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    Canadian singer, Shashaa Tirupati, is living her dream, courtesy A R Rahmana��s latest, O Kadhal Kanmani

    Singer Shashaa Tirupati is devoted to music composer AR Rahman. Literally. a�?I have a photo of him in my temple and Ia��ve been lighting incense sticks and diyas for the past 12 years,a�? says the enthusiastic singer, who has snapped up three songs in the most anticipated album of the year, O Kadhal Kanmani. Her first stint with the Mozart of Madras was in 2013, for Coke Studio (Naan Yen Piranden, also her ringtone currently), which got her a song in Kochadiyaan and Kaaviya Thalaivan. Tirupati tells us about the three songs in O Kadhal Kanmani. a�?I have Kaara Aattaakkaara, which is the title track. Rahman sir first gave us a very basic tune and asked us to repeat it. I thought it was not part of the soundtrack. The next day, they asked me to re-record it and that was the actual song. Next is Paranthu Sella Vaa, which is a fun song. It begins with a western music note but moves on to become a ballad and there is a little groove to it,a�? explains the 27-year-old. The third song, Naane Varugiraen, reveals the soulful singer, is the toughest song she has sung till date. a�?Only Rahman sir would have got that out of me. I constantly had doubts about myself because it is very classical and is taal based. I have learnt only Hindustani music and this was very difficult to do. I couldna��t understand the down beat track at all. It took me a lot of time,a�? she says. The singer from Canada still doesna��t believe that she has three songs in the album.
    Rafi to Rahman
    Inspired by Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, Tirupati has been rooted to Indian musicfor years. a�?I dropped out of medical school in Canada when I heard Guru songs,a�? says a nostalgic Tirupati explaining how she moved to Mumbai and got started, working on more than 400 jingles. She also worked with composer G V Prakash before meeting Rahman. a�?I wanted to prepare myself to work with Rahman sir. I came to India in 2007 and got a chance to work with him in 2013. The best part about him is that he will go after you and get the right tone, attitude and pronunciation out of you,a�? says the totally-smitten Tirupati. Though she doesna��t know more than 10 Tamil words, she is all set to move to the city by the end of June. a�?I hope to learn the language soon,a�? she says.
    Back in time
    With her roots in Kashmir, Tirupati says her surname has nothing to do with the famous temple in Andhra Pradesh, a�?It is just a family name, often misspelt as Tripathy.a�? The singer is working with other composers and an album, too. a�?We recently released an album called Bollywood Unwind, with six other artistes. It has old Bollywood classics. If given a choice, I would have loved to be part of the 20s, 30s and 40s era. Louis Armstrong and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are my idols,a�? she concludes.
    The music of O Kadhal Kanmani is scheduled to release tomorrow.

    Mrinalini Sundar


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