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I broke out into a cold sweat!

Singer Shashaa Tirupati tells Bhakti Mehta why she felt the heat when singing the recreation of Hawa hawayi from Tumhari Sulu

Beginning this year, Shashaa Tirupati has been delivering one chartbuster after another. Reflecting on the year that has gone by, the singer says, “I feel incredibly blessed that I’m getting such a wide variety of songs in different genres to sing playback for. While Humma had a seductive, lounge feel, Phir bhi tumko chaahunga was a heart-wrenching romance number, followed by Kanha which was a fun, quirky, semi-classical track. Even songs that didn’t gain as much recognition were great to do as I could keep experimenting with my voice. This allowed me to use a different aspect of my voice with each track, and that caught the attention of a lot of people within the fraternity, especially my co-musicians.”
Her soon-to-be-out song, Mechanical sundariye from the Akshay Kumar, Rajnikanth movie 2.0, is testament to this, being in the electronic, hip-hop space and very different from the songs she has sung before. ”People are accepting my voice in various avatars, so it’s been a very interesting and positive year!”
Talking about her recent super hit track Hawa hawayi from Tumhari Sulu, the vocalist says, “In Hawa hawayi, the brief given to me was to replicate Kavita Krishnamurthyji’s voice and to sing the song exactly as it had been sung by her. Then, our voices were synced and layered, parallel to each other, to create a slightly more current tone without changing the soul of the original voice.” 

Sometimes, recreating a classic can be hard work, she says. “I was under tremendous pressure for this track. The brief to replicate every aspect of Kavitaji’s timeless, edgy and flawless singing in the original made me break out into a cold sweat the entire time! I’m glad the song hasn’t been tampered with musically or in terms of singing and the soul has been retained.” 

Tirupati says she grew up listening to the classics as her parents had exposed her to them. “Not everyone has a similar background where such gems are an essential part of their childhood or even heard every now and then at home. A remake is therefore a great medium to introduce new-age kids to the music of yesteryears, in a new, perhaps more palatable way and with digitally new, cleaner sounds. They can always check out the original if they want to. It’s like old wine in a new bottle,” she avows.

Asked for her take on remaking old numbers, Tirupati says, “As long as there is good music and remakes don’t contaminate the essence and soul of the original composition, music should be able to touch people. At least this way our old classics aren’t lost.”
Talking about the inspiration behind the different styles of her voice, she reveals, “We are actors behind the microphone. We need to express through our voices as opposed to actors, whose expressions are physically visible. It is essential to live the character or the mood of the song and generate emotion through the lyrics and tune. A great composition and good lyrics is all the inspiration that is required.”

Talking about her future projects, she says, “Hindi numbers and songs in other languages are very much in the pipeline. I am also writing singles in English and Hindi at the moment.”

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