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Arunima Maharshi

IWB Blogger

AR Rahman’s Mentee Shashaa Tirupati Wins National Award For Best Female Playback Singer

  • IWB Post
  •  April 14, 2018

Yesterday morning was a special one for the playback singer and songwriter, Shashaa Tirupati. Named Best Female Playback Singer at the 65th National Film Awards, Shashaa literally woke up to the amazing news, and to overflowing phone calls and congratulatory messages.

It was for the song Vaan Varuvaan of Mani Ratnam’s film Kaatru Veliyidai, and her first reaction on getting the news was of disbelief. “I was shaking and couldn’t stop crying for a good half-an-hour. The news was way too overwhelming for me,” she shared with Hindustan Times.

“I was actually sleeping till I started getting one call after another. And finally, when I woke up, there were more than a hundred calls and messages. I have no idea what I told people in the first few calls that I took today. My mother was like, ‘Why’re you crying? This is wonderful news,’” she laughed.

Kaatru Veliyidai – Vaan Varuvaan | AR Rahman, Mani Ratnam | Karthi

Presenting the lyric video for the romantic single “Vaan” from Mani Ratnam’s Kaatru Veliyidai featuring Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari.

Shashaa made her playback debut with Priyadarshan’s Bollywood film Bumm Bumm Bole, in which she sang the track Rang De. She then went on to sing for films such as Ungli, Sarbjit, OK Jaanu, Mom, Jab Harry Met Sejal, and Tumhari Sulu. And has also sung for films in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Konkani, and Kannada languages.

Shashaa, who grew up in Canada, abandoned a pre-medical course and moved to India to pursue her interest in music. But no big break came her way for a long time, which at one point made her question her decision. And then, while backing A. R. Rahman in one of her favourite songs, Naan Yen Pirandhen’ (Why Was I Born), he called out for her from the chorus after a rehearsal. “A few weeks later, I got a call from his studio. Nothing has been the same since,” she had shared in an interview with The Hindu.

Her first collaboration with Rahman was for the film Kochadaiiyaan and her first Hindi film with Rahman was Mohenjo Daro. “I still don’t know how I was able to sing those songs. When I listened to the scratch tracks for the first time, all I could say was ‘God! May I deliver.’ But I used the pressure as a catalyst to perform better.”

A true artist, Shashaa dedicates her award to her parents and mentor, “It took me time to believe it. It was unreal. The award belongs to AR Rahman sir and my parents. Their love, support and faith in me have made me what I am today. I hope I’ve made them proud.”

Shashaa Tirupati

Rahman composed the music of Kaatru Veliyidai, and the first call Shashaa made was to him. “In the brief conversation that I could have with him, I thanked him for being there for me always. The award isn’t mine, it’s his… He is the light of my life, I live for his music… This is what I feel about Rahman sir. Every morning after I wake up, I start my day with a sense of gratitude towards him. He gave me identity and believed in me when no one else did, and changed everyone’s perspective towards my singing. My win is his hard work and perseverance; I just followed him,” shared a very emotional Shashaa.

Shashaa’s family and friends are in a celebratory mood. Talking about her plans, the singer says, “Unfortunately, I live alone in Mumbai, so I can’t meet my family and celebrate. Meeting Rahman sir, something I’d have loved to do, is also not possible, because he’s a busy man. For me actually all the calls, messages and praise — in short, all the love I’m getting — are no less than [a] celebration. My fans are over the moon and they are sending me messages. Isn’t that incredible?”

Well it definitely is! And here’s wishing you great success and many more prestigious awards, Shashaa!

H/T: Hindustan Times and The Hindu

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