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Coming full circle

Express News Service

Shakthisree Gopalan remembers the first time she was hooked to a TV show. “It was Pop Stars on Channel V. They used to find a band, train and groom them. The entire process was amazing.” This may have been what pushed her to be part of a reality show herself a little while later. “I was always on the lookout for an opportunity to perform. Eventually, this led me to SS Music Voice Hunt, one of the earliest reality shows on TV. The musicians I met there were so cool. That experience gave me a sense of direction, and helped me set myself a goal.”

Perhaps this is what made her take up a judging role in the new reality show on Colors TV, Singing Stars, alongside Santhosh Narayanan and singer Ananthu. “I liked the fact that it was something different. Many people in the show have indie backgrounds, but there are also some others who don’t. There is a gaana pair which has performed as part of the Casteless Collective, there is one fantastic folk band and there is also a pop band with Western-influenced Indian music. The variety is fantastic and all of them are eager to learn, grow and collaborate.”

She elaborates on what the show offers the contestants. “Me, tackling and connecting with one song, that is one thing. It is a personal connect that is for me and me alone. When I do it with another singer however, it is more of how I am going to connect with them, how we complement each other. It opens new dimensions like singing harmonies, counter melodies, interpreting and changing lyrics even. This is what makes the show a good platform for the contestants. Recording your own voice to sing harmonies is totally different to singing with another person. It builds musicianship and pushes you to step out of your bubble to create something new.”

Shakthisree recently released a single titled Wake Up on Women’s Day. I ask her if she wants to go back to that indie circuit. “I do release a couple of singles every year, but yes, I want to do more and spend more time creating independent music. Creating new songs and sounds was a major part of my formative process. Right now, as I am releasing, producing and co-producing with amazing artistes, I am also working towards an EP on the sidelines.” 

As a singer who has worked on multiple platforms and languages, how does she view the current environment in our music industry? “I think we are like a Panneer Tikka Pizza. We speak our mother tongue in our houses, talk in English outside, listen to Bruno Mars and Anirudh equally, and go whistle at both Thalaivar and Marvel movies. We are a unique hybrid generation and that is reflected in our music too. After all, music is self-expression and you just have to keep finding new avenues to connect back to yourself.”

Source: The New Indian Express