It was in 2007 that singer Shashaa Tirupati, winner of a National Award, realized that her true vocation was music. She heard the song Aaruyire Mannipaaya and Jaage Hain Der Tak composed by AR Rahman and it was enough for him to abandon his pre-medical course in Canada and move to India. From getting his big break in 2014 at AR Rahman’s Kochadaiiyaan to win a National Film Award for his striking solo Vaan Varuvaan in Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Kaatru Veliyidai in 2017 – Shashaa has come a long way. After lending her voice to dozens of songs in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, the multilingual singer released her first EP in English, In my skin earlier this week, which she says is inspired by her own life. We caught up with the singer to talk more about the song, her connection to Tamil Nadu and more. Extracts:
Tell us about the inspiration behind In my skin.
I did this EP with Keba Jeremiah (guitarist). The song is about the whole process of being in love and being emotionally involved with someone. The inspiration for this song was my real life. It’s about how you feel physically and emotionally when you’re in love. This is the first of four songs on the album that I wrote, composed and arranged.
Does this song reflect your personal journey?
The interesting part of the song is that it isn’t really about someone who is physically available in your life. It’s more internalized. This is why the song has taken such a beautiful shape and there is nothing overdone and too dramatic. It’s conversation with yourself and it’s private and intimate.
What is your link with Tamil Nadu?
Oh, it’s a soul connection. Tirupati is not only my last name but a blessing. Strangely, it was my guruji who gave me this last name. My first national award was also for a Tamil song and I guess the majority of my hit songs are in Tamil. I attribute much of the success of my music career to my Tamil audience.
Streaming now on YouTube.