By: Joginder Tuteja IndiaFM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
When it came to females crooning Bollywood numbers in 2006, it was clearly a case of newcomers knocking hard on the doors of big league. While 'seniors' like Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal were sitting firmly at the top, relative new entrants like Tulsi Kumar, Anushka, Kavita Seth, Shilpa Rao and Nihira showed that they too had in them to make their presence felt in this industry that had opportunities for one and all. Result? A happy music lover who got to hear variety of voices and songs!
1. Sunidhi Chauhan
Sunidhi Chauhan enjoyed a BIG BANG in entire 2006 as she delivered one quality song after another on a consistent note. Some became highly popular while some didn't but the young lady proved that she had it in her to take on the mightiest of challenge by singing sheer variety of songs. So what if she feels shy of her 'Ye Mera Dil' [Don] in spite of it being a hit, she has an original super-duper 'masala' song of the year in the form of 'Beedi' [Omkara] to her credit. In the same vein she also has some superb sentimental songs like 'Dheemey Dheemey' [Bas Ek Pal], 'Humko Chhoone Paas Aayiye' [Zindaggi Rocks] and 'Yun Hota To Kya Hota' [Yun Hota To Kya Hota] which met with varied degrees of success but were high on quality quotient nonetheless. Sunidhi truly rules from the top!
2. Shreya Ghoshal
It's a heartening sight to see yet another young female singer taking such big strides in the Bollywood playback singing scene. Her journey to the top has followed almost similar pattern as that of Sunidhi Chauhan. In quick time, she has caught fancy of top composers and boasts of beautiful songs like 'Pal Pal' [Lage Raho Munnabhai], 'Barso Re' [Guru], 'Jaaneman' [Aryan] and 'Aa Paas Aa' [Ankahee], each of which comes with different shades.
3. Alka Yagnik
Class was apparent yet again as veteran Alka Yagnik got all her years of experience into force as the voice of 'Umrao Jaan'! She was flawless in 'Salaam', 'Pehle Pehle' and 'Jhute Ilzam' which were some of the best sung but sadly ignored songs from this Anu Malik soundtrack. Still, she had a big song to her credit as the title song for 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' which turned out to be chart topper.
4. Alisha Chinoy/Mahalaxmi Iyer
Together, the duo of Alisha Chinoy&Mahalaxmi Iyer got the night on fire with an erotic-n-thrilling 'Aaj Ki Raat'! Sensuality hadn't been brought to fore in such sheer magnificence as was in the case of this lounge number from 'Don'. She may have been on the music scene for decades now but Alisha Chinoy continues to rule when it comes to songs with sensual undertones. This was evident when she crooned for 20 something Sophia Chaudhary, a highly erotic song - 'Bad Boy' [Pyaar Ke Side Effects].
5. Anushka Manchanda
Wanna have some fun and hit the dance floor? Or you just want to have some great time with babes on the beach? Then hop on to the hip-hop number 'Golmaal' [Golmaal] that was sung with aplomb by VIVA singer Anushka Manchanda! A Hinