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‘I make the listener love the song and not the singing’: Shaan

When it comes to romantic songs there can be no two opinions that playback singer Shaan is right there at the top. Having sung for leading stars of that genre like Shah Rukh Khan, he has moved on by demonstrating his versatility The gifted singer, who loves being with children, is launching his son Shubh with Y-Films’ Pappu & Papa with a song “Love You Papa”. Even as Shaan is gaining expertise in singing in varied genres, he is also mentoring children for reality show The Voice of India. Here he talks about his latest single and his favourite numbers.

Shaan Photo G.P. Sampath Kumar


Tell us about your new song Tum ho toh lagta hai?

It was interesting doing that fun-filled song. It is bringing in a lot of viewers. Credit goes to Amaal Malik and Rashmi Virag for composing and writing a wonderful song. The lyrics are very simple yet attractive in terms of romantic feeling that the song creates in your mind. Pure romance has not been depicted in a while and that is why it is refreshing appealing. I am very happy that song has been accepted.

You put in hard work to keep the song simple!

Yes, I try to keep it simple and don’t complicate the song. I sing the song with all my heart. I try to express the lyrics more than I emphasise my singing. I think simplicity works with the audience. I make the listener love the song and not the singing.

How challenging was it to sing Behti Hawa for 3 Idiots?

It was a very different song with a little folk element to it. The planning was very different as it required two voices to be in the whole song in parts. After I finished my part of singing, which had high lines and low lines, the other part was tested on Shantanu Moitra. Raju Hirani was considering dropping the song but once he heard it, he changed his mind and the song stayed.

A singer associates certain songs with himself. How close are you to Tanha Dil?

Tanha dil was the song that gave me a start. That was my identity song and therefore very close to my heart.

The highly popular Chand Sifarish from Fanaa was highly appreciated. Share experience lending your voice for this one?

Chand Sifarish was of course for a big film that came from the banner of Yash Raj Films. For the first time I sung for Aamir Khan, so I was under a lot of pressure. Quite a few voices were auditioned before me; I had to deliver the best so that it was accepted. Luckily, Jatin Lalit, the composers, were with me and guided me patiently. The song became one of the biggest hits of my career.

Even though Sawariyaa was a flop, Jab Se Tere Naina stayed in hearts of people.

There are many such instances where a film has flopped but the songs become a hit. These things have been happening for many years. It’s not a rare thing. People remember songs even after the movies are no longer running in theatres. Such songs stay in the minds of the people. It has nothing to do with the fact that the film was a hit or not because at that moment we are just listening to the song without thinking about the movie.

What makes blind auditions unique?

Many factors come into play when you judge the voice, and it includes body language. But when it comes to judging by blind auditions, there is nothing really to judge except the voice. So it is the most honest and transparent way to judge a voice. This type of audition is even exciting for the viewers because they can see the singer but a judge can’t.

Was it difficult to judge kids during selection?

Last year we had Li’l Champs, where we had wonderful voices and we were stunned with top 12 voices. But auditions for this show went on and one as out of 100 voices 65 to 70 per cent were of top level which made elimination quite difficult for us. We found them all deserving but they could not be included.

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