BANGALORE: Shilpa Rao. Who? Well, she is the one whose melodious voice made the song Khuda Jane ( Bachana Ae Haseeno) quite a rage. Shilpa won the Best Female Playback Singer at the Star Screen Awards 2008 for Khuda Jaane. The talented singer has to her credits hits like Strange on the Prowl (Ek Ajnabee), Ek Lau (Aamir), Tose Naina Lage Re (Anwar) and Ranjhana from the recently released Dev D.
Hi Shilpa. Let’s start with your views about Bangalore.
Hi. To answer your question, I simply love the city –its landscapes, greenery and open spaces. Not to forget the climate that is so good. I keep coming to Bangalore because I’ve so many good friends here.
You started singing at an early age. Right? My father introduced me to music but it was only when I started my training under Ghulam Mustafa Khan that I thought of taking up singing as a career.
I did jingles for three years before playback singing for films happened.
Was it tough to get a break in Bollywood? It definitely was. To begin with, it’s really difficult to meet these music composers as they are always busy and even if they agree to meet you it should be worth their time. I think singing competitions like SA Re Ga Ma Pa and Voice of India allow the singer to not only meet but interact with some of the best music composers in the industry. You need to just grab that opportunity. In my case, I knew Shankar Mahadevan who gave me a bunch of numbers of people who helped me in getting to sing jingles. By the end of third year I started singing for films.
Did you expect Khuda Jaane to become such a huge hit? Not really. Nobody was expecting a soft romantic number like Khuda Jane to top the charts and do so well.
Would you call this song a turning point of your professional life? The song that’s closest to my heart is Tose Naina Lage Re but Khuda Jane definitely changed things for me.
The expectations are definitely high after Khuda Jane? Of course. People know you for your work and I just hope to deliver some good work in the future.
What’s next? Lots. There’s Aage Se Right by UTV Motion Pictures, Dil Bole Hadippa under Yash Raj Films, Yahoo and Ashutosh Gowarikar’s What’s Your Rashi? Is there more competition nowadays? There are so many singers now but thankfully, the kind of music is also varied. There is work for everyone in the industry. It's like demand and supply.
Would you like to try your hand in acting? No, not at all. I guess I'm happy this way.