We chatted up with Shashaa Trupati, the voice behind the popular latest song Humma from OK Jaanu about her musical journey, her popularity down south, classical influences and more.
You are probably one person who started out in the media field at the very young age. How did you have the interest at the age of 6?
My parents, though hailing from families not supportive of anything close to music, are exceptionally tasteful listeners. Through them, around the age of 5, i was introduced to the gems and classics created between the 40s and 80s by Madan Mohan, Naushad Saab, SD/RD Burman midst others. They would have me sing on local radio channels in Vancouver, where ive grown up. That developed my confidence and became a major source of encouragement in the initial days. Live shows followed by age 8, after which they took me to Allahabad for training. Singing in the studio began at about 16 years and forth.
Being a multi lingual singer, how did you first break the barrier?
Having been raised in Canada, we were exposed to various cultures and communities as children. I was raised midst kids and families of the Punjabi, French, Caucasian, Chinese, Italian and Middle Eastern races among others, so various languages naturally and sub consciously penetrated us. I began listening to the music in many of these languages and others. My friend circle was predominantly Croatian, Tamizh, Pakistani and Persian, so I picked up a lot of nuances of their respective languages and intonations.
You are very popular down south too. What was the first opportunity you got and from who?
My first Tamil song was Oday Oday from Raja Rani, which became a mass hit. I also sang a beautiful melody, Kadhal Nergaiyil with Javed Ali around the same time, both composed by GV Prakash. However, it was in 2014 that AR Sir called me to record Aye Mr. Minor for Kaaviyathalaivan, which bagged me the Mirchi Music Award for Best Upcoming Female Singer and a string of Tamil songs followed. Working with the combo of Mani Ratnam and Rahman Sir will remain perhaps the most magical experience in my life. Ive had the privilege of working with Raja Sir (Amma Kanakku), Harris Jayaraj (Gethu), Leon James (Un Kadhal Irundhaal Podhum – song name), D Imman (Silikku Marame, Palindrom Songs, Meenkuzhambum Manpaanayum, Kotigobba 2 and others), GV Prakash and Dharan.
What in your opinion is lacking in the current music scene?
I think the current music scene is growing to be exceptionally technologically advanced and experimental. I also love the sense of adventure various music composers maintain, wherein they are open to using different vocal tones and textures. And with the times, outlook, sound and preferences will continue to change. It would be interesting, though, to see what it would be like to record as they did in the olden days when they would have 25 odd rehearsals followed by a live take with all singers and musicians at once!
Do you prefer Mainstream music or Independent scene and why?
I’m open to anything musical! I’m doing both simultaneously. Really wish to work with Vishal Shekhar, Pritam and Amaal Mallik
Hailing from a classical music background, do you think that played an important role in shaping your career?
I’m blessed that my parents took up the responsibility and onus of bringing me to India at a young age to have me train in the basics of Hindustani Classical music. For me that has and continues to work as my base for pitching, tone, and improvisation. Once the basics are clear, one can easily build around it. Thereafter, extensively listening to music, other musical influences and singers from the fraternity and aptitude and exposure played an essential role in my growth as a singer.
Apart from music, what do you like doing?
I’m a coffee and food enthusiast, a travel buff and an ardent lover of classic movies and books. In my free time, i pack my bags and take off on trips on my own to unexplored places and try their local cuisine. I also have an affinity for collecting old artefacts and collectibles. A secret desire: id like to endorse Starbucks Coffee one day 🙂
If there is one person you look up to as an Idol, who would it be and why?
Undoubtedly Rahman Sir. His life story fascinates me and is a pep talk on its own. His ideals, way of living, morals and drive and passion with regards to his work, how he respects art and the artist, how he seeks inspiration from what may seem to be the most underestimated sources make him a living institution.
Tell us about your upcoming projects
Not something I could mention just yet, but fingers crossed. I do have some original content out soon.
What would be your message to singers who are just starting out in this competitive and every growing industry?
I would always say consistent, back-breaking hard work and effort, a mind like a sponge, self criticism, a Guru, and a sound academic background and backup plan. I’m an MBA in Marketing and I have practiced 10 hours a day relentlessly. its essential.
This interview was featured in our May 2017 issue: http://bit.ly/2qRMlhy