Jingle route to be Salaam-E-Ishq star - Steel city girl crooning chartbusters

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By NILANJANA GHOSH CHOUDHURY in Jamshedpur
  • Published 1.02.07
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Jamshedpur, Feb. 1: Barely in her early 20s, Shilpa Rao, a former student of Little Flower School, rubs shoulders with the Hariharans and the Shankar Mahadevans.

Mesmerising the audience with Tose Naina Lage from the recently-released Anwar and Ja Re Saiyan from Salaam-E-Ishq, this young lady from the steel city has struck the right chord in the tinsel town to slowly claw her way up the charts.

In town at present on a vacation, Shilpa took The Telegraph on a journey down the memory lane.

“Initially, I learnt music from my father and later from renowned artiste Chandrakant Apte. But after moving to Mumbai, I was trained under the tutelage of Ghulam Mustafa Khan,” said Shilpa, who is currently doing a postgraduate diploma in statistics from the University of Mumbai.

The first big break came her way in 2001 when she performed live with Hariharan at the XLRI auditorium and later went on to win a national-level talent hunt in New Delhi.

“Shankar Mahadevan was the judge in this contest and it was he who asked me to come to Mumbai. Later, I met him at a concert in Hyderabad and he suddenly asked me to perform with him,” Shilpa further said.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Teeing off her journey with jingles for music directors such as Vishal-Shekhar, Shilpa hopped studios to etch a name for herself. “Singing jingles was perhaps the best way to start in Mumbai as you make the best contacts in the studios,” said Shilpa.

So far, she has sung songs for products such as Cadbury’s Munch, Sunsilk, Anchor Gel and No Marks.

And amid all this running around luck smiled on her when in February last year she received a call from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for a number in Nikhil Advani’s Salaam-E- Ishq. An offer to sing in Mithun Sharma’s Anwar followed soon.

And offers have been pouring in ever since. Shilpa has recently recorded with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, sung the background score of Namaste London and has also recorded with Aman and Ayan Ali Bangash for their next album.

“Offers have been coming in, but I do not want to talk about them now as the world of showbiz is so uncertain. Until the music is released, you are not sure of anything,” said Shilpa, who along with Naresh Iyer of Masti Ki Pathshala fame and two other singers formed a group called Dil Se a few years ago.