OTHERS

Music from the girlzone

SHE'S HERE only for the second time. To the land of `Rasam Vada,' that she just cannot resist. ``I need to lose weight, but I can't,'' she goes on to confess about her weakness. ``I can't resist food'', says the Commerce graduate from MMK College of Bandra, Mumbai.

Falguni Pathak is only 26. And her second album `Maine Payal Hai Chhankai' has sold over one million copies. Falguni, however hasn't let the success go to her head. She, in fact, lets it down to her feet, packing that extra punch of energy into her performance. The spontaneous jig comes naturally: ``Jab music bajne lagta hai, to mere ko ho jaata hai.'' (When the music starts playing, it happens to me).

It happened in Chennai at Gatsby 2000 as well. Falguni was here for 24 hours. She arrived on Wednesday morning, talked to mediapersons the whole day, went around Landmark and Music World in the evening, and then the `Chennai Chamatkar' show at Hotel Park Sheraton.

The down-to-earth pop-star made her debut when she was 10, at the INS Udaigiri ship during the Independence Day celebrations. Hailing from a Gujarati family, and the home of `Garba', Falguni grew up listening to the radio. Her favourites Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar and Music director R.D.Burman. But she likes ``Har tarah ke gaane'' (all kinds of songs).

In the last eight years, the `Dandiya Queen' has been one of the most sought-after artistes for the festival. Though initially, Polygram wanted her to do a Dandiya album, they then decided to do a pop album to reach audiences throughout India.

And `Yaad Piya Ki..' happened. And what an impact it left behind. It was a stage show in Delhi, and Falguni was one of the performers for the evening. She was the last artiste for the day. As she went back to her green room, ``ek mota gol bachha'' (one fat round boy) sneaked in and said ``Well done Team No.9. Well done,'' referring to the music video of `Yaad Piya Ki..'-her team in the video was No.9.

She was most surprised when last month in Jakarta, the gatekeeper of the hotel told her what a rage the album was there. ``Wherever I go, they don't let me go till I sing it 4-5 times,'' says Falguni.

Why does she sport a boyish look? ``Right from school, apart from uniform, I've only worn shorts and jeans. Now, it's mostly jeans. And I never grew my hair,'' she says.

Falguni believes that Classical music is a must for aspiring singers. Though she had no formal training, she has been learning Classical music for the last four years. ``It is not as glamorous as it looks. Behind the glamour, there is a lot of hard work involved. You have to be committed and success comes only after a lot of struggle,'' are her words for aspiring singers.

``Hardwork, Voice and Energy,'' she believes are her strengths. She hasn't really tried playback singing for films yet and hasn't thought about any shift from pop. The third video from `Maine Payal Hai Chhankai' titled `Jhanjar' is under production and she will cut a new album with Universal in June.

Among her contemporaries, she likes Shankar Mahadevan, Usha Uthup and Shubha Mudgal and she does listen to Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Boyzone. Movies? She likes the old Hindi ones: ``Old is gold, na,'' she says.

By Sudhish Kamath

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