Shailendra Singh, to most, is a man who has experimented with many things, done too many things at one time etc. Very few know is that he has risen from the ashes, like the legendary Phoenix, more than once.
He is the one who got international EDM to India first, the first one to start paid branding in Bollywood films for his clients, first one to start talent management for sportspersons and then actors, first one to pay cricketers to play a limited overs tournament for a brand…
Percept, which the two brothers started from a small 10x10 place in VT, Mumbai, went bankrupt twice thanks to their clients absconding after share market debacles. Yet, they bounced back with double vigour and soon Percept was doing many more things than just advertising.
“Let’s not talk about the past, please…” Shailendra says, when I ask about past... more about the recent past of his giving up Percept and Sunburn. “Let’s plunge into the future while discussing the present!”
Shailendra’s present is a cup full to the brim. He is just back from a hectic shoot at Rohtang Pass for his next in the Unplugged Cinema series, and he launched the second in the series — Unplugged in Mumbai: Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Shailendra Singh. He also produced a series of musical videos in last few months.
“The lyrics, the music, the direction, everything for the music videos was mine. The actors were all new, aspiring and enthusiastic. One song a day, is how I shot them. And shot them on my iPhone,” a satiated, yet restless, Shailendra tells you. “I know… I know… I come across as restless sometimes. But that’s when my brain is working on a second track on some creative stuff as I talk to you or anyone for that matter.”
Unplugged Cinema by Shailendra Singh is a series that he is doing since last few years. Two are already streaming and third, Earthian, is in post-production stage.
What’s Earthian about? “It’s a dark grey film. A film about the relationship between an old man and a dog. Nearly 80 per cent of the film is shot in the snow at Rohtang Pass. Rest of it in Mumbai,” he reveals. “But that’s all that I am going to tell you. The story will remain to be a suspense till you actually see the film,” he says. “...and oh... yes... watch out for my look in the film...” he warns. “I have played the role of the protagonist, an old man.”
Producer, director, writer, actor, lyricist, music director... you seem to be wearing all hats! Shailendra happily roars with laughter at this comment. “I just follow my heart. If in the bargain I save some money, it’s good... isn’t it?” he asks. "On a serious note, I have been doing this stuff for quite some time. Four years ago, I was making almost one film a month for about six to seven months! But I never spoke about the hats I wore. I was heading a corporate that time which had varied verticals like advertising, PR, production house, events etc.”
Does he miss being in the driver’s seat for a corporate house? “Not at all!” he exclaims. “That was a phase… this is another phase,” he adds. “Today, I am in a space where I want to do only creative stuff. I don’t want to engage myself in small talk, administrative stuff or anything that’s not adding value to my creative brain’s work out… not even relationships,” Shailendra explains.
“I am evolving. And I want to be associated with only those who are taking the same risk by leaving their past behind!”
The title Singh is King is back with Shailendra Singh and he plans to make good use of it by writing, producing and directing a web series based on... well... take a guess!