Songs unstoppable

prabalika m. borah
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Interview Shreya Ghoshal has been hitting the high notes since she entered the film industry

I t was almost 10 p.m. when singer Shreya Ghoshal was finally free for an interview. Despite her long hours of work, the singer sounded relaxed and was in an upbeat mood what with her track ‘Mashallah’ from Ek Tha Tiger scorching the charts. A sought-after singer in the industry, Shreya first floored the nation with her songs in Devdas. She also has many hits to her credit in regional films.

Have you seen any changes in the industry since you began your career?

A lot has changed and it is for the good. The quality of music has improved and the industry is seeing a lot of new talent. What is amazing is the importance which regional music is being given. It proves that music knows no boundaries.

Talking of regional music how comfortable are you singing in languages other than Hindi and Bengali?

I learnt to sing in Bengali, my mother tongue, then went on to sing in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati and every possible Indian language. My first Telugu song was for music director Mani Sharma in the Gunasekhar-directed Okkadu which became quite a rage. In fact I sang for the Tamil industry even before I started singing in Hindi. During my Sa Re Ga Ma Pa {a reality show on Zee TV} days as a contestant I was practising in the long corridors of the Mahalakshmi studios and Karthik Raja heard me.

How do you manage to sing in regional languages without understanding the meaning?

Yes, in the beginning I used to think understanding the lyrics will help emote. But music director Ilaiyaraaja sir corrected me when I was singing for him. He said, ‘Go with the song. If you want to understand and emote as you sing, the flavour will be lost.’

How do you perceive the changes in music over the years?

A lot has changed since the 1960s. That was the time when music was rarely mediocre and the change has been gradual. That was the time when people were patient and waited in excitement for a new song or a new composition. The present industry is hard-pressed for time. While that’s leaving many musicians confused, there are others who have been able to impress the audience. One thing is for sure, synthetic music of today cannot match the classical music of yesterday.

Any regret of not singing a song which you enjoy listening to?

If I like a song then I like it in totality and wouldn’t think I can do better justice to it.

What do you prefer? A live performance or a studio recording?

A studio is like a meditation room where music is created. And a live performance is the place where the creation of the studio is taken ahead. I love both.

What keeps you busy other than singing?

When I am not recording I do live shows or am at home catching up on shows which I regularly watch. But there will always be some music around me. I love the idea of waking up to a song. It could be any song.

prabalika m. borah

A studio is like a meditation room where music is created. And a live performance is the place where the creation of the studio is taken ahead



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