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‘I’d love to sing for South Indian cinema’

RANJANI RAJENDRA
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Chat Playback singer Akriti Kakkar, who will be performing in the city soon, talks about her performance and forthcoming projects

She has performed in Hyderabad several times before and the audiences have loved her hits from Johnny Gaddar, Billu Barber, Chup Chup Ke and Golmaal Returns . But this time round Akriti Kakkar promises to offer her audiences something different. The Bollywood playback singer who will be in the city for the music concert Boondon Ka Paigham on July 27, intends to break away from her usual genre of popular film music and perform to some classics and ghazals etc.

“At my past performances in Hyderabad, which were mainly corporate shows, I sang some of my popular numbers like ‘Marjaani’. But I’ve always wanted to do so much more than just film music. This is my opportunity to showcase the other side of me to the audience and I plan to sing some very different songs,” says Akriti, adding that while Mumbai is all about popular film music, the audience in Hyderabad is more open to listening to old songs as well.

The singer who is thrilled at the chance to perform something different, says that often organisers don’t expect a 26-year-old playback singer like her to do much more than Bollywood songs. “At Boondon Ka Paigham I intend to sing a mix of ghazals, sufi songs and some old classics like some K.L. Saigal’s numbers. At the same time I want to keep it simple and reinvent the songs so I can keep my audience engaged,” says Akriti, whose band will comprise of a jazz pianist, a percussionist, a bass and lead guitarist each and a flautist.

Talking about K.L. Saigal’s music, Akriti says that it’s what she was made to listen to as a child. “My father would tell me that this was the kind of music that would always stay in people’s minds. In fact, while other five-year-olds recited poems to neighbours and friends I would sing them Saigal songs,” she laughs.

Apart from Bollywood music, Akriti also has her hands full with music for regional cinema. “In the last two years I’ve been singing for a lot of regional cinema as well. In fact, until now I didn’t realise how popular they were. I’ve sung for Jeet Ganguly and some of my Bengali and Marathi songs are very popular,” she says. Quiz the Delhi girl on how she manages to get her diction right when singing in other languages and she says, “A lot depends on my music director. They don’t select a singer till they are sure he/she will be able to get the diction right. Also my first guru was a Bengali himself and he always insisted that I polish my diction. He would always tell me that if we were news readers, people would never understand what we said because of our diction. To improve this, he would make me read out articles from Hindi and English newspapers and record them to see how clear my diction was.”

The singer who is a huge fan of musicians like Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, R.D. Burman, Madan Mohan, Mohd Rafi and Nat King Cole among others, would love to record for South Indian films in the future. “South Indian cinema has some very beautiful music and I would like to be a part of it. It’s always a delight to sing good melodies,” she smiles.

RANJANI RAJENDRA

I’ve always wanted to do so much more than just film music. This is my opportunity to showcase the other side of me to the audience and I plan to sing some very different songs

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