Exclusive! 'Bulleya' singer Shilpa Rao on 4 Years of 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil': I recorded the song a year and a half before the film released

Singer Shilpa Rao, who is one of the most versatile singers we have in Bollywood today, is the voice behind some popular chartbusters like, ‘Khuda Jaane’, ‘Manmarziyaan’, ‘Ghungroo’ and many others. The actress also lent her voice to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the song ‘Bulleya’ in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’.

Today, as the Karan Johar directorial clocks four years, ETimes got in touch with the talented singer. In an exclusive interview, Shilpa opened up about the songs in the movie, working with composer Pritam and her journey in the Indian music industry so far. Excerpts…

‘Bulleya’ still remains one of the most beautiful and popular songs from ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. How did you come on board for the song?

It was the first time that I did something like ‘Bulleya’ in terms of vocal, styling, tone, and texture. I recorded the song almost a year and a half before the film was released. The lyrics were totally different then. Amitabh Bhattacharya had written different lyrics.

After one year, I went back when the final lyrics were done. The track grew on me and somehow I had such a beautiful connection with the track. However, ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is not a one-song wonder. It is the full album in its entirety that people have loved. The whole combination of Amitabh and Pritam is fantastic.

How was your experience working with Pritam? What makes the ace composer stand apart from others?

What sets Pritam apart from everyone else is the fact that he gets attached and detached from a song very beautifully and organically. We have had so many conversations in the many years that I have known him and we have never spoken about work. We only spoke about everything apart from the song and the recording. I think that is what makes my bond with Pritam very special. I am very happy to say that he is a friend and I really cherish my friendship with him.

Where do you see Indian music on a global scale today?

It lies in the hands of the artists who keep broadening their horizons and take their music to a global platform which a lot of us are doing. My first small step has happened this year. I did my first international collaboration with Anoushka Shankar. I worked on an independent song with her. It was released in London under a prestigious label. It is a baby step but it is a work in progress.

What are the challenges that you have faced in the industry?

There are many challenges, ups, and downs that keep happening through your work life. The challenge is that no matter what you do and how hard you work, sometimes you don’t get what you deserve or you don’t get what you expect out of that particular project. The way to overcome this challenge is to go to sleep with a clear heart that you have put all your efforts into it. Get up the next morning and start afresh.

There is no one day, one night, or one project that will change your life. You can change your life every single day by telling yourself that it is a new day for a new start and get back to work.

From ‘Javeda Zindagi’ to ‘Ghungroo’ – How has your journey been in the industry so far?

I have been very fortunate to have worked with such beautiful people, from composers, lyricists, directors, and actors. I have learned so much from all of them, not just about music a bit about life. I have learned to be able to live life and submit to it and let life take its own course and to have patience and faith in music. I have been lucky to have been around such talented and wise people.