But the modest singer says she was not expecting the awards and accolades that have come her way. She says, “I have had the habit of keeping expectations at a bare minimum for a long time now. ‘Pareshaan’ is a beautiful song and I have been the lucky one to have had the chance to sing it. I didn’t have awards in mind while recording it.” In a light-hearted chat, Shalmali tells CS about dealing with pressures and lessons learnt:
I am extremely bogged down by the sudden limelight and expectations born out of the same. Some of it is positive, some not so much. I definitely do feel a lot more responsible now. I have become overly critical of my music and everything that surrounds it. For every off day, I feel like I cannot spare myself; that I will let so many down, I will let myself down. The pressure is immense. But I am at an age where I can handle it and I am looking forward to it.
Within Bollywood, I look forward to working with new music directors. I just recorded a very quirky track for a Marathi film with music director Atif Afsal. These are the kind of things that excite me the most, and I hope interesting work comes my way. More importantly, I look forward to starting work on my album seriously. Since I love Western musical styles, the songs I will write would have those leanings.
Haha! Thankfully, there have been no bad experiences. But yes, a lot of lessons have been learnt — Don’t offer too much help, don’t believe everything everyone says, better now than later, etc. I am learning everyday as I meet newer people.
Cause and effect!
Five years from now, I see myself doing a lot of fund raiser shows for a lot of causes in our country that need contributions from the entertainment industry. I see myself doing big elaborate stage shows which would be like musicals, scripted and executed to perfection. It is my dream to create a spectacle of song and dance for the audience. I also want to sing at big festivals all over the world that attract crowds in many many thousands!