Ace music composer Shankar Mahadevan was honoured with the Padma Shri Award by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday.
Shankar Mahadevan and Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan
He shared his thoughts on receiving the honour with Firstpost exclusively. Shankar said, "These things are very very special. I think it's a matter of national honour as it is the fourth highest civilian national honour which a person can get. Just look at it, such a big honour. It's great that the Government of India felt that I would be capable enough of getting this honour. I don't know whether I'm capable enough or not, but the fact that I got this it means it has given me responsibility towards our music, our culture and our classical music to be propagated to the rest of the world."
The Dil Chahta Hai composer agreed that such achievements boost his morale to another level as he feels that the country has faith in his music. He candidly added that he is glad to be awarded, even if it is quite late into his career. "I think everything has its time. It's better when you get an award late than somebody tells you that you're awarded too soon. It's a compliment for me when people say that I should have been awarded way before. This seems better than someone saying you're worthy of it".
The famous trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has given Bollywood some of the best albums, from Kal Ho Naa Ho and Bunty Aur Babli to Rock On, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi and the upcoming Mere Pyare Prime Minister. The singer was once a computer engineer before making it big in films. "If I would have wanted to my routine thing, I could have been sitting in front of a monitor. I would have been developing software somewhere. I just followed my passion and that's why I am here. You have to get that conviction, you have to do it with complete confidence and one should be ready to fail also. If you got the confidence to fail, you will learn a lot."
Being a versatile singer-composer, Shankar even shared his view on new musical trends such as fusion, EDM and rap. "I think music is like fashion. It keeps changing. I think it's amazing but if you look at the bigger picture then the melody stays for a long time." Apart from appreciating the new trends, Shankar criticised the remake of classic songs. "We recreated a song in Don because the film itself was a remake. Now what is happening is something I don't support. Are you not trusting the music composer? This is what I'm asking. I don't know why this is happening. The music companies are rehashing old songs and putting them. I don't think anyone is liking it also. I think we got to have some originality in creating melodies. If you are recreating a song, you are not a composer. You're just a re-creator and I guess even people are getting fed up of this."