Shashwat Singh: Introduced to skills I didn’t know I had

Shashwat Singh, who lent his voice to five tracks of Rahman’s 99 Songs, on why working with maestro is crucial for young singers

Shashwat Singh and AR Rahman

Riding high on the success of 99 Songs, Shashwat Singh, who rendered five tracks in AR Rahman’s debut production, recalls the distinct methods practiced by the meastro in enabling the project to come alive. “Each song had a different approach, and, for each, I was briefed on the emotional palette. Sir once told me, ‘The one thing you should always do before you enter the studio is remind yourself that the listener should be healed by your voice.’ That is something I always think about. 

Dilshaad Shabbir Shaikh, who belongs to sir’s team, helped me arrive at a lot of the nuances that we used. He also wrote the lyrics of Teri nazar.” Tools employed by Rahman to extract the best from his artistes often make for conversation within the film industry, and Singh says he experienced, first-hand, Rahman’s ability to acquaint singers with skills they never knew they possessed. 

“He made me sing in a style and range that I didn’t know I could explore. He released the album during the first lockdown to give people a musical healing. I know many who found the album therapeutic. With him, it’s always art above business.” In the meantime, he is exploring his interests in directing and writing, and has been working on an array of independent songs.

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