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Impossible is Nothing

Singer Shilpa Rao, who has given her voice to the inspiring track Phir kya hai gham from Rani Mukerji’s film Hichki, tells Suranjana Biswas about the need to overcome the odds in life


It is the visuals of the film that motivated singer Shilpa Rao to sing the song Phir kya hai gham from the heart. “By the time I was offered the song, the film was already shot to a great extent. So there were a lot of visuals available for me as reference. I got to understand the subject of the film where Rani’s character is battling her speech difficulties. I realised how every person has some kind of shortcomings and there are people who actually wait to point those out. There is so much insensitivity around us. When you are talented, you are bound to overcome all the odds in life. My song Phir kya hai gham actually talks about all these things.”

Shilpa’s source of inspiration is something everybody should take a cue from. “My teacher always advised me to practice music but along with that, I was always told that it is important to experience life to be a good artiste. I am sure there is not one person who has never faced rejection. Everybody has heard something like ‘you can’t do this.’ It is all about pushing those people out of your way to achieve your goals. This is the kind of inspiration that I got from this song.”

This film is a matter of pride for Rao. “I am proud to associate with Rani and be part of this film. The film actually tells people to back off and understand that they do not have the right to tell people what should be or not be done.”

Shilpa has had her share of roadblocks or hichkis. “Everyone in my school wanted me to follow the conventional route. People expect you to be good in academics and be an obedient student, do your homework and go to sleep on time. Obviously, following my dreams meant choosing a different lifestyle for myself. Everyone wondered if I would do anything with my life. But my father inspired me to pursue my dreams. I think staying in Bombay and looking for work makes you re-think if you really fit in here. But for every person who told you that you can’t do this, you should put your heart into that thing to achieve it.”

The singer is happy about the way music has evolved in current times. “What I mostly feel is that the boundaries of all the different genres of music in our country are getting blurred, like Bollywood, Sufi, Folk, Ghazal as opposed to a time where they were strictly looked upon as different genres. Today, Indian music is not about just film songs or Bollywood songs. When an outsider comes to India, he finds out that it is far more evolved. Musicians are embracing Indian classical or folk songs on every platform and the youth as an audience can relate to it now.”

On her future projects, she says, “I have worked for an independent song which is scheduled to release in March. We are still working on it.”


By line: Suranjana Biswas

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