Shilpa Rao bats for anti-tobacco cause

As people are set to observe World No Tobacco Day on May 31, "Khuda jaane" fame singer Shilpa Rao says she strongly feels for the cause, and believes in leading a healthy life.

Shilpa Rao. Pic/IANS
Shilpa Rao. Pic/IANS

Be it for cancer patients or flood affected people of Assam, Rao has been part of a number of fund raising events.

Asked how important it is for her to be associated with such causes, the singer, who is on a multi-city tour to promote her latest album "Suno", told IANS: "You are part of it because you feel for it. For instance, Vishal Dadlani (musician) called us for a fundraising concert for quake victims in Nepal last year. Just one phone call and we were all there."

And now, with World No Tobacco Day approaching, she wishes to help out in some way.

"I feel strongly for it. Anybody who wants to do anything on that can get in touch with me. I would like to be a part of that... to promote living a healthy life. In fact, I've told a lot of my friends not to smoke," she said.

As of now, Rao is excited about her new album "Suno", recently launched by Times Music. Apart from the evergreen song "Dum a dum", 'Suno' includes Rao's rendition of "Challa", "Ankhiyan nu rehn de", "Ankhiyan udeek diyan" and other timeless masterpieces dedicated to legendary singers Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Reshma.

At a time when dance numbers are ruling the charts, what made her launch an album dedicated to some of the Sufi legends?

"I don't think any artiste thinks of what is happening right now. The whole point of being an artiste is trying to put out music that you really feel for at any given point. These songs were written a long time back, but they are timeless," she said about the songs picked for "Suno", which is a recreation of some of the forever-cherished classics.

Her romance with recreation of songs doesn't end here.

"I just did a ghazal. Hope people love it. It should be out by this year or next year. We tried to recreate something. It's still in the making, so I can't give out details," said the "Malang" hitmaker.

She is also looking forward to a "couple of collaborations".

I will be able to talk about them in June. They will be interesting. I have recorded some songs for movies also. I am just waiting for them to release."

Rao is enjoying performing in different cities as well.

Asked about the kind of audience she gets, she said: "A lot depends on how the concert has been pitched. There's a certain expectation the crowd has from you if they have heard your music. Sometimes they don't know about my work. That's like a brand new project.

"Once, I sang some new compositions which the crowd took well. It's always a pleasure going on tour."

Rao recently organised a launch tour and performed live at Hard Rock Café in Mumbai, Pune and Delhi for her album "Suno".

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