Shilpa Surroch is a talented and up-and-coming musician who has been making waves in the music industry. She first gained attention with her debut Malayalam song, which she recorded after competing in season 2 of The Voice India. Since then, she has lent her voice to several Bollywood films and commercials, cementing her place as a sought-after playback vocalist.
In an exclusive interview with Business Upturn, Shilpa Surroch opened up about her experience releasing her first Malayalam song and the challenges she faced along the way.
When asked about her Malayalam debut song, she replied, “I received a call for it and had never worked on any Malayalam or regional films before. So, when I was approached, I was extremely excited because I had wanted to do it for a long time. When I learned that M Jayachandran was the composer, I was thrilled because of his incredible work. He has made legendary singers like Shreya Ghoshal sing and has given many hits.”
“I was thrilled to work with M Jayachandran for my Malayalam debut song. While I’ve worked in Bollywood for a long time and on amazing projects, I was excited to experience the working style down South as I’ve heard it’s different. The people are also a bit different, more subtle. When I met M Jayachandran, I was blown away and had no idea who I was going to sing with. Learning that Benny Dayal was also on the song was exciting because I had previously shared the stage with him during my time on “The Voice” where he was my coach. Singing in Hindi and Marathi for a Malayalam film song was a unique and eclectic combination that made this a roller coaster ride for me.” She added.
Shilpa also shared her experience of working with Benny Dayal and Shaan, calling it a milestone in her career. “Without actively seeking to work with him, I had previously worked with Shaan sir during ‘The Voice India’ and after a couple of years, I sang an ad song with him. At the time, I didn’t know that Shaan sir was also singing on the track and he didn’t know that I was singing on it as well. When these opportunities arise organically, without actively seeking them out, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment, knowing that I’m regarded as a talented artist. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many leading singers in the industry, including Mika Singh and Mohit Chauhan and that feeling is simply amazing.”
Shilpa’s journey from being an engineering student to becoming a playback singer and songwriter has been nothing short of incredible. When asked about her decision to switch careers, she shared, “I come from that kind of background where everyone is highly educated, corporate people. Even though I was trying to do that, I was trying to do Engineering and while I was doing that I started singing and I started representing my university. That’s when I realized that I’m not just an ordinary singer, I’ve something special. When you have something in your heart, you realize that that actually is your call, making you gravitate towards it. So I always gravitated towards singing and competing.”
Shilpa’s love for music has been a natural inclination since childhood, but her decision to pursue it as a career came after a phase of unhappiness during her engineering days. “I think God just created a certain opportunity where I was able to pursue music again and then once I got that realization that this is what I want to do, I told my parents and thankfully, they were also very supportive because I had already proved myself,” she explained.
Moving to Mumbai from Himachal was a big shift for Shilpa, who had always been protected and pampered as the youngest member of her family. However, she found the city to be welcoming, especially for working women. “I met amazing people from the beginning and if you meet good people at the beginning of your journey, your path becomes much easier,” she said. “I’m forever grateful to those who gave me opportunities without doubting me or thinking that I’m a newcomer. That is how I started my journey.”
Shilpa has worked with several big names in the industry, including Mohit Chauhan for her song ‘Aazadiyan’ and has also done three songs for Dice Media. Her talent and hard work have taken her from being an engineering student to a successful singer and her journey continues to inspire many.
What’s one thing you’ve learned or found different while working on your Malayalam song project that you’d like to share with us?
“To be honest, every experience in the studio is a learning experience because each time I work with different people and talents and it’s always a challenge. Unlike having songs beforehand and rehearsing at home before recording, we are often given songs on the spot. Singing in Marathi was particularly challenging for me as I had never sung in that language before, so I had to quickly pick it up on the spot. However, I learned that MJ sir, my mentor, is very patient and supportive. One thing that I’ve learned is that no matter what language you’re singing in, you need to be alert and attentive to nail it, provided you have the right guidance.”
The singer I am referring to is Darshan Raval, whose journey also started from India’s Raw Star. I see you on the same path, gaining recognition, creating your own fandom and establishing your own identity. What would you like to say about that?
“Well, Darshan is an incredible comparison to have because his journey has been amazing. Coming from a small town, I feel that it could not have happened if he was not the whole package. He sings, makes his own music and is humble as a person. I have met him in person and he is really a chilled-out person, with no airs about him. He is genuine and when you are genuine, you connect with a lot of people and they like you for your authentic self. I have always been like that. I have never tried to put on a show or be something I am not. I am the way I am and I think that factor really works well for Darshan and I’m glad that you see a bit of him in me.”
Regarding her upcoming projects, Shilpa said, “The work I am currently doing is under wraps, so I cannot talk much about it. But I am excited about the film song I have sung for. It is going to be one of my biggest films so far. Unfortunately, I cannot talk about it right now. Apart from that, many web series songs are happening and I am thrilled that some of my originals are finally coming out. I have been working on them for a really long time and it took too long for them to release. But this year, I’m going to release a lot of music. I’m excited about whatever is happening in my life right now and I feel that it’s finally my time to show everyone what I’ve got.”
Shilpa’s journey and passion for music are truly inspiring and wish her the best for all her future projects.