2011 was special, says Shreya Ghoshal

If “Chikni Chameli” had the janta hopping on to the dance floor, then “Saibo” had the listeners under its spell. And your playlist can’t be complete without the chart-topping “Ooh La La” that recreated the 80s magic.

Shreya Ghoshal – the voice behind these hits – admits that 2011 was special. “Some songs are soul-stirring and some are hip-stirring, and this has been a year for both. I would say it’s been a versatile year. “Saibo” was among the most-heard numbers, while “Ooh La La” belonged to a completely differently genre.”

Though “Saibo” seemed like a song that was completely up her alley, “Ooh La La” surprised the listeners. And if that wasn’t enough, there was “Chikni Chameli”. “”Ooh La La” was a hardcore commercial number. I have sung such songs before, but “Chikni Chameli” surprised everyone. It has a very rustic feel. Not just listeners, but even people close to me couldn’t recognise my voice. It felt great because I love surprising people. I am still getting emails and messages for the song,” she says.

So what’s more challenging, singing an item number or a romantic song? “Every song is unique. “Chikni Chameli” was challenging because it needed me to be uninhibited and lose control. Whereas if I am singing a sensuous song that requires my voice to be husky, then I have to be precise. That demands a lot of control over your vocals,” she says.

Both “Ooh La La” and “Chikni Chameli” are numbers that are typical item numbers, so did she feel awkward singing the lyrics? “”Ooh La La” wasn’t a pretentious song. It was in your face. “Chikni Chameli” too is such a fun number. I didn’t find the words objectionable. Traditionally, music and dance forms like lavani have a naughty flavour to it. This too is a part of music and it’s existed for many years.”

Speaking about the current trend, Shreya feels that this is a great time for singers as music directors are now more open to experimenting with singers instead of giving them songs that they are comfortable with.

She says, “Both Ajay-Atul and Vishal-Shekhar gave me numbers that rocked. Usually, people want to play safe, but now music directors, as well as singers, are breaking the rules.” And the rules of the game are definitely changing. Non-filmi albums that had disappeared from the scene are now making a comeback. And Shreya too is looking forward to exploring that space. But as of now, she’s basking in the glory of “Chikni Chameli” and “Ooh La La”. She says, “”Chikni Chameli” released in 2011, but has spilled over to this year. So it’s been a great beginning and I am sure this, too, will prove to be an interesting year.”

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