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‘Learn music the traditional way’ says Bollywood singer Shahid Mallya

In conversation with Bollywood singer Shahid Mallya who is in Kochi for his debut project as an actor.

Published: 12th August 2019 08:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2019 08:12 AM   |  A+A-

Shahid Mallya

Shahid Mallya

Express News Service

KOCHI: Incessant rains in Kochi have put a damper on Shahid Mallya’s schedule. But the Bollywood singer who is in the city for his debut acting venture does not seem to mind. Shahid, whose number ‘Daryaa’ from the movie ‘Manmarziyaan’ won him accolades, got his first break eight years ago with the film ‘Mausam’. Express caught up with the vocalist who has a slew of projects in the pipeline including a single titled ‘Tu Hi Mera Rab’ releasing next month.

Tell us a little bit about your background.
I grew up in a town called Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan which is close to the border of Punjab. I shifted to Mumbai in 2002 to fulfill my father’s dream. He was a great admirer of Mohammed Rafi and wanted to become a playback singer himself. While he was on the lookout for an opportunity, he met with an accident which left him bedridden for seven years so he had to give up on his dream. I am grateful to have achieved what he could not.

Is this your first time in Kochi? How do you like the place?
Yes, I am coming to the city for the first time. I now understand why Kerala is a popular tourist attraction. The place is really beautiful and the food is very different. I don’t remember the names of the dishes I tried but I enjoyed the fish preparation cooked in a banana leaf.

You are here to shoot for your first project as an actor right. Can you give us more details?
I can’t disclose too much. All I can say is that it is a Hindi film and my character is the second lead. We have just completed shooting In Fort Kochi and the next schedule is in Thiruvananthapuram. But this came about completely by chance. I never planned to become an actor.

Are you familiar with the Malayalam films?
Not much I must admit. I have seen a couple of movies of Mohanlal sir; Again, I don’t remember the names.
I love Yesudas sir’s singing, it is stirring to listen to him. I have been following Vijay Yesudas and Madhu

What kind of music do you personally listen to?
I am a connoisseur of Indian classical music. I believe that our ragas have the power to heal. I listen to maestros like Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Zakir Hussain but I start my day with a song either by Mohammed Rafi or Kishor Kumar. They are my favourite singers along with Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan. I hardly follow western music.

Which music directors or composers do you like working with?
Pritam sir gave me my first break so he is like a godfather to me in the industry. After him, I admire Amit Trivedi. He gives a lot of freedom to his singers to improvise. I would now like sing for A R Rahman sir.

Do you have any advice for aspiring singers?
These days, the internet has become so ubiquitous that people think they can learn everything online including singing. But that is a wrong approach according to me. The kind of skill and expertise a guru can teach you cannot be compared with the internet. If you are serious about pursuing a career as a playback singer, learn music the traditional way.



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