Shaan storms YouTube, set to release new singles every month
AMONG India’s first superstar indie-pop singers, Shantanu Mukherjee aka Shaan made us fall in love with his romantic numbers and love anthems in the early 2000s. Remember Loveology with his sister Sagarika? He made us dance to his groovy numbers, as the versatile singer delivered one hit after another, becoming a household name in no time, in Bollywood. The ever-smiling playback singer, now in his late-40s, who doesn’t look anywhere near his age, has also made appearances in a few films apart from judging a reality show for children. In the city recently for the No1 Yaari Jam with friend and comusician KK, Shaan is set to reinvent himself with a string of new singles on his YouTube channel. Shaan got candid with Indulge about It’s Natural, the evolved trend of remixed songs in Bollywood, and more...
The KK & Shaan bond
Shaan insists that co-musician KK and he were destined to be friends. “We met on a train in Mumbai, and clicked instantly, despite being two different individuals. We both were just starting off as playback singers back then. Music was the connecting link between us, and since then, we have been very good friends.” He adds, “He is a private person, while I’m literally all over the place. The genuineness I find in him, I rarely find it in anyone else. We connect on a very basic level. Not as singers or a part of the fraternity but on a human level.” Do they ever think of each other as competition? “It does not work that way with us. We have a lot of respect for each other. We have had many successful partnerships, and we’d love to do something together again for some more fun,” says the singer, sporting a black T-shirt.
Always a fresh tune
In 2019, Shaan is reinventing his music with new genres, and his YouTube channel is testimony to that. In his latest single, It’s Natural, Shaan played with Latin-pop, a form of music that has not been explored much in Bollywood. Commenting on the idea behind It’s Natural, he said, “I already have a couple of romantic songs on my YouTube channel, that’s something that I enjoy. But I wanted to do something different this year, and add an element of dance in my repertoire. I was convinced that I want to stay away from today’s clichéd dance numbers that have heavy beats and grooves, bhangra and hip-hop rhythms. Also in terms of lyrics, I wanted to avoid objectifying women. I don’t like that and I would never do that.” He continues, “Latin Pop, though a very popular sub-genre internationally, has not been explored much in Bollywood or indi-pop music. It’s Natural is a breezy dance number and it’s something that I feel represents me as a person.” Shaan, who started his career at the age of 17, promised that there will be one new song every month on his channel, and a romantic one will be aired this month.
Commenting on the ongoing trend of revisiting old melodies in films, Shaan said, “I am not against the idea of rehashing old songs. I have rehashed songs as well in the past, but I chose beautiful songs of veterans that had great music and meaningful lyrics. Those are songs that I would want the new generation to hear and hum again. Songs that have been rehashed recentlyneither have great melody nor lyrics. Sample Ankh Mare Ladki Ankh Mare or Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast... I don’t think even the original makers of the songs would be very proud of them.
Bollywood & beyond
More singles are on the anvil for Shaan, for digital platforms. He explains, “I will be concen trating on singles for my YouTube channel. Though I am doing a couple of Bollywood songs, I don’t want to divulge anything at the moment, because it often happens that the song is pulled off later. Also, I am doing the Little Champ show, and it’s getting lots of singers from the East and from Kolkata, as always.” He signs off saying, “The fact that I am here in 2019, enjoying myself, feeling young and fit, is the best thing.”