and this time being their time,” he says, adding, “These children are very positive...bravehearts all and they don't need sympathy. Their minds are uncluttered while the rest of us seem to be caught in a web of superficial highs.”
About the Games Shaan feels that such events are important and lauds the efforts of the organisers. “I think today everyone focuses on glamorous events and they are losing focus of things that matter,” he says. This is not the first time the singer is participating in a social cause. “As a child I had volunteered for the special children's annual Olympics in Mumbai. My neighbour was the president of a committee so I used to help out.”
Apart from that Shaan has also recently been roped in as ambassador for the anti-tobacco campaign of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He has been associated with quite a few sports-related events. “I sang the anthem song for the Bangladesh Premier League, then I sang the Celebrity Cricket League song called, ‘Phaad denge hum', ‘Bye Bye Shera' at the Commonwealth games, also the song for Deccan Chargers,' he says.
On the film front he's busy with recording for films such as “Ferrari Ki Sawari”, “Housefull 2”, “Tez”, “Teri Meri Kahaani”, “It's My Life”, “Chaar Din Ki Chandi” and a single track titled ‘Khudgarzi' for his album. So of all the songs which one is his favourite? “Tough to say,” he answers after thinking for a while, “But I am curious to find out how ‘Ferari Ki Sawari's' title song will do because it's got an old- world feel to it like Kishore Kumar's ‘Chalti ka naam gaadi'.”
With that Shaan is off to sing with the kids who now engulf him in a group hug.