The situation was no different for Anusha Mani, who was finding it difficult to make a mark in the Hindi film industry. She had the talent but success was elusive. But one song — Lazy lamhe from Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic — changed it all. Her singing style was liked by music directors and listeners alike. Says Anusha, “There are a lot of singers in the industry today. However, there are only a few who are genuinely talented and are here to stay. Competition is cut-throat and one has to struggle a lot to be noticed.”
She feels this is the very reason why people know her songs, but they don’t know the singer behind them. “But, Lazy lamhe finally gave me the recognition I had been looking for,” she avers. Anusha, interestingly, has been around in the industry for some time now. “I started singing from a very young age. My family always encouraged me to pursue music as a career. By the time I was in college, I was singing for shows and competitions. In fact, Amit Trivedi (music director of Dev D) and I have done many shows together in college,” remembers Anusha.
Johnny Gaddar was her first tryst with Bollywood. “I had recorded a private album earlier, which Shankar Mahadevan liked. He offered me an opportunity to sing a song in Johnny Gaddar and I lapped it up, of course. He told me that only if everyone liked my rendition would they go ahead and release my version of the song. Thankfully, they did!” says Anusha.
How has her experience in the Hindi film industry been? “Like any other industry, the music industry too demands excellence. You need to be talented enough to survive here. But the only drawback is that many musicians do not want to experiment with new voices and prefer to stick to established singers,” rues Anusha. “I wish I can create a niche for myself like Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal. It is really commendable how they have done so well in the industry, solely on the basis of their talent,” she adds.
Anusha is definitely well poised to create her own identity in the industry. She is a trained singer and still continues to learn music. She has learned Carnatic music from Meera Nathan and is currently training under Sunil Gudgaonkar. “I have also learned a lot from Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar by constantly listening to their songs,” she says.
What very few people are aware of is the fact that Anusha is a lyricist as well and has written songs for Abhijeet Sawant’s album Junoon and some other albums as well. “I used to write a lot earlier. But right now, it is just a hobby and nothing else. I want to concentrate more on my singing,” says Anusha.
So, what next? Anusha has her plate full. She is a part of major releases in the near future. “I am singing for Don 2, Nagesh Kukunoor’s next film, and another yet-to-be-titled film, which has music by Sangeet-Siddhant Haldipur,” says a thrilled Anusha.