Shantanu Mukherjee, popularly known as Shaan, is a renowned playback singer. The effervescent and versatile singer has given voice to various songs in different languages that include, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Urdu, Telugu and Kannada films. He has also sung many Nepali and Pakistani songs.
Known for his independent albums and songs, most of us have grown up listening and watching the videos of his songs including, Loveology, Tanha Dil, Aksar and Tishnagi, and many more. And now the versatile singer and compose is back with yet another path-breaking song in Bengali named as 'China'. Surprising isn't it!
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India, Shaan spoke at length about his first Bengali single 'China', the reason why he named it 'China', his take on remixes, and why he feels social media lacks humour.
Excerpts from the candid conversation
Why did you name the song China?
It was a fun thing, and majorly to grab attention. The word "China" has a different meaning in Bengali. It means "I do not want." The track takes a fun potshot on "China" with the sentiment of Make in India and Aatma Nirbhar. This light-hearted peppy dance number talks about a boy who is unhappy with the 'social media' obsession with his girlfriend. It's not a serious song it doesn't have a socio-political agenda. The song China gives a light dance vibe. Also, I sang and composed in various genres, but I haven't done anything in Bengali so Bengali hone ke naate I decided to do this song. And as the song is a vibrant and peppy number, I also wanted to target millennials. And not the guys of my age. By this I mean I wanted to reach out to a new set of audience.
Adding further, he says:
We are all going through a sentimental phase post lockdown. Everyone is scared about what happens next and people have also become bored sitting at home. So, this track is meant to cheer everyone up. It has nothing to do with China as a country or Covid-19 or even lockdown.
How do you deal with Social media negativity?
I don't allow negativity to get into my system. Nor do I indulge in anything that creates a negative vibe. I use my social media handle to promote or announce my work. Back in the day, I used to post my personal views, shared the things that I liked but then I realised that people on social media just read between the lines and make something out of nothing. As an individual, it's my social moral responsibly to not indulge in anything that gives an opportunity to trollers or people. These days, people are getting traction, out of everything. Enough of social media trolling is happening. People here watch the news just to create controversy. And sadly, we lack humour on social media. Everyone is too busy bringing down other people. Nobody wants to focus on how social media can be fun. I would just like to say, allow people to breathe. These are all personal views. Everybody is busy reading between the lines, without understanding the context. Social media has become a serious syndrome. People enjoy things that bring someone down. We show support and love to the people who are not there. Nobody cares when the person is alive or present. Everyone is busy maligning and attacking people who are present between us. We are taking sides without knowing the crux of the matter. I hope everyone stays positive. We should express our love and fondness towards people while they are there.
What is your take on the ongoing debate of music mafia or nepotism?
Personally, I don't see it like that, everyone has got their space. Whoever wants to sing can sing. With the onset of social media evey aspiring muscian can upload the song and the listeners can take the final call whether they like or dislike it. The role of independent music plays a vital role. This gangism or groupism, I don't understand I was not a part of any of this. I enjoy all kind of music. I am happy that people enjoy my music, be it 5,000 or 50,000 views. I don't care, I am not running the rat race.The ones I used to work with aren't working with me now and that's completely fine. I have not become bitter with people I used to work with. Each one has its own business model. It's all about business and to put or not to put the money is on the individual.
You were a craze of the '90s and now when we see those cult songs getting remixed, do you listen to those songs? What's your take?
I started in 1999, my career took off from 2000 from the songTanha Dil, there were a couple of songs that I did before that, but yes coming back to remixes I would like to say, one should always mention or give credit to the original musician or the lyricist. Whoever has recreated is fine, but original singer or the composer can sing some part of the song in the recreated version. I have nothing against songs being remixed. For instance in Baaghi 3, Vishal Shekhar were the orgincal comopsores for the song Dus Bahane and in the recreated evrsion Dus Bahane 2.0 they recreated it again. and I am glad that I sang both orginal as well as the remixed version.