Cool and warm!


Clad in casual kurta and jeans, he flashes his trademark dimpled smile to me while I try hard to trace that celebrity aura around him. But what I get instead is a warm welcome from the current hot property in Hindi music industry, Shantanu Mukherjee a.k.a. Shaan. Cool, unassuming, down-to-earth - that?s Shaan for you.

Shaan?s Loveology, an album released in 1996, after the little noticed albums like Q Funk and Naujawan, created ripples in the Indian pop music scene. Four years, several ad jingles, some memorable and some not-so-memorable film songs, and then came the album Tanha Dil which was a huge success that even bagged the MTV Asia award in the ?Favourite Indian Artiste - Pop Category? in 2002. Songs that came later like Musu Musu, Woh Pehli Baar in Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi established him as the future voice of Bollywood playback world.

Was it the fact that his dad Manas Mukherjee was a music director that attracted him to the field? ?I guess it?s in the genes. I lost my dad when I was 13. As I had to take care of the family, I did some odd jobs till music took me back to its arms. First Q Funk, Naujawan and then Tanha Dil happened. And now here I am,? he quips coolly.

This self-proclaimed happy-go-lucky guy who has ears for all kinds of music from hip-hop to soft melodies, freaks out on Kishore Kumar?s songs. He adores the legendary singer who he thinks could infuse life to any song that he sang. So, does he want to be remembered for his songs like Kishore? ?Yeah, when people listen to my songs they should say kya gana hai instead of kya gaya hai. A singer?s success lies in making a song memorable rather than the voice.?

Not attempting to contain his excitement at the mention of his new album Aksar (which means often), to be released soon, Shaan, who has also penned the lyrics and composed the music, says ?My music is mainly for those sensitive listeners who can relate to my kind of music. Aksar too carries forward this theme of soft and sentimental melody that you can find in my other albums.?

Aksar has a couple of firsts to Shaan?s credit. He is teaming up with the current hottest stars in the international pop arena like Blue, Mel C and Samira Said.
His forthcoming films as singer? ?I am very excited about my first solo song with A R Rehman in Khalid Mohammad?s Tehzeeb. Though I have sung a couple of songs for Rehman in the past like Ghanan Ghanan in Lagaan, this is my first solo with him. Then there is Rakth, Kal Ho Na Ho, and also a beautiful number in Ishq Hai Tumse with my sister Sagarika.. lots to watch out for,? he says with a twinkle in his eyes.

Hasn?t SaReGaMaPa, the most popular music-based programme on Zee TV, been a shot in the arm as far as his popularity is concerned? ?Definitely. SaReGaMaPa has provided me with knowledge on technical aspects of music, interactions with the best in the field and also new talents,? this darling of TV viewers worldwide nods in agreement.

And finally, any plans of music direction for films, I prod. ?I am apprehensive about giving music to films. I would rather stick to playback than working with a stupid director with no knowledge of tunes,? he cheekily remarks.

What sets Shaan apart from other singers is that in the music world of cut-throat competition, he comes across as a genuine person with the same warmth and honesty that his songs convey. And with a voice to die for, Shaan, no doubt will rule over the hearts of his fans with shaan for years to come.