A. R. Rahman
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Shasha Tirupati: I'm answerable to Rahman

By HT

Mumbai, Aug. 20 -- She admits to having sung in low-budget films in the beginning of her career. 
 
But Shasha Tirupati made audiences take note of her when she sang the remixed version of the 1995 hit number, 'Humma humma' (Bombay), titled 'The humma song' from OK Jaanu. 
 
Her new song 'Kanha' from Shubh Mangal Saavdhan has already crossed 6.9 million views on YouTube. The singer talks to HT Cafe about her journey and her struggling days.
 
How has your journey been so far?
 
It's been a long, humbling journey. Initially, I participated in reality shows, did a lot of jingles, and even sang in low-budget movies. When you initially don't know the industry, you go and sing any song, and you think you will become a star overnight.
 
So, for me it was that, and generally when I sing, I treat every song as my last; unless I have a sore throat, then I sing really bad (laughs). But my songs didn't do well. Either the movies flopped, or the songs were great but the music wasn't promoted. Little things like that kind of test you, and they also teach you the hard truth that it's not necessary that you will attain stardom overnight.
 
I used to go back to Canada frequently, and because I would constantly be going back, I used to lose out on a lot of work in between. In 2011, I decided that I am not going back, and 2013 is when Coke Studio happened and Rahman sir discovered me. Since then, it's been empowering, humbling and daunting. Now, every time there is a song release, I am like chalo thik hai, yeh toh acha hai (It's okay, this one is good), but what's next. I feel I am answerable to a lot of people, especially the person who has made me, that is Rahman sir.
 
So have you got used to the ways of the industry now?
 
I think I kind of did things my way. More than fitting in - the Capricorn that I am - I always try to do things my way. I prefer recording at night, I prefer singing in a particular way and I think people here are very accommodating in that way. So yes, I have made a lot of friends in the industry, and if you meet the right people, it's a great place to be in.
 
Would you say you had an easy road to this place or was it difficult?
 
I struggled a lot; probably because I didn't have anyone in the industry. I came from Canada, and I had a different mindset about people; I was naive in a lot of ways. I take people at face value. A lot of times what people say, they don't commit. I had to deal with false promises but I guess that teaches you many life lessons.
 
Initially, I didn't have a place [to stay] in Mumbai, and I was on the road for three nights. I remember saving '3 for a vada pav. There was a time when I would go and eat at the railway station because it was three bucks cheaper. So that was part of the struggle. But I didn't take a penny from my parents and now I feel proud that I am a self-made person. I think all these experiences make you so much stronger.