Sing when you are winning

Shashaa Tirupati (Photo by Raymond Kam)
SINGING SENSATION: Shashaa Tirupati (Photo by Raymond Kam)



VERY few singers have won the prestigious National Award in India and Shashaa Tirupati is one of them. The versatile singer and songwriter added to her list of achievements with the honour, which has included delivering songs in different languages and genres.

The award-winning singing sensation has mixed up songs in films with impressive original material that has delighted critics and fans alike. She has sung in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Arabic and English. Some of her successes include Humma Humma, Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga, Baarish and Hawa Hawai.

Eastern Eye caught up with the Shashaa Tirupati for a free-flowing conversation about music and her future plans.

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with music?
It was at home, listening to old Mohammad Rafi, Madan Mohan and Lata Mangeshkar classics in Vancouver, where I grew up. Hearing their soundtracks made me fall in love with music.

Which artists influenced you most growing up?
My biggest influences were Madan Mohan, AR Rahman sir and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Who discovered your singing talent?
It was my parents. Also Pandit Jasraj Ji and AR Rahman sir.

How did you feel recording your first song?
I felt I would be a big star overnight. And boy, was I wrong.

Which are the songs that are closest to your heart?
Gurus Of Peace by AR Rahman sir and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It is a song I had the privilege of covering. Also, any Mohammad Rafi song. Among my songs, it would be Vaan Varuvaan for which I got the National and Filmfare Award.

How do you generate so much emotion in your songs?
I attach myself to the sentiment of the song and organically associate experiences from my life with those sentiments.

What has been your most memorable performance?
Every live performance is special, but three come to mind. The O2 Arena, London, with AR Rahman sir, the Taalkatora Indoor Stadium competing at a national competition and the Plaza of Nations as an eight-year-old before an audience of 25,000 people.

What is the master plan for 2020 and did you make a new year’s resolution?
The plan is to release two albums over the course of the year featuring all of my original music independently. (Laughs) In terms of resolutions, to lose eight kilos.

What music dominates your own playlist?
The Japanese House, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Billie Eilish, Ray Montagne, Vance Joy, The 1975, Novo Amor and Vancouver Sleep Clinic.

Is there one song you never tire of listening?
That would be True Love Waits by Radiohead

Who would you love to collaborate with?
Top of the list are Amber Bain of The Japanese House, Ed Tullet, and Bon Iver.

If you could learn something new in music what would it be?
Polishing my guitar playing and music production skills.

If you could ask any artist, alive or dead, any question, who would it be and what would you ask?
I’d ask Freddie Mercury what contributed to the emotion in his songs, writing and dynamic performances.

Why do you love music?
But music is love.

What inspires you?
Heartbreak inspires me.