Friday Review » Music

Updated: September 10, 2011 19:42 IST

And all that jazz

Vishnupriya Bhandaram
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Mathangi. Photo: Nagara Gopal
Mathangi. Photo: Nagara Gopal

Things are looking bright for Mathangi, who's excited about her music and ‘minicerts' across the country

She walks in with bouncy hair that could knock your socks off; her wrists are tied up in knots with shiny bracelets and bangles. Her boho-chick look is pretty chic! Mathangi is not all curls and big boots; she has got a voice that goes with all that bling. The A vacchi B payi vale singer has made quite a mark in the Telugu music industry as well.

The singer is a self-professed, mixed-up Tamilian. Born in Calcutta but was brought up on the dildaar love of Delhiwalas, she got trained in Carnatic music at a very young age. “While my parents never forced me to do anything ‘tamilian', my mother was particular that I learn Carnatic music, it was something I had to do. But I took lessons with great enthusiasm…” she recalls. The singer's first break was a fortunate coincidence, working in an advertisement agency, she sung a bit for one of the jingles in her client's advertisement. “After that jingle, somehow word got around and I got calls to come to studios and give sound tests. It all happened to so fast and on its own, very surreal,” she says.

Mathangi has been lucky in her struggle to fame. She got chances to work with A.R. Rahman, Illayaraja, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Harris Jayaraj and the likes. Was it intimidating? “It was not intimidating but it really was a wonderful experience. Each composer is different in their styles of recording music or teaching and to adapt to those styles was wonderful.”

“With A.R. Rahman, he would give me the song and ask me to improvise, so it was a lot of hardwork trying to inculcate my own creativity in the songs. With Illayaraja, it was all about going back to the basics. He would record duets together and if anything would go wrong, we'd have to take it from the top! That was a lot of pressure to not go wrong, which is good. It teaches you to be disciplined…” she quips.

Mathangi strongly believes that you can't be a good singer or a musician if you ditch the basics. Your theory should be good enough to overcome your inherent flaws, she feels. Recently in town to perform as a part of the Coke Studio minicerts, Mathangi is optimistic about her future… Having gotten a strong foothold in Tamil music, are things brightening up for a Bollywood break?

“I hope so; singing in Hindi would definitely be a cherry on the cake.”

Keywords: singer Mathangi

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