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In love with the stage

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO
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Chat Performing on stage takes priority over playback singing, says Richa Sharma

Dream journeySinger Richa Sharma
Dream journeySinger Richa Sharma

Richa Sharma has got used to living out of suitcases, travelling to perform live in different cities. “It is not an exaggeration when I say that I have lived my life on stage. The stage has always been my school,” says the singer. Richa's journey to fame is stuff that dreams are made of. She started singing for religious events in Faridabad and Delhi when she was barely eight.

“I trained in classical music and later learnt ghazals and folk before moving to Mumbai in 1994. After a few devotional albums, I got my first Bollywood break through ‘Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya' and then ‘Hera Pheri' followed. But it was ‘Taal' (‘Ni Main Samajh Gayee') that made people notice me. I will always be indebted to A.R. Rahman, Subhash Ghai and Sukhwinder Singh,” says Richa.

“Zubeidaa”, “Saathiya”, “Kaante” (“Maahi Ve”) and many films followed and she was sought after for folk, Sufi and dance numbers. “Composers began trusting me. I was learning, gaining experience and adapting to film music.”

Richa believes that her strength lies in her ability to shift between genres. “I was disappointed when my song in ‘Mangal Pandey' (‘Chaliya Rasiya'), for which I sang in three tones, went unnoticed. Luckily, I got to try out more variations in the films that followed.

The year 2010 gave me two most memorable songs — ‘Zor ka Jhatka' (‘Action Replayy') and ‘Rom Rom Tera Naam Pukara – Sajda' (‘My Name is Khan'). Both these songs were in the Top 10 lists of the year and got me great feedback and awards. As a singer, I was happy I could do justice to such different songs.”

Her forthcoming films include “Shanghai” (music by Vishal and Shekar), “Trishna” (Amit Trivedi) and “Life in Taj Mahal” (Jagjit Singh).

As a parting note, she says she prefers to divide her time between recording devotional and film albums and live performances. “My priority will always be to sing on stage. More than monetary reasons, I started my career on stage and that's where I belong.”

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

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