Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shreya Ghoshal's musical journey in 2009

For many years, two or three singers shared the top slot in female playback. Now there seems to be only you. How does that feel?

I don’t think that’s true. But yes, songs are being made specifically and specially with me in mind. From time to time there is always a change in the way music is made and used, depending upon the kind of films being made too. So, I am somehow associated with the more melodious or soft kind of songs that require a classical voice.

What have you to say about the fact that the proper, true-blue playback singers’ ratio of songs has come down, and that anybody and everybody sings for Hindi films today?

I think that proper playback singers have always been there in the best of songs. Yes, there is a lot of experimentation going on with things like voice, tones and singing and some of these voices are doing good work. Luck plays a huge role in a singer’s career and so does the quality and likeability of his or her voice and singing style. The good people among such talents need to come in too. But the trend is that people love every new voice, like I am amused when someone like Atif Aslam gets so much work. My own brother likes him, and I don’t know why and how? I suppose it has to do with some exotic new tenor, but for me there is no substitute for proper singing. Please do not misunderstand me – I have nothing against any nationality. Adnan Sami , for example , adds something to every song he sings and he is also a very talented composer.

This phenomenon, luckily is more amongst male singers, where even most of the music directors are singing?

True, but what a singer can add to a song, a music director may not be able to match, despite the song being his creation. But it's not as if Sunidhi Chauhan and I and all of us are that lucky- we have very little songs to sing now, compared to male singers! Tum Mile and Rocket Singh are the examples.

What about the change in equation-first ranks the sound, hooks and grooves, then the novel voice and lastly the lyrical value and compositional caliber, when good music always has exactly opposite priorities?

I don’t think that good lyrics will ever go out of fashion. Yes, some people have this problem, but there are others who get around even these obstacles in clever ways. Like Vishal Bharadwaj adopts today’s trends in his own unique way and it sounds great - the music has caliber and is accepted. We have to understand here, that a lot of the old songs were too loud and over dressed. The trend today is to keep sound arrangements sparse and clean, unless a huge sound is really needed for a song. A classic example for this is Himesh Reshmiyaji’s Radio. Today’s major music directors have brought in this really refreshing change. The right dressing for a song is important. Having said that, I agree that today’s musical requirements are as much based on fixed ideas as in olden times- they want two songs for the pubs, one romantic track, one Punjabi and one hip-hop number, because that’s what works now-a-days.

What kind of difference do you see in today’s music and old music? Which kind of music you like to listen to?

I am a classical singer and love singing and listening to classical. At the same time, I am into today’s world, where it is competitive, and I love singing pop music too, which actually doesn’t suit my voice much. But I guess the songs which have raag, I mean the songs based on classical singing, are pretty close to my heart. But there are another kind of songs too … like today’s music. Few songs become more hit only for a time span and then you forget them.

You also sing regional songs, how do you manage to sing in those languages which you don’t know?

Yes, I have sung in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bhojpuri and others. These are the languages which I don’t know. I have also sung in Bengali, but that’s my mother tongue. Singing a song is not too difficult, you can write it in Hindi or in which ever language you are comfortable in and get the pronunciation right. It depends upon the music composer too and how well he can guide you; so it’s not so difficult.

You have sung so many songs till date but which one is close to you? As in, which of your song you think is the best till date?

There are so many, I actually don’t even remember all the songs. But right now I can remember Mere Dholna from Bhool Bhulayiya was one of my best songs. Almost all songs from Devdas too, as I established myself in the industry after Devdas only. But let me tell you that my film Antaheen, which is a Bengali film album had an unplugged sound that went against the trend and was more of an album. It was top of the charts for 27 weeks. The music was by Jeet Ganguly, who is currently doing a fantastic job.

What is the difference between Shreya in her Devdas, Jism and Saaya days and the Shreya of today?

Well, as a singer, I have definitely grown. My voice has changed from the girlish tenor of those days and I have acquired some knowledge and experience that makes me enjoy my work more. I am now able to give some inputs to a song, and this helps especially the new composers while it also gives me immense pleasure in contributing to my song. I can say it with confidence now - that I now have a sound of my own.


No comments: