The voice apart

The voice apart

Branded as ‘young’ and ‘little known’ singer in 2009, Shilpa Rao has now become the toast of Bollywood. Rao chooses her songs and does not ‘jump into’ a project if she feels that she cannot connect to its concept.

Rao has enhanced her reputation by modulating and experimenting with her voice and has been fortunate to work with some of the best, new and old music directors in the industry. She claims to experiment with different genres and calls herself lucky to have been able to show her creativity in music.

“Producers and music directors are more open-minded to try out newer styles. I often change my vocal texture to express the way I want to. I tried the ‘low octave’ kind of voice texture for the NH10 song, Le Chal Mujhe. Also, I attempted to add a unique touch to songs like Malang in Dhoom 3 and Meherbaan in Bang Bang,” Rao tells Metrolife during a tete-a-tete. “My favourite songs remain, Tohse Naina and Man Mariziyaan,” she says.

Not ‘over excited or over ambitious’, she says she is ‘very passively passionate’. “After spending seven to eight years in Bollywood and working in diverse projects with eminent directors like Ilaiyaraaja and A R Rahman, I definitely have learnt a lot.

It’s different to know the techniques in music. But I am grateful to be learning to better express myself through a song.”

 A song, she says, has its “own concept and emotion. The ‘technique’ of singing,
is a craft that can be learnt. But the ‘expression’ required in it is what adds an extra mile to it.”

For Rao, the song Mudhi Mudhi in Paa, has been the most difficult experience. “The lyrics and musical bounces tested my versatility,” she says.

She is keen to launch her own music albums soon, where she can branch out to the music industry that’s beyond Bollywood, but “It’s all in my head right now,” she adds.
She started her career in Bollywood aiming to make a mark and she believes that
is her only motive.  “I don’t care much about competition as such. I focus my energy more on improving myself.”

“Every singer has their USP, and casting is done aptly. So when a project and song is conceived by the director, the aim is to ensure that it makes a mark.

A singer on their own cannot try out new songs, if the director does not visualise the song in their voice. Therefore, competition is out of the way,” explains Rao.

Coming down to her other hobbies Rao says, “I am a movie buff. I watch films from all over the world. Language is not an issue. I follow French, Polish films a lot. But it’s not like I am not into Bollywood and Hollywood. If the plot clicks my fancy, I can watch anything.”

This year, Rao’s voice will be heard in Danis Tanovic’s, Tigers which is shot in Pakistan.
Rao performed in Delhi at the ‘100 Pipers Play for a Cause’, a musical extravaganza dedicated to raise funds for people affected by the Nepal earthquake. She sang her own Bollywood songs and a song I Believe which is a collaborated composition with the bands Parikrama and Agni.

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