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Malaal’s Singer-composer Shail Hada talks about music, culture and working with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Shail Hada is a Indian singer, composer and arranger who has worked with SLB on films like Black, Guzaarish, Ramleela and Bajirao Mastaani



Shail Hada
Shail Hada; Source: Instagram

Music in Indian cinema plays a major part especially in films. And while many are involved in the process of making songs the best means to carry a story forward, one from them is the very talented Shail Hada. He is a singer, music composer and an arranger. For a man who begun his career with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s critically acclaimed filmBlack, Shail has worked with the filmmaker in films like GuzaarishGoliyon Ki Raasleela- Ramleela andPadmaavat. And he has also worked in SLB produced film Malaal starring Meezaan Jaffery and Sharmin Segal. In an exclusive conversation with CineBlitz, Shail Hada speaks about his approach to music, what it takes to put SLB’s massive vision in practise and how working in any industry – South or Bollywood only requires Jazbaat.


How was your experience working on Malaal?

My experience working on this film was very good. I know Sharmin since she was a child and working on Malaal with Sanjay sir (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) was my comfort zone. But the pressure was high this time because we were introducing two new faces, it had to be contemporary and todays work. And the tuning between me and Sanjay sir is great, we know what works for each other.

According to you what is the USP aboutMalaal’s music album, considering you and SLB have given some unique songs together?

This time the movie is more important than its songs for me. It is a story where only if the movie works the songs will. And be it any film the songs should be the part of the story and take it forward. The tone of Malaal is Maharashtrian which called for making songs that represent the culture and are also contemporary for today’s generation. It was two newcomers, which also meant there had to be fresh tunes.

You have worked on films like RamleelaGuzaarishBajirao Mastani and Padmaavat which have songs that strongly signify many cultures but are still relatable to today’s generation. How do you do that?

It’s very simple; you have to reinvent yourself with every film. We have to live the story to give it tunes. For every project with SLB we work for one and a half or two years approximately, he isn’t someone who tells you to rush, he marinates us in the process and thus we live the story. He puts his heart and soul in everything. The baseline for everything is we should ourselves like it first then only the world will.

From Black till Malaal, how much have you evolved as a music composer?

I have been singing since childhood. My first love has been music since ever. My singing bought me into composing songs. Which bought me in touch with Monty bhai (Monty Sharma) and that made me realize I can do the arranging as well. So I arranged songs like Udi(from Guzaarish), Ram Chahe Leela I got nominated for, Tera Zikra also bought awards, working with Sanjay sir has only bought me awards and rewards. I can say that he has made me an arranger.

How difficult is it to work with a man who looks for perfection in the smallest of things?

For me working with him is the easiest thing and in all these years I know him inside out. So, it is always like making the best than our last one. People know the end product, but they don’t know how many versions have been made in the process. For example, Ghoomar and Deewani Mastani are the final products but we had made many versions of the two. Ghoomar was a tribute from me to my culture.

What goes into making a song which has so many elements?

There is huge research that goes in the fabric of a song. I do it all myself, everyone does it for their part of the job. And then there are inputs from everyone, so, it is always a team effort. If it impresses us, then we go ahead. Feelings play a very important role in this process. You can’t work without feeling it and especially when you work is making songs. Jazbaat kaafi maine rakhte hain

So you have worked in South films, Hindi films and also Marathi, what is the difference?

My strength is my people. I have to work in a team and that helps me sail through. And music is a universal language that directly connects your heart. Give me any language, I will write it down in Hindi, frame the words and sing. The barriers don’t bother much; it is just that I might take time to get in to the nuances of the language. To be very honest, India will always be inclined to Indian music culture and that is the best part. Yes we remix, remake, the body might change but the soul remains the same.

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