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Tuneful journey Smita
Tuneful journey Smita

Pop singer Smita on music and her tri-lingual album ‘Smita’

Three albums, three languages, one pop starlet. Meet Smita, the young singer from Hyderabad whose new self-titled pop album with Sony-BMG has just hit the music stores in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil simultaneously.

“This is the first tri-lingual album,” says the singer.

She was in town recently to promote the Tamil version of the album — it’s her favourite, she says — with lyrics by Pa. Vijay set to the tunes by Bollywood music director duo Sajid-Wajid of Welcome and Partner fame.

“I don’t know what made the difference, perhaps it’s the way the lyrics fit the tune, but I enjoyed listening to the Tamil album the most after it was done,” she says.

The 26-year-old is no stranger to singing in any of the three languages — she’s cut one album in Hindi before, Hai Rabba (2000), Kalakkal (2004) in Tamil and six in all in Telugu, but this is the first time she’s tackling all three at one go.

Her musical journey began in 1997, when at the age of 15 she was selected as the winner of the TV show Padutha Thiyaga by none other than S. P. Balasubramanium. She made a natural transition to singing in Telugu films — she has over 100 songs to her credit and won the Filmfare Award in 2005 for Evaraina Chusuntara.

But her father felt she should take pop music more seriously, and once she got a taste of it, Smita was hooked.

“He was thinking in terms of my being a singer-dancer-performer rather than just being a singer behind the scenes,” she says. “That really appealed to me.”

And from there mom took over. “Until my last album, she basically took care of everything — I used to just sing and perform,” says Smita.

With this tri-lingual album, though, all that’s changed. “This is one is entirely my own effort — starting with the music right up to the making of the video, I was closely involved,” she says.

The result is Smita, an album covering several genres, from folk, retro, hip-hop and romantic ballads to desi-style melodies. It’s also one step closer to her ultimate dream — to do an international English-language album and enter the Billboard charts. That’s why she spent three months in the U.S., training with a voice and modulation coach, and learning dance, gymnastics and martial arts prior to making this album, and even shed 14 kgs.

“I want to see the day when an Indian pop artiste is recognised on the international stage,” she says.

Meanwhile, there’s always her new album in stores and her music videos Konjam Konjamaaka, directed and choreographed by Bosco-Caesar of Dus and Bluffmaster fame, and En Suvaasame to catch on TV.

DIVYA KUMAR

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