Soul singer

As the country dances to ‘The Humma Song’, the voice behind the hit track, Shashaa Tirupati recollects her journey with music and how it has shaped her life.

She started her tryst with singing in Canada, where she lived as a kid. “I used to sing bhajans along with my grandmother during her prayers. I started singing on a local radio channel in Canada at the age of six and gave my first stage performance when I was eight. I began my classical training in India when I was 10 and used to fly between Canada and India,” she notes.

“I went back to Canada to finish my higher education, during which I heard songs from Guru and realised that singing is where my passion lies. I dropped out of college. I was studying to be a neurosurgeon and moved base to India,” she recollects.

On sailing through rough waters she says: “I like to think I’m self-made. I started working at the age of 12 — little jobs like newspaper and milk delivery. So I was always proud of how I dealt with finances. When I came here, I was using my scholarship funds and there wasn’t much left. As a 19-year-old, I was petrified. I guess it was some kind of will power through which I figured my way out, found work and waded through to find myself here today.”

Soul singer

The turning point was when people started taking her seriously after Coke Studio happened, she points out. “Rahman sir noticed me there and within a few months I was singing in multiple films; the first one being a single in Kochadaiyaan. From then on there was no turning back.”

Singing in multiple languages can be a task, she notes. “I owe my pronunciation to the people teaching and who are present —lyricists, music engineers and composers — who teach me during the recording.

They keep telling me it is not ‘La’ but ‘Zha’ and stuff like that. It is easy to receive a backlash because of mispronunciations and I try my best not to let it happen.”

On making a local connect here, she affirms: “I have never felt like I don’t belong somewhere. I have been accepted and showered with love. I have had a lot of people supporting me. There are either lovers or haters, but I feel like the former outweigh the latter and that keeps me going.”

On what inspires her, she says: “My family is my biggest inspiration. Their happiness makes me happy. If they are pleased with my success, to see more of that is what drives me to achieve new heights. I want to keep doing better so they can be proud.”

In her spare time she composes and swims. “I love swimming. I could run off to Goa with every chance I get and swim for 16 hours straight,” she laughs.

She also loves travelling and notes she’s probably been to over 40 countries around the world. “I love collecting shot glasses from every country I visit. I don’t drink, but they still decorate my shelf,” she says.

She adds she would love to work with Vishal-Shekar and Aman Malik: “I hope someday, it happens.”

On where she sees herself in five years: “I want to sing 1,000 songs in the next five years. I want to touch people’s hearts. It is heart-warming when someone says a particular song has influenced their lives and I want to continue doing that,” she signs off.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 3:06:55 AM |

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