Meet the Bright Young Belles of the Music Industry

MUMBAI — It’s a trend nowadays for multiple new talents to arrive every year in every field. Television contests, the trend for novelty in voices and less demand on musical training have all added to this influx. New singers in both sexes have abounded by the dozen in the last few years, and it’s time to home in on the most promising of the current new arrivals in playback singing among the ladies.

Their outer crust is of necessity different from the mould of Lata Mangeshkar’s or Alka Yagnik’s generations. Today’s topmost singers have a small slice of the pie in the increasingly divided share of songs, especially since female tracks have reduced, and all of these young ladies have to be performers as well.

Here, then, are some belles who are facing today’s divas — Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal — and are set to give other established or fairly well-known names like Mahalakshmi Iyer, Richa Sharma, Akriti Kakar and Shilpa Rao a run for their money. Part one of a two-part series.

ADITI SINGH SHARMA

Background: She’s lived for years in Poland and Russia. “I have been singing from the cradle, says mom, though I don’t believe that myself. My mom sings and even taught me Hindustani classical music initially. Dad’s hobby was being a percussionist and my brother and sister are also into music. I even learnt Bharatanatyam abroad!�

Lucky break and debut: In college, Aditi was into rock bands, and Ehsaan of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy heard her and asked her to sing in SEL’s Hindi versi on of “High School Musical 2.� Aditi has a band called Groove Adda, and Amit Trivedi heard her and casually asked her to record a track that turned out to be “Yehi Meri Zindagi� in “Dev.D.�

Claim to fame: “Dilli Dilli� and “Aali Re� from Trivedi’s “No One Killed Jessica�; “Game, � “Love Ka The End,� “Always Kabhi Kabhi, � “Emotional Atyachar� and “Turning 30!!!.�

Aiming for: “I want to make it big, for we are also actors who convey moods and emotions — but through the microphone. I want to do my own thing and not just do films.�

AMRITA KAK

Background: She is best known as Salman Khan’s protégé. Daughter of Bina Kak, the well-known politician who also moonlights in Hindi films as an actress (“Partner� et al), Amrita has been training in Indian classical music as a subject in her boarding school. “When I was in the eighth grade, I also began training in Maand, the Rajasthani genre of classical music, from Banu Begum in Jaipur.� She came to Mumbai to join St. Xavier’s College for a degree in mass communications, but Salman Khan, who had visited their home, had noticed a tanpura in her house and suggested that Amrita take up music very seriously. So in Mumbai, she began learning music with Sarfaraz Khan, Sajid-Wajid’s maternal uncle.

Amrita is also a firm believer in the maxim that with an Indian classical base, a singer can take on any kind of song, including the various Western genres. She credits her newfound desire to pursue music strongly as a profession to her husband (she got married in 2010) and in-laws and Salman.

Lucky break and debut: Salman took her to Himesh Reshammiya and made him listen to her voice. Himesh asked her to try out “Just Chill� (“Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya�), and that was it.

Claim to fame: “Junoon� (“Rocky�), “ Tujhe Aksa Beach Ghumaoo� (“God Tussi Great Ho�), “Love Me Love Me� (“Wanted�), “Character Dheela� and “Dhinka Chika� (“Ready�).

Aiming for: “I want to sing better and better. Himesh Reshammiya-ji has given me a challenging song in “Bodyguard.�

ANUSHA MANI

Background: Anusha has been training in music since she was a child. She began singing professionally during her second year in college in various plays. Having sung in Gujarati plays, she met Amit Trivedi and did a music album that was never released.

Lucky break and debut: She played out the album to Shankar Mahadevan, and recorded “Dhoka� for “Johnny Gaddaar.�

Claim to fame and USP: “Lazy Lamhe� from “Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic.� She has also sung for “Sikandar,� “Dev.D,� “Hum Tum Aur Ghost,� “Aisha,� “Game� and the forthcoming “Don 2.�

Aiming for: “I want to juggle playback and pop. Original pop music is the need of the day. I would love to do any kind of good music and at some point I would like to collaborate with all kinds of musicians and artists, including fusion and experimental music.�

Copyright 2011 India-West Publications Inc. This article may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher.

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