Shashaa Tirupati on her collaborations with Arijit Singh: I am happy that our voices marry so beautifully together


After working with Arijit Singh in ‘Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga’ ('Half Girlfriend') and ‘Khulke Jeene Ka’ ('Dil Bechara’), Shashaa Tirupati collaborated with the singer for the third time recently for ‘Rait Zara Si’ ('Atrangi Re'). The talented singer is also making headlines for her first single, ‘In My Skin’. In an exclusive interview, Shashaa opened up about her debut EP, working with AR Rahman, the independent music scene in India and more. Excerpts…
Your first single, ‘In My Skin’ from your five-track debut EP ‘I’m Sorry, Heart’ is out. Tell us something about it.
The EP talks about the four stages of a relationship where there are initial butterflies and then you fall in love which is ‘In My Skin’. It is about the initial few disagreements, tiffs and the eventual parting of ways. ‘In My Skin’ actually speaks of the intimacy part of a relationship. But the catch is that nothing happens in reality. They are internalised by a girl who knows that this relationship is not possible. In the song, she is imagining what intimacy would be like with this person with whom she is in love.
What or who is the inspiration behind the song?
It is not something I can talk about but the prospect of one-sided love is something that has governed the entire EP and has been the catalyst to creating the songs and behind the songwriting in the entire EP. It has stemmed from a place of wishful thinking. There is also a sense of pain and moroseness. That is a massive component of ‘In My Skin’ as well.
What makes this song different from the songs of this genre?
I think the fact that it is so complicated makes it different from other songs of this genre. It is a situation that I think a lot of people go through. Most of us have been in a place where we have had this one-sided love for someone and to express that can be a difficult task, especially when you are only limiting the components of the song to two instruments – your voice and guitar. To give a graph of making love to a song that does not really happen in real life – the idea of that translating into a melody and arrangements makes this song different.
Another thing that makes this song different is the fact that there are so few tracks today that limit the number of components that are put into a music production process. ‘In My Skin’ just has guitar, vocal stacks and harmony. I think this is what makes this song quite different from other songs of the genre.
You have also been receiving immense love and appreciation for your song, ‘Rait Zara Si’ in ‘Atrangi Re’. How does it feel?
It is very satisfying. With every new release, there is a sense of nervousness and it is nerve-wrecking. You want your audience to dig into what you are doing because we thrive on the love and support of our fans. People have really liked how my voice has come out and how I have expressed what I have expressed in the song. I am glad that the song is something that I resonate with in terms of the vulnerability that the melody and lyrics have. It is very fulfilling and I hope people keep supporting my independent songs as well.
This is the first time you have sung for Sara Ali Khan. How was the experience recording the song?
I recorded the first version of the song in Vancouver, Canada during the lockdown. I was there looking after my father. I was approached for the song so I recorded a version of it in my home set up and sent it across. When I came back to India, I was called to record the final lyrics of the song. This is my third track with Arijit Singh which I am very grateful for. He is the kind of artist that every era has a handful of, who leave a mark for generations to come. I am happy that our voices marry so beautifully together. I would love to do a single with him independently if it interests him at some point of time in the near future.
The era of the ’90s had some great music. What’s your view on the pop music scene now?
I don’t think we have a pop music scene but we do have an Indie music scene that is growing and particularly with the movie music scene taking a backseat during the lockdown. I absolutely loved the music of the 90s. There is a different nostalgia associated with that so I won’t be able to compare.
A lot is happening in the Indie music scene. There are a plethora of genres and artists. There is a purpose behind the kind of music being put out. There are some who are doing phenomenal work and I would love to listen to more of them.

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