By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Friday, September 08, 2006
It cannot be a coincidence. But the old order of singers in the industry seems to be dissolving ...A brand new order of playback singers seem to be emerging. "And the best part of their talent is the originality," says Vishal Bhardwaj who used to dabble in quite a lot of new voices, like KK and Rekha Bhardwaj when he was actively composing music. "I find none of the new singers imitating the singing greats namely Lataji, Ashaji, Mukesh, Rafi Saab and Kishore Kumar. That's a very encouraging sign."
For sure the singers who appeared on the singing scene ten or even fifteen years ago were pale imitations of the greats. Sonu Nigam was inspired by Mohd Rafi, Abhijeet was a Kishore Kumar clone. We even had a Kumar Sanu clone in Babul Supriyo! The country's top female playback singers of the 1990s Alka Yagnik was totally enamored of Lata Mangeshkar.
The change in the singing order started with KK, Shaan and Shreya Ghosal who came in at the turn of the millennium. These singers didn't imitate the legendary voices but forged their own path. Now we have singers like Arnab Mukherjee, Himani Kapoor and Vinit Singh - all acutely young singers with no trace of the singing legends.
Says Arnab Mukherjee, "I've sung the popular 'Vaada raha' song in Khakee for Akshay Kumar. For an upcoming singer it's very important to sing for a popular leading man. That's the only way he gets noticed initially."
Vinit Singh who's being trained by composer Himesh Reshammiya has already sung a song for the popular composer . "Yes, " says Vinit, "I've sung the song for Zayed Khan in Rocky." All of 16, Vinit is already dreaming of singing for the established heroes.
Barely a couple of months in Mumbai, Himani Kapoor, again a finalist for the decisive music contest Sa Re Ga Ma, recorded a thumri for composer Aadesh Shrivastava in Kalpana Lajmi's Chingari . She's now in the charts with the title song in Dil Diya Hai.
Lajmi can't get over what she heard. "The minute she opened her mouth, I knew Himani had arrived. What confidence poise... and an absolutely original voice." Now she has recorded yet another song, this time for Himesh Reshammiya. Says Aadesh appreciatively, "It's very rare to see a singer achieve such distinction at the age of 17. Himani seems to have Goddess Saraswati's blessings straight in her throat."
TV has also given the industry other notable warblers. The Indian Idol winner Abhijeet Sawant and finalist Rahul Vaidya and Amit Sana, Fame Gurukul winners Rooprekha and Qazi Tauqeer also seem destined for the big time.
Will this bubbly breed of singers achieve the success of the previous generations? Says Aadesh, "I'd say they have it in them to make it even bigger than some of our most established playback singers. Besides the josh and the junoon, they have the sur and range. That's what makes the upcoming generation of singers so special."