Shruti Haasan: My music reflects my work as actor
Juggling duties as a singer, lyricist and an actor, Shruti Haasan, ahead of the release of her EP, on how her stints in cinema affect the way she performs and emotes, on stage
We catch Shruti Haasan on a call a day after she wrapped up her music commitments in London, and en-route to a small town in Chennai, where she is set to film Vijay Sethupathi-starrer Laabam. Even as the world is on a hiatus owing to the Coronavirus pandemic, Haasan has been shuffling between countries, living the most "dichotomous" life that an artiste can. The multiple hats that she dons as singer, lyricist and actor, implies Haasan, more often than not, always has a project in hand.
Apart from performing across venues in London, the singer-actor enjoys her time spent with musicians in the city's studios, "working on, and developing new sounds". A recent act brought her alongside Anoushka Shankar after a common friend roped them in for it. "My songs are personal. In different situations, we [become] different individuals. With music, I am my true self. The genres that I perform fall under alternative [music]. There are a few inflections of Indian [music], like in an alaap. In one song, I also have a Tamil verse. But, predominantly, my set is in English."
Despite having two films in the South, Haasan has been working on a passion project of sorts. "[The songs] of my upcoming EP have been written by me, and some producers from the UK. I like to write my own lyrics because I believe that if you have to say something, you are the best person to say it. The EP will have some rock-and-roll influences, but I won't call it a rock outfit. The music edges towards being cinematic because of my experiences as an actor."
All of 34, Haasan finds in her journey sufficient fodder for the creation of her tracks. "I write about my experiences across different phases of my life. There's one song on someone who has influenced me immensely. Another is on sobriety. Yet another is a love song. It is abstract. I avoid being specific so that the numbers can have universal appeal."
She credits her acting stints for enabling her to deliver the power-packed performances that she does. "Acting impacts my [gigs] because I can play characters for different songs. I can emote as is required for each track."
Having recently wrapped up the 13-minute short film, Devi, also starring Kajol and Neha Dhupia, among others, Haasan will be seen in Telugu director Gopichand Malineni's Krack, along with Ravi Teja. "After taking a break, [I'm being offered] characters that motivate [me]. I'd rather do less [work] as long as I get to do the kind of work I've always wanted to."
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