Singer turned music composer Shashi Suman’s repertoire may not boast of big songs and films, but the budding composer has surely found his footing in the industry overtime. From crooning ‘Mora Piya Mose Bolat Nahi’ in RAAJNEETI to composing music for Priyanka Chopra’s MARY KOM, Shashi, who started his musical journey as a finalist on a reality show, has indeed come a long way! In an exclusive encounter with us, Shashi discloses his journey, shares his experience of assisting maestro Sanjay Leela Bhansali on RAM-LEELA & how MARY KOM happened to him in our special section Music Mania! Read on…
What made you get into music?
I am not from a musical family but my father, is a district education officer in Bihar currently, used to play tabla. It is his hobby. I learnt from him and that is how I got introduced to music and eventually was drawn towards singing. Then I shifted to Lucknow and that is where I learnt classical music under Ustad Gulshan Bharti, my guruji.
You started your career with reality shows. How was the experience?
Many of my friends from Lucknow and classmates learning under my guruji had been part of various reality shows. I had never thought of reality shows but suddenly Ustadji told me that ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa ka audition chal rha hai toh tum jao. Ab tum is layak ho ki ja sakte ko.’ I went for the auditions, got selected and that is how it all started. After I came to Mumbai in 2008 my struggle started from scratch and for two years I did many things here and there. Then in 2010 I auditioned for Indian Idol where again I went on to become a finalist.
'My association with Sanjay Leela Bhansali was a turning point of my life'
Did reality shows help you get the desired work?
Reality shows were of no use for the kind of work that I am doing currently. But it helped me a lot to survive in Mumbai. It is very difficult to survive in Mumbai so agar Idol ya Sa Re Ga Ma Pa nae hota toh pata nae kya karta main. But the reality shows didn’t give me a break in Bollywood. There are 1000s who come every day so it is not easy for people to get through. Bollywood is different. It’s an altogether a different genre.
Your first break was with Aadesh Shrivastav in RAAJNEETI. Tell us about it
I used to assist Aadesh Shrivastavji and he knew that I had the knack of composing music. He had seen it. So he also offered me to sing the song ‘Mora Piya Mose Bolat Nahi’ from RAAJNEETI. I also worked with Shankar Mahadevan. The experience was very new for me. I had never seen a studio. I just knew singing which I learnt from my Ustad. So when I came here, I came to know how it all works.
How did your association with Sanjay Leela Bhansali happen?
This was a turning point in my life. When I was in ‘Indian Idol’, everybody – contestants and production people knew that I used to compose songs and they asked me to compose a song describing my journey. But I could not sing the song as I got eliminated before that. Eventually, that song was sung by the top 5 finalists. Luckily, Sandeep Singh, who is currently Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s CEO, had come down with Sunidhi Chauhan on the sets. So he happened to hear the song during the rehearsals and asked them ‘Who has composed this song?’ So everyone revealed that I had composed the song and that I was eliminated. So Sandeep Singh took my number and called me when all were performing this song live and asked me to listen to it. Mujhe thoda shocking laga and I was wondering yeh kya hai. Then he told me that he liked the song and asked me to meet him.