EXCL:  'There's so much to take from the ocean' Shashwat Singh on being mentored by AR Rahman

The Indian playback singer has delivered back-to-back hits with Mere Sawaal Ka and Show Me The Thoomka in less than a month

author_img   |   Published :   |  07th March 2023 01:09 PM
In Frame: Shashwat Singh

In Frame: Shashwat Singh

Indian playback singer Shashwat Singh is not a new name anymore. Having been in the industry for the last eight years, the 32-year-old is well-equipped with what works for his audience.

Shashwat debuted in 2015 with Wat Wat Wat from Tamasha under the mentorship of AR Rahman and has since come a long way. Recently, he lent his voice for Show Me The Thumka featuring the Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar duo Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor.

Prior to this peppy wedding anthem, Shashwat garnered immense love for Mere Sawaal Ka from Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada. Having delivered back-to-back hits in less than a month, Shashwat is grateful for all praises he has been receiving.

Also ReadRanbir, Shraddha give us new wedding anthem

In an exclusive chat with Indulge, Shashwat opened up about 2023 being his peak year, his fellowship with the maestro AR Rahman and overcoming the then-lukewarm response to his debut song. 

Read excerpts from the interview: 

Show Me The Thumka has managed to become the wedding anthem of the year. How does it make you feel?

I am overwhelmed because I did not expect it to blow up the way it has. It's just amazing —the response that has come from the moment it was released. I was told that the song sounds really good and it will work but I had no idea that will work so well! Now that it's happening, I'm pretty excited to see what the future holds for this track.

How was your experience working with Ranbir and Shraddha?

This is my fourth association with Ranbir and I think he is one of the finest actors that we have in the industry. Shraddha is also as amazing. I have watched Stree and I loved her performance, and now, I can't wait to watch her in Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar.

Show Me The Thoomka has received some backlash for its similarities with Dilliwaali Girlfriend. Do you think the trolls overpower the song and take attention away from you as a playback singer?

I don't think so. Everyone has an opinion, and it's fine. I am a singer, so if I sound the same in the next song, I think it's okay because it has come from the vision of the director or the choreographer. At the end of the day, we are telling stories through our music and showing joy, sadness or romance in someone's life.

You started 2023 with a bang. Your last song, Mere Sawaal Ka from Shehzada is also doing really well. Can we say this is your peak year?

I think this is one of the best starts I have had in a year and I am really happy. Till I'm alive, till I'm singing and doing playback, I want all my years to look like this.

You entered the industry with Wat Wat Wat for Tamasha. The film, back then, was not well received and similar treatment was given to the tracks as well. However now, everyone is raging about the album online. Did it disappoint you back then?

To be honest, yes, because when you put in the effort and make some piece of art and people don't understand it, it is sad. But I realised some stories are timeless, when I saw that the movie is receiving appreciation only now. I think art crawls back and takes its sweet time. So, that’s what happened, but now it's making the impact that it was supposed to. Imtiaz Ali sir is such a brilliant storyteller.

Tell us a little about your experience with AR Rahman during your debut.

He's a genius. He’s my mentor. Everything that I understand about music is because of him. Even before he knew me, the albums and the songs that moved me were mostly his. The stories that he would collaborate with and the directors he would work with like Mani Ratnam sir, all of that inspired me.  I was so lucky that my first professional stint in the industry was with AR Rahman sir. He's like the ocean. There's so much to take from the ocean and it's never enough. Every time I am feeling down, I think about all the amazing people I got to work with and I am grateful for that.

You debuted at a time when Instagram had not taken over our lives. From then till now, how much do you think the course of music has changed?

It's insane how much it has changed, but I don't know if it's good or bad. The mental capacity of a listener has changed. We want quick things, thanks to the internet, and people are now impatient. Now there are formats — within the first 15 seconds or 20 seconds, the chorus should hit. We are so used to the swipe life and that is the future now.

Where do you think the industry is going from here? And how do you see yourself contributing to this course?

I think the industry is flying. There is new tech, new hardware and the internet is such a boon. It's amazing the independence these changes have now given to musicians because back in the early 2000s till 2014, people weren’t so evolved when it came to music. I think the future is great. That being said, in all of this, the artist needs to understand that they are a source for the music to flow through them. They can never be bigger than the music.

Twitter: @muskankhullar03