Shashaa Tirupati’s debut EP chronicles phases of a relationship

How singer Shashaa Tirupati conceptualised her upcoming debut EP titled ‘I’m sorry, Heart’

Shashaa Tirupati delves deep into personal experiences for her independent music. The inspiration for her upcoming debut EP came from her frame of mind during the pandemic.

Titled I’m sorry, Heart, the entire EP was put together during the months following the COVID-19 outbreak, when Shashaa was visiting her father in Canada.

“I was going through this phase when I was smitten by somebody, and that kind of led to this. I randomly put together some lyrics that go along with the sentiment, and recorded and sent it to guitarist Keba Jeremiah, who loved it,” recalls Mumbai-based Shashaa, currently in Chennai for a couple of film song recordings.

Over the span of two months, Shashaa and Keba got to work, putting the melody and soundwork together. They recorded the songs and shot the video in March this year. The first, titled ‘In My Skin’, will be released in the first week of January. “There’ll be a release every month after that.”

I’m sorry, Heart will chronicle four stages of a relationship — the first meeting, falling in love, the first argument and finally, parting ways.

“The catch is that none of this really happens. It’s in the mind of a girl who has lived an entire relationship with someone she knows she has no future with,” Shashaa explains. Considering the mood the songs were set in, she ensured her ‘imperfections’ were on display while recording. “Even the song about falling in love, which is a beautiful feeling, has some latent pathos. As it is so intimate, you’ll hear the cracks and flaws in my voice, and the slides in the guitar (by Keba Jeremiah). It’s literally me pouring my heart out.”

Shashaa Tirupati’s debut EP chronicles phases of a relationship

Shashaa has been working through the pandemic; she recorded about 40 songs for composers, apart from working on her own music. She also conducted live sessions online called Friday Knights, where she held long conversations with real-life heroes.

But, of course, music was what kept her going. “Post the pandemic phase, musicians and audiences have become very welcoming about collaborations. Besides, the last couple of years have also opened doors for independent music; earlier, musicians were so entrenched into mainstream film songs that they didn’t have the time and energy to focus on what they wanted to do individually,” says Shashaa.

Shashaa’s most recent film song features in AR Rahman’s Atrangi Re, the Dhanush-starrer that releases this week, and marks the latest in a seven-year-old association.

While her first musical outing with Rahman was in his Coke Studio project ‘Naan En Piranden’ in 2013, she subsequently started working with the composer frequently, dishing out hits such as ‘Vaan Varuvaan’ (Kaatru Veliyidai) and tracks in OK Kanmani. “The more I feel I’ve spent time with Rahman sir, the more unfamiliar he feels,” she says, adding “He keeps evolving, so much that everytime I meet him, he comes across as a different person. His phases could be a style of music, a sentiment or a raag…maybe artistes have that.”

Despite working closely with him, Shashaa stresses that she is still very much a fan-girl. In 2007, when she was studying to become a neurosurgeon, she listened to his tracks in Guru, and decided to make music her career. “It was transformational. Just thinking about tracks like ‘Tere Bina’ and ‘Jaage’ makes me extremely emotional. If there was a sound to divinity, they would be these two songs,” she says. “There’s a vulnerability to both these tracks, and I kind of resonate with that.”

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