New Delhi “Sajna aa bhi jaa” hitmaker Shibani Kashyap, who joined forces with American reggae band Big Mountain for a new song this year, says collaborations are good as they help to bridge the gap between the East and the West.
The Indian singer-composer and Big Mountain, best known for their 1994 song “Baby I love your way”, teamed up for “24 hours irresponsible”, which released on Artist Aloud, a digital platform for independent artistes and talent, earlier this year.
“It was like a blessing for me because I’ve been a huge fan of Big Mountain since my school days, and I love reggae,” Shibani told IANS on the phone from Mumbai.
So, naturally, when she received an email from the band, she was happy.
“They said ‘We are looking for an Indian artiste to collaborate with. Would you be interested?’ I said ‘Yeah, I would absolutely jump at this opportunity.’ Collaborations are really now the name of the game, especially for artistes from the West to collaborate with an Indian artiste. It’s a wonderful way to bridge the gap and make our music global and then to come to the Indian market. So, it serves the purpose for both beautifully,” she said.
She also “instantly” fell in love with the song.
“It was perfect for my scale. They said ‘We give you the independence and freedom to work on the track, on your portions. They definitely wanted the ‘alap’ because they wanted that ‘Indianism’, and I got to express my Indian classical side also,” said the “Ho gayi hai mohabbat tumse” hitmaker about the “dancey and happy mood” number.
It wasn’t that easy to create though.
“A little back-and-forth happened in terms of the right structuring, mixing and mastering, as the recording happened in India and America. After that was done, they told me about their India tour. I said ‘Great. Since you are coming why don’t we just shoot the music video here in India?’ And that’s what we did.
“We had a blast once Big Mountain were here. The entire month of March, we were just breathing and eating ’24 hours irresponsible’,” she said.
Explaining the reason behind the title, she said: “Basically, it’s all right to be irresponsible. The whole idea is about letting it go and unwinding sometimes. You are always so tensed and stressed out. It’s good not to be bothered about calls.”
What about a Bollywood song together?
“Yes, the movie name isn’t final. But, yes, we have an offer from a friend who is making a thriller. He said ‘I want his (the band’s lead singer Joaquin Quino McWhinney) voice and yours together.’ We are working on a song and again, we will have to work across India and America,” she said.
Shibani is also set to treat her fans to some recreated versions of classics.
“I’ve just worked on a property with my dear friend Mika Singh. That property will have some old songs that we have recreated in a very unplugged and a different sort of a way. I’ve done this song called ‘Ajeeb dastan hai yeh’ in a very classic jazz way. More such stuff is coming up,” she promised.
So, is she in favour of giving a twist to classic numbers, a trend fast catching on in India?
“A lot of people have recreated ‘Sajna aa bhi jaa’. Every day when I go to YouTube, I see a new version of ‘Sajna aa bhi jaa’. It’s a very good feeling because I have composed that song, and the good news is that I’m coming back with that song in a recreated way,” she said.
Asked about original songs versus covers, she said: “Everywhere people are only doing covers. It’s a little worrying because what’s happening is original music is taking a hit. There is hardly any original music any more. Films, YouTube space or the unplugged space… people are spending so much of time and effort on recreating an old song. It’s nice, but with an old song, a new song should also come.”