Shaan says he struggled to sing for Sanjay Dutt and Aamir Khan, 2 songs that changed his life
Singer Shaan struggled to find the right voice for “Chand Sifarish” in Fanaa (2006). This is because every time he tried to record it, he subconsciously ended up copying Udit Narayan. “’Chand Sifarish’ was my first song for Aamir Khan. I don’t know why I kept singing it like Udit ji, maybe because I had always heard his voice on Aamir. I had to consciously make an attempt not to sing like him ”, Shaan revealed in a frank conversation with indianexpress.com.
The artist, who has become an integral part of the Indian music industry for the past three decades, has performed nearly 3,000 songs in all languages, with some of his most popular numbers being for Saif Ali Khan and Abhishek Bachchan. According to Shaan, his voice matches a lot with Saïf. In addition, he is happy to have recorded the remix of “Dus Bahane” for Baaghi 3 himself, which he originally sang for Bachchan.
In fact, Shaan’s career started with remixes, but they were nothing like what we see today. Referring to albums like Oorja and Dance Masti, Shaan explained that they remixed songs from the 70s and 80s in the 90s. “We used to put original lines in English in Hindi songs with music. contemporary music. We even added a dash of Punjabi or any language in Hindi, ”he said, saying the formula is always the same, just the choice of songs makes the difference. “It’s all in the melody and the right lyrics. If you recreate ‘Dil Kya Kare’ with all your heart, even today people will love it. But if you choose an ordinary song, it will only stay on the charts for a few days.
Shaan mostly contented himself with remixing classic Kishore Kumar tracks including “Roop Tera Mastana”, “Hum Bewafa”, “Pyaar Maanga Hai Tumhi Se” and others.
Although coming from a family of musicians, Shaan never aspired to be a singer. It was because he had seen his father Manas Mukherjee struggle to be recognized. “The kind of success my dad deserved, he never had. I lost him at a young age, so running the house was also a concern. The sense of responsibility manifested itself very early on.
In addition to doing odd jobs and finishing his studies, Shaan began performing in live shows with his sister Sagarika. “This time, if you ask me, I would say Sagarika was the singer. I accompanied her to her shows where she introduced me and asked if I could sing a song or two as well. People realized that we were a package that managed to win the whole show. Soon we formed a group. We did ‘Naujawan’ with Biddu. Basically the music chose me.
By the time Shaan reached his twenties, he started to gain ground. Recalling how Ken Ghosh presented him in a very different avatar in his very first music video “Q Funk” where he sang “Aaj Hum Jaise Jigarwale”, Shaan shared, “Ken told me to unbutton my shirt. tried to convince him that I was a singer and that I couldn’t do these things. I had long hair too. Then someone threw water on my face. I realized that if I wanted to do pop music, I couldn’t try to be sober. At first I was very scared to shoot it, but I just gave in. Shaan claimed he would overplay, but his presence was the screen eventually improved.
The indie pop of the 90s was when Shaan, with his contemporaries like Sonu Nigam, Shweta Shetty and Alisha Chinai have also featured in their music videos. Shaan also got his two consecutive songs in the charts in the same year 1999 – “Tanha Dil” and “Musu Musu Hasi”.
“One of my flagship songs that redefined my image is ‘Tanha Dil’. Then ‘Musu Musu’ from a little movie became a hit and pushed me into the next phase of my life. Things changed overnight because of these two songs, ”Shaan said. Soon the singer was singing for Shah Rukh Khan in Asoka (2001).
He did admit, however, that things started to stagnate with the same kind of fun party songs until ‘Chand Sifarish’ performed which pushed me onto another pedestal of ‘award winning singer Shaan!’ ” , he said with a smile.
Today, Shaan’s discography boasts dozens of charts like “Jab Se Tere Naina”, “Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh”, “Chaar Kadam” and more. Saawariya’s “Jab Se Tere Naina” (2007) even became Ranbir Kapoorthe sparkling entrance to Bollywood. The singer thinks that “you will remember the songs because of a connection, maybe memories of your first love or someone special. This is why the kids of the 90s, who were growing up around this time, love our phase. I sang thousands of songs, but if you start counting you will come back to the same 20-25 songs. Good creations remain. What era they belong to doesn’t matter.
Shaan lived through the days when singers jointly recorded songs in a studio, their camaraderie being reflected in their vocals as well. Sharing another incident, he said, “When I recorded” Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai “with Shreya Ghoshal, she kept laughing because it was a seductive song, and MM Keeravani also recorded her laughs which were used in the song. ” He joked that if he had to record for Salman Khan “I would practice that day to get the feeling. (Laughs) Just kidding!
