Reputed musician Shashwat Singh reaches another landmark in his career with the upcoming film Sanju. Singing the A.R. Rahman composition ‘Ruby Ruby’ for the film, this song tunes us back to the 1980’s with a nostalgic rhythm that celebrates intoxication. Let’s know more about the musical side behind Sanjay Dutt’s biopic film with the song Ruby Ruby.
Rajkumar Hirani’s upcoming film Sanju is an ode to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and follows his journey from Dutt’s debut film Rocky (1981), to his struggles, addictions and starred achievements that garnered him respect in the industry. Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, the film stars Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt and is all set to release on the 29th of June 2018.
Media Konnect in conversation with Ruby Ruby (Sanju film) singer Shashwat Singh -
Question - From making a bollywood debut with the song wat wat wat in Tamasha to singing Sarsariya for Mohenjodaro to Ruby Ruby; all these songs are really different in their feel. How do you compose yourself to handle different musical tastes when required? What goes on in your mind?
Shashwat Singh - This completely depends on the person who is handling the music. With the track Ruby Ruby, I’ve been carefully guided by A.R. Rahman to get the right feel. He really helps you get into character and will explain whatever he needs from you. Ofcourse, we do our own research as well.
How did I compose myself for this? Ruby Ruby was quite tricky because firstly it is Sanjay Dutt. I had to really think from his perspective back in the days when he was young. I had to get into his mind and kind of feel like the character in the movie as i took it forward. As you know the lines of Ruby Ruby is based on the state of Sanjay Dutt’s intoxication. We really almost had to act that out!
Question - For you, what has been special about Ruby Ruby? How has your journey been with this song?
Shashwat Singh - There are a lot of special things with this song. Firstly, this is my third song with Mr Rahaman. I have always been a very big fan of Sanjay Dutt and I guess that is what actually made me relate to the song even better. The tune is really fun. When we were recording it, the sound engineer and I would often admit that there is something about this song that is really catchy. We recorded this song over multiple sessions because there were quite a few changes made to the lyrics. At the end of these numerous sessions, the song literally grew on us.
Question - The ruby song talks about the intoxicated state of sanju. What gave you the Idea of creating this song with the 80’s feel? How did you’ll make it musical?
Shashwat Singh - The whole film is based on the different phases of Sanjay Dutt’s life. He has been acting for a while now and this song just shows a particular phase of his life. We really had to rewind to how things were back in the day, how the music was and how people would connect to songs in general. We had to go back to that era in order to get the right vibe, and with A.R. Rahman, I feel like we got there.
Question - A great song has the ability to make a film a hit. But a larger part of the industry seems to have a certain formula to create hit songs. With Ruby Ruby, do you see yourself breaking that formula and inviting more creativity ahead?
Shashwat Singh - This song is definitely very different from the kind of hit songs in the industry today. Our fans have shown their support on social media and they really seem to like the song. For me, Ruby Ruby is a great example of showing that maybe sometimes we don’t need to worry about what new we need to bring in. Sometimes what we have, and what we have had in the past can really help us make something really different today and crack that audience perspective.
Question - Your musical relationship with AR Rahman isn’t a new one anymore. From enrolling in Rahman’s KM Music conservatory school to releasing a song together that has already reached 1.2 million views in 2 days, How has this experience been for you and where can we see this musical relationship going?
Shashwat Singh - It’s always a dream to get a call to work in the studio, especially if it is one that includes A.R. Rahman. It is a privilege working with him. He is a genius who knows exactly what he wants. When he composes a song and we jam together, he’ll ask me to improvise a little bit. He even makes a tune out of that as well! It is definitely great to experience all of this, and for me it’s surely a blessing that I hope never stops.
Question - You have worked in Malayalam and Telugu film songs. How is the experience different from that of Bollywood songs?
Shashwat Singh - In south the experience is very different. They do make a very different kind of music and the experience is really fun. The songs are really great whether it is for a Malayalam or Telugu film. At the end of the day it is all about the music, the language and how we connect to the vibe.
Question - Do you think that great songs can make a film more successful? What are some of the key elements that Bollywood singers need to focus on when singing a track?
Shashwat Singh - I believe that songs can do wonders to the film. It can uplift the storyline to another level. I do agree that music in general can do wonders for a movie. Something that Bollywood singers should focus on is sticking to their originality. They should try to sing the way their voice has been developed and not imitate other artists. I get it that singers are inspired by others in the industry and sometimes unknowingly get their nuances in their own vibe. That happens a lot. But I really feel that we should consciously try to find our own tone and voice.
The film Sanju talks about the various phases of Sanjay Dutt's life. For every phase, there is a music that brings to life a certain era and feel. Composed by A.R Rahman, written by Irshad Kamil, sung by Shashwat Singh / Poorvi Koutish and Directed by one of the country's most respected film directors - Rajkumar Hirani, can the music and the film strike a successful chord and encapture the many lives of Bollywood's prolific actor Sanjay Dutt?
Click here for the official music track ‘Ruby Ruby’ from the film Sanju.
- Story written by Sohan Nair.