Shahid Mallya is the new voice of rustic songs in Bollywood
Hindi film music fans and singers will remember the soulful melody Ikk Kudi from the 2016 flick Udta Punjab, and the lively number Main Bani Teri Radha from this year's Jab Harry Met Sejal because of Shahid Mallya. The playback singer with a rustic voice that tugs the hearts of listeners. Shahid is back with the peppy track, Bura Na Mano Bholi Hai, from Fukrey Returns.
But for a singer who has seen so much success since his first break in films with 2011's Mausam in which his song Rabba Main Toh Mar Gaya Oye became a huge hit, Shahid confesses that he never aspired to make it big in Bollywood. "I wanted to lead a simple life where I would go to office in the morning and come back home to a loving wife. But I came back to Mumbai because I wanted to fulfill my parents' dream of becoming a well-known singer in the industry," he says. Shahid's father was an aspiring singer during Mohammad Rafi's time and was even mentored by the late singer. But after an accident in Rajasthan, Shahid's father couldn't come back to Mumbai to fulfill his dream. Despite the setback, he continued singing at devotional programmes and that's where Shahid learnt singing. "I started by playing tabla and have done over 2000 shows, but at the same time I would observe my father and other singers in our group and worked on my singing," reveals the singer.
Perhaps it's this learning in smaller towns that gives Shahid a unique style and approach to music - something that's evident in all his songs. "My voice represents me, neither can I repress it nor anyone else can," he says confidently. But Shahid has had his share of struggles before he was successful. Reminiscing the day when he recorded his first song Ik Tu Hi Tu Hi from Mausam (directed by Pankaj Kapur), when Shahid was in fact called to just record the dummy he says, "I can never forget that day when Pankaj (Kapur) Sir placed his hand on my shoulder and said bacche mera gana gaade (son, sing my song), that will remain my fondest memory." For now the man who sings from his heart is gearing up for Fukrey Returns and will also be singing a few tracks in Happy Bhag Jayegi 2.