Shaan wants to spread awareness about mental health through his new song

The revamped version of playback singer Shaan’s Tanha Dil that releases today highlights mental health issues and focuses on spreading awareness about depression


Garima Sadhwani

The revamped version of playback singer Shaan’s Tanha Dil that releases today highlights mental health issues and focuses on spreading awareness about depression. “It’s written from the perspective of someone who’s struggling with depression and anxiety,” shares the singer.

Shaan feels that a huge chunk of today’s youth is suffering from mental health issues because of the pressures they face on social media. He says, “I read somewhere that one in seven people suffer from anxiety, and that’s a lot of people.”

The singer confesses his ignorance about mental health in the past. He says, “When actors, like Deepika Padukone, opened up about their struggle in the past, I couldn’t believe it. I thought that they are successful people, and there are others who have it much worse. But now when I look back, I realize how stupid and insensitive I was.”

Until it happened much closer at home, the singer says that he was fairly uneducated about depression and anxiety. “My wife has been my pillar of strength and when she suddenly fell prey to clinical depression, I was completely in denial. I couldn't imagine why that would happen, and without any trigger,” says the singer. It was only after he started studying more that he came on to realize how difficult it can be for those struggling.

Shaan says that it was not long before he realized that a lot of people suffer in silence, and that their close ones often fail to pay attention until something tragic happens. “We need to be patient and empathetic to everyone, but more than that we have to create awareness and take the stigma away, so that people can get the help they need,” says Shaan.

Through Tanha Dil, Shaan’s aim is to do just that. And though there’s a deeper meaning and message underlying the song, Shaan hopes that people who listen to it, feel involved and engaged with it. He says, “I want people to feel the sound, the tune, the vocal arrangements that have been done so beautifully, and the video that portrays this very strong message.”

Writing a song about mental health comes with its own challenges, believes the singer. He says that he had to carefully tread through the lyrics because it’s an extremely sensitive topic, and that since it’s a song after all, he couldn’t use any non-musical or harsh words. But through all these difficulties, they did find just the right balance, which the team hopes catches the attention of the audience.

While working on a campaign to spread awareness about depression and anxiety, Shaan realized that a few simple things can go a long way. Talking to people about one’s issues. Not overwhelming oneself with information. Reading positive affirmations, and trying to think happy, positive thoughts. And that is the only advice he has for his fans as well.

The singer also feels that the way we consume music has changed over the years. A lot of people listen to sad songs because it gives them comfort in that moment, and so most producers now make songs about heartbreak, helplessness and loneliness, says Shaan. He adds, “But they don’t realize that even if the song is comforting you, in the long run it’s just making it difficult for you to come out and fight with that situation.”

The only way to counter this, he feels, is by making more positive songs, sharing positive stories and videos with the world. Shaan says, “It might not work at the moment, but I guarantee such things will help people. If you can create awareness through music, there’s nothing more wonderful than that.”

In the meantime, Shaan has also been working on a few Bollywood songs which should be out soon. And now that travel is opening up, he plans to do live music shows as well.

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