Shagun Pandey on upcoming singles, perks of being an actor, bond with Prince Narula and more

Shagun Pandey (Photo by: Sachin Kumar)
Shagun Pandey (Photo by: Sachin Kumar)

At 23, Shagun Pandey already boasts of five years of acting experience under his belt, having made his television debut with Rashmi Sharma Telefilms’ popular mythological series Santoshi Maa in 2016. Over the years, the actor has only continued to prove his acting mettle and is having a thriving career on television.

After enjoying his performances in some of the successful shows on television, get ready to see more of him in two upcoming music videos, titled ‘Mera Hona Ke Nai Hona’ and ‘Niyatein Shaunk,’ sung by Palak Muchhal and Prithvi Gandharv respectively.

Days before his singles hit the internet, Eastern Eye caught up with Shagun Pandey and tried to know more about his upcoming songs and how he managed to bag them. The actor also talks in detail about his struggle days, his inspirations, and the strong bond that he shares with Prince Narula, actor and the winner of several reality shows on Indian television.

What can you tell us about your upcoming singles ‘Mera Hona Ke Nai Hona’ and ‘Niyatein Shaunk’?

Mera Hona Ke Nai Hona’ is a romantic song sung by well-known singer Palak Muchhal wherein she very beautifully encapsulates the various emotions a girl goes through when she is in love with someone. It is also about what she expects from the man she loves.

Niyatein Shaunk,’ on the other hand, is a beautiful ghazal by Prithvi Gandharv who is famous for his songs in She (2020) and Bajirao Mastani (2015).

In an era of commercial music videos, I wanted to do something new. I wanted to give ghazal a shot. I am excited to know how the audience reacts to both the songs.

How did you manage to land them?

I auditioned for both the songs and after countless look tests, I bagged them.

Having crackling chemistry between the lead pair is of utmost importance in music videos because you have only a couple of minutes to capture audiences’ attention. How do you build chemistry with your co-stars?

Even I believe that having good chemistry is very important. I am blessed to be able to establish a good bond and sense of comfort with every co-actor that I work with. And the same reflects on the screen as well.

Where were the songs filmed?

Niyatein Shaunk’ is beautifully shot in a studio. It has an enticing vibe to it, with glasshouses and colours in the backdrop. ‘Mera Hona Ke Nai Hona’ has more of a cosy, simple vibe and has been shot in a house to highlight its romantic mood.

There are several actors who have tried their hand at singing. Don’t you ever want to try singing for your own projects maybe?

Yeah, many artists sing, produce and feature in their own videos these days, but personally, I would love to only keep featuring and performing in them because I am more of a listener than a singer. All in all, I wouldn’t touch an aspect of creativity I am not the best in.

What do you enjoy most about featuring in music videos?

I think I enjoy the heroic vibe I get the most while featuring in them. As a person, I always thought that there would be music playing in the background and I would be doing work and that is something which has happened for real.

When you look at your acting projects, with Santoshi Maa, Badho Bahu and Tujhse Hai Raabta, is your career anything like you dreamed, hoped or wanted it to be?

I always wanted to be a performer. Frankly, working in television or Bollywood is a far-fetched dream for a guy from a middle-class family back in Punjab. I only aspired to perform to the best of my capabilities and it inspired me to keep entertaining audiences with all my characters. I am grateful that I am able to achieve my dream of being a good performer.

Do any of your characters live with you beyond the project?

Yes, my characters do live with me even after they have come to an end on the show. For instance, after portraying Guddu Tripathi, a young boy from UP in Santoshi Maa, I carried his accent for a while. This was followed by me correcting my walking style after Badho Bahu went off air in which I was playing the character with a limp. Lastly, the crazy vibe my character (Atharv Bapat) had in Tujhse Hai Raabta is still sustaining in me to some point.

Was there a moment you considered a turning point for you?

I am in the process of achieving my goals with diligence and I treasure the rewards I have received so far. I feel that the turning point of my life is yet to come.

Who were your inspirations growing up?

I guess a lot of personalities inspire me for how they articulate their working style. My inspirations would be Ranveer Singh, Allu Arjun, Shibani Dandekar, Gul Panag and Michele Morrone, to name a few.

Do you have any perks from being a celebrity?

Yes, there are perks of being a celebrity for sure but I choose to be wise when using them. Aeroplane upgrades, recognition at public places and small discounts are small perks I rejoice.

Tell us about the early days of your career. What were some of the first jobs that you did?

Early days for me were just as difficult as they would have been for any other artist who has just started his struggle. Initially, I stayed in a flat which accommodated six to seven people with minimal or no work flowing in a month. These hardships are some of the most important lessons of life.

You share a great bond with actor Prince Narula. Could you tell us how has your friendship with him evolved over the years? What does he mean to you?

We have known each other for a long time. When I was in school, he was in college right there and we signed Badho Bahu together. I consider him as my extended family. He is extremely helpful, caring and supportive by nature. I have learnt a lot from him. I know that he shall always be by my side. The bond with him has only grown thicker over the years.

What encouragement would you give to others about embracing their passions and going after their dreams?

I would just urge everyone to keep trying to achieve whatever they wish. One should make it a point to follow their basic routine and also retain a healthy lifestyle. There is a possibility of failing, but I suggest one should not give up working hard.