Shilpa Natarajan's latest single, Haunted addresses trauma and how one deals with it
Chennai-based singer-songwriter Shilpa Natarajan has put out four back-to-back songs in the last three months. After Lockdown, Tamil and English versions of Oshi and Day & Night - a collab with Basho, the 32-year-old has now released her latest called Haunted.
Just as the name suggests, Haunted has an eerie quality to it. While the unique combination of her soothing voice and Indian classical percussions backed by vocal layering make the track quite distant from the rest of her repertoire, the song's theme overpowers all.
"Haunted talks about child sexual abuse. If you pay attention to the lyrics, you will know that it deals with the multiple emotions one goes through when abused emotionally, physically, or in any way that breaks an individual. A lot of people, when they saw the teaser, thought the song’s about a ghost. Whereas it's not 'haunted' in that sense. This is about being haunted by your memories and your past experiences," shares Shilpa, who's EP Bubbleweap was released in 2017.
"To be honest, the song is a massive emotional release for me. I have personally experienced abuse and I know many who have gone through it. After I wrote down the music and did the vocal arrangements, I had sent it to my cousin Biggu Chandilya, who’s written the lyrics. When I read what he had written, it gave me goosebumps because what he had written based on the stories he had previously heard from people, was so relatable for me. When I asked him why he chose this particular topic, he just said, 'when I heard the music, I felt like I had to write about it.' And we decided to go head with it."
Talking further about the music, we ask her of her fascination with introducing bits of Indian classical instruments and alaps in her songs. "Not all my songs have it. I have brought it in Oshi Tamil version and also Shadow In Your Wall because it worked for those songs. But in Haunted, I wanted to compliment the beautiful lyrics. I added the layers because when you think about topics such as these, you have to deal with multiple voices in your head including your own memories that you are trying to push away. I wanted to bring that element through the vocal percussion," she shares.