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Shaan On Absence From Bollywood: Maybe People Do Not Like My Voice Anymore

Popstar, Bollywood singer, composer-Shaan has worn many hats with aplomb. But we haven’t heard the singer’s voice in a film’s soundtrack for some time now. In a candid interview, he reveals why

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Shaan On Absence From Bollywood: Maybe People Do Not Like My Voice Anymore
His melodious voice has been a part of Bollywood films for almost two decades now and his resume includes chartbusters like Musu Musu Hasi (Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi), It’s The Time To Disco (Kal Ho Na Ho), Chand Sifarish (Fanaa), Jab Se Tere Naina (Saawariya) and many more. The 
44-year-old has crooned a couple of songs for Mixtape by T-Series, which have been well recieved. In a candid interview, with, Shaan talks about the ups and downs of his journey, his recent projects and a lot more. 
You collaborated with Sukriti Kakar for Mixtape. How was the experience?
I love this initiative where singers come together and sing a mash-up of popular numbers. The concept is quite unique and I have two songs in Mixtape. For the first track, I have collaborated with Sukriti Kakar and for the second one I have sung with Shruti Pathak.  I remember Sukriti’s older sister Akriti had come to Mumbai when she was still a teenager and probably Sukriti wasn’t even born yet. It’s always nice to collaborate with young talents.

These days, we don’t hear your voice in Bollywood soundtracks often. Any particular reason for that?
Honestly even I am quite surprised and I really don’t have an answer to it. I mean I do not have any personal issues with the fraternity but I really don’t know what it is. Whether it was Bin Puche from PK or Aaj Unse Milna Hai from Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, my songs have always worked. I don’t know why people don’t repeat my voice. Even in terms of actors, I have sung for all of them. (Pauses)

Go on..
But I wouldn’t want to lie about it by saying I have become choosy. I am always available to sing and I am still singing with newer singers. So it’s not that I have reservations. May be people don’t like my voice anymore. That’s the only logical conclusion I can come up with.

Has the rise of digital platforms and social media changed singers’ lives?
Yes it’s true. Now a singer’s popularity is gauged by how many hits and views he/she gets and at times and is you don’t trend, you don’t get work. People tell you things like we love your voice and your songs, but we can’t give you a song because you don’t trend.
Has it ever been said to you?
I have been hearing that but I know I am not done yet as I am singing at my best and I want the world to hear that. I will try something out of the box and reinvent myself.

Now actors turn singers and their singles are promoted to grab eyeballs. What is your take on this trend?
I feel that makes sense because it adds novelty to the project. People would want to hear their favourite actors singing and also these songs are created for promoting a film. I would encourage more and more actors to sing their songs. Anyway a lot of singers use autotuners, so why not have actors to sing their songs. Also I feel musicals should star singers who can act and sing.

There also seems to be a bias against female singers with lesser opportunities for them...
You are right. If an album has five songs then you will only have one female melody and that too would be an item number or something on those lines. But we also need to understand that the songs are made to promote the film and not a singer or a composer. So whatever works for the filmmaker cannot be questioned. (Pauses)

Go on...
Forget about girls not getting to sing. Even the ones who are singing, don’t get to croon in their own vocal range. Many times we hear a male singer singing on a crazy high octave which sounds like he is shouting. Whereas the girls sing at a lower octave and ends up sounding like a man. These are basics we need to sort out.

What is your opinion on the trend of rebooting old classics?
I can’t comment about this because some of them are really good. A few composers recently have ended up recreating songs which are not even that old, just to follow the trend. For me, if I had to choose between an original and a remake, I would go with the former.
bollywood singer shaan

Which is your favourite recreated number?
It was Har Kisiko Nahi Milta from Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha starrer—Boss. The composer (Chirantan Bhatt) and singers Neeti Mohan and Arijit Singh had given a new dimension to the song.

But the new hits seem to fade away from memory unlike the older numbers. Why is that?
The structure of the song has changed now. Back then, the song started with the main line. Now you only remember the hook line but that’s not the actual line where the song starts.
Speaking of fading away, that seems to be the fate of the winners of the reality TV singing competitions...  
There is no follow-up on these winners. Sometimes, the promises are not met and it’s quite sad. In the West, when a contestant wins a reality show, he or she is promoted well and these artists go on to become superstars selling their own albums. But here the channels only work on the entertainment part and then they start working on the next season without realising that the winner is the ambassador of the show. As the popularity of the artist increases, it adds to the credibility of the show.

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They say the best things in life are free! India’s favourite music channels 9XM, 9X Jalwa, 9X Jhakaas & 9X Tashan are available Free-To-Air.  Make a request for these channels from your Cable, DTH or HITS operator.
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