But things haven’t always been easy for Shaan. He dropped a song because he just couldn’t get it to sound right. The song was the title song of Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). And the reason was another singer, Vinod Rathod!
Vinod Rathod was a regular voice for Sanjay Dutt, including the signature tone of the previous film “Munna Bhai MBBS”. Therefore, it became difficult for Shaan to hit the note. “While recording ‘Bole Toh Bole’ I tried to keep my voice a little heavy in the style of Sanjay Dutt. But Vidhu Vinod Chopra kept telling me to try differently. “Sanju ka chehra nahi aa raha hai jab tu gaa raha hai.” I thought doing his mimicry would look weird. I really tried to break it but finally gave up. Shaan lost this song, which was eventually sung by Rathod.
It also brings us to the point where before, composers were adamant about their demands. Shaan chose musical directors like Anu Malik, Jatin-Lalit, Ravindra Jain, Nadeem-Shravan and Ilayaraja who had their own style and the singers had to do what they wanted. “They knew that once the singer left they couldn’t make any corrections and had to produce the song with everything we delivered.”
Although things calmed down with Vishal-Shekhar and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy entering the scene. “Even AR Rahman is very flexible. After recording it for the first time, it will ask you to sing it your way again with some variations. “Just surprise me,” he will say. Then he’ll pick something here and there. Due to technology, there is a lot of post-production today. Pritam will let you choose your scale for a song and allow you to sing that way. At Sajid-Wajid, Wajid worked with a lot of planning. He wanted the right feel on every note. I miss working with him, ”recalls Shaan.
He says it becomes easier for singers to get the exact emotion if the filmmakers reveal the actor or the situation. It happened in the early 2000s when they got a narration. As Sooraj Barjatya explains the visuals for the song. Even though I only had two songs in Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, he told me the whole story and character of Abhishek Bachchan.
But that has stopped in recent years, forcing singers to fall back on their imaginations. “Sometimes I would sing with any big star in mind. Sometimes I would ask the creators if the actor had a heavy or childish voice or what his energy was. Luckily my voice matches almost everyone. “Unique voices may face problems. But no one cares today. All they want is the reading to happen,” Shaan added.
Does this mean that today’s singers are losing ground and reliance on technology is killing honesty in music? Shaan agrees: “Not just automatic tuning, every note is corrected on Melodyne. So the singer becomes lazy. There are a lot of singers who shouldn’t have so much work, while a lot of those who deserve it don’t have enough. A good voice is subjective today, melodic or not doesn’t matter. If a music company or songwriter doesn’t like your voice, you won’t get a job. In all fairness, this affects the type of music produced. Today, if you are able to get around 20 million views, the companies will automatically trick you into believing that you will get a certain number of views for their song as well. So you become more of an influencer than a singer. I feel bad for new singers who don’t have a fair chance. Today the singer makes music under his own label – Shaan music.
Shaan, who also hosted various editions of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa between 2002 and 2006, in addition to judging other reality TV shows like The Voice India and Super Singer, said the accommodation improved his Hindi. “Initially my Hindi was disgusting, you can’t even call it Hindi! I am Bengali and speak mostly English. Today is a much improved version of what I said. The accommodation really helped.
Shaan, who also dabbled in dancing at Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6, said, “We only have one life. You might fall, but at least you tried. I enjoyed the whole process.
And what about acting, given that he had a nice screen presence? He joked, “When I got good offers I was determined to only want to sing. In addition, a movie needs your dedicated time for 3-4 months. I used to have continuous shows so the schedule never really fell into place. I was even offered to play the role of Shayan Munshi in Jhankaar Beats. When I finally decided to give it a go, I made such an “amazing” movie called Balwinder Singh Famous Ho Gaya with Mika Singh who stopped coming (laughs).
Shaan is an inspiration today. Acknowledging this with emotion, he said, “If I am seen as an inspiration, I must have done something right in my life. I don’t want to live in the past and start taking note of everything I’ve done. I want to do something new every day, to be in the present, enjoying every moment.
Shaan revealed that he wrote “Gumsum Ho Kyun” for his then girlfriend and now his wife Radhika. Today, “Tumse Milke” is one of the special songs between the couple. “My career ranges from recording live in big studios to today’s digital age where we even record on iPhone. I’ve seen it all, ”he signed.
Happy birthday, Shaan! Thanks for all the melodies.