"I consider myself very lucky"
To Kalyanji must go the credit, of selecting some of the best talent in the country through his Kalaveer Academy. Almost all singers in Bollywood today are his protÃ©gÃ©s in one way or another. To add to the AnuradhaPaudwal, Sonali Vajpayee, Sunidhi Chauhan gang, comes young Shreya Ghoshal. From small time singing she's hit big time with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas in which she playbacks for Aishwarya Rai.
We trace this 18 year old's journey into film singing.
"I'm a Bengali from Rajasthan Kota where I spent 13 years of my life. My father was working in NPC the Nuclear power corporation. I'm here in Bombay for the last five years. My parents have shifted here to help me pursue a singing career. Today I'm studying in SIES Collegeand have just finished my FYBA."
How it all started
"I participated in the children's episode of the Sa re ga ma contest on Zee Tv where Kalyanjibhai was the judge. I won the contest. He was impressed by my potential and was very insistent that we be based in Mumbai so I could follow my singing. He convinced my parents and we shifted here. My father took a transfer and I started learning with Kalyanjibhai. I was with him for one and a half years. I started learning singing from the age of four, initially I learnt from my mother and I still do. Dad too has a fine sense of music and teaches me. The fine nuances of expressions etc. In Mumbai I'm learning classical singing under Shrimati Mukta Bhide. In Rajasthan I studied classical under Shri Maheshchandra Sharma. I feel that though one may do light singing it's important to have a classical base. I've learnt from listening to Lata Mangeshkar. AshaBhosle, listening to folk songs. I'm also learning western music, the piano with Mr Leon D'souza. I want to imbibe all kinds of music.
"Sanjay Bhansali saw me on the mega finals of Sa re ga ma-I was under age but Gajendra Singh asked me to participate. I happened to win the mega finals –that was mega finals two. Sanjayji saw this and contacted me through Gajendraji and I came to meet him. I still remember the date 9th march 2000. I sang for him and I happened to sing all his favorite numbers - Lata Mangeshkar's old songs. He's a big fan of Lata Mangeshkar and we shared our taste in music. Then I rehearsed for three days and he gave me a number from Devdas to sing. He approved and my work started."
Shreya is not new to the microphone having sung some marathi and Bengali songs earlier. When she was signed on by Bhansali she was a science student but realized that a full fledged career was beckoning her and shifted to the Arts stream. Shreya has sung five songs for Devdas and is pretty thrilled that she's working with the likes of Anu Malik for JP Dutta's much hyped LoC and Vidhu vinod Chopra' next film with Shahrukh khan and Aishwarya Rai-here she again sings for Aishwarya-the film is Munnabhai MBBS.
Her work with Vinod Chopra was also coincidental. Anu Malik was at the recording but no singer had been chosen yet and Anu asked Shreya to sing for Vinod Chopra and convince him that she was the right choice for this song.
"I went to the mike and started singing and after the first line itself Vinod Chopra decided that I would sing it. I'm very happy that I'm singing Anu Malik songs these are very good songs the best of Anu Malik. I had met Anu Malik earlier but nothing had worked out but he had kept my voice in mind."
"I'm now working with Amar Mohile son of Anil Mohile who is starting his career. I'm singing for Ismail Darbar in another film too, in fact I'm recording for him tomorrow."
"I consider myself very lucky that Sanjay uncle came into my life and gave me such a big break. All of a sudden career has started off. I feel blessed no one could have got a better vehicle than this to start off."