World Music Day 2021: ‘We need to have more female-driven music albums,’ says singer Shilpa Rao

Having been in the music industry for over 15 years, Shilpa Rao has given us many gems like Khuda Jaane (Bachna Ae Haseeno), Manmarziyaan (Lootera), Yaariyaan (Cocktail), Ghungroo (War), among many others.

But, the singer isn’t too happy with certain elements in the industry. Shilpa wants more albums by female singers and the remix culture to go away for good. “I feel we need have more female-driven music albums. There should be more women-centric lyrics and I would love to see this change happen in the industry. I also want the trend of remix to go away. There are so many singers, composers, musicians, lyricists and vocalists in India who have talent in abundance... so why not to focus more on creating original songs... there’s so much new music that can be put out,” Shilpa expressed her views while interacting with the Cinema Journal on World Music Day.

Though her tryst with music started from childhood, she never had thought of becoming a professional singer back then. “I never thought of becoming a singer when I was a child. I was learning music just because there was music at my home. I grew up in Jamshedpur, which is surrounded by forests. I used to love going to the forests to chill and do nothing. I never had those aspirations to become a singer. It was my father who laid the foundation for me to take music as my career. He inspired me to take up music and learn it wholeheartedly. I remember him telling me, ‘Bade hoke jo bhi karo par abhi music seekho’. So, I gradually developed interest in music,” she said.

Shilpa became more serious in her career after meeting the Tu Hi Re hitmaker, Hariharan. “Meeting Hariharanji was one of the turning points of my life; it changed everything for me. He made me realise the importance of music. Before meeting him, I had a very casual approach towards life. He made me understand how I have to take things seriously in life. I can never forget that meeting,” she added.

The versatile singer is grateful not only to Hariharan, but also extends her gratitude to other people for playing an important role in her success. “No one can achieve anything in life alone. There are many people involved in one’s journey. I also feel fortunate to have people in my life who motivated me to move forward. I am grateful to all those people who have given me work. From my gurus to people who I work with in the industry, all play a pivotal role in nurturing and shaping me,” she said.

Speaking about World Music Day, the singer said, “I don’t think there has been a day when I have not worked on my music or not thought about it. Every single day of my life is dedicated to music. I always try to put out something new for my fans. So, on the occasion of World Music Day, I have collaborated with other singers to be a part of MixTape Rewind.”

Before signing off, Shilpa shared a piece of advice for aspiring singers. “Nothing comes easy to you. You have to make an effort for everything. It was not easy for me to reach where I am today. Things don’t happen on their own... and if they do happen, then they don't last long. So, one should not give up. Falling in love is quite easy, but maintaining that love is difficult... You might get your first break easily, but then to keep doing work you need to work hard.

“I am still learning and have to learn more. Also, I feel a musician should be well-prepared for all kinds of music... if opportunity comes, he/she then can do well. So, never stop learning and don’t quit,” she concluded.

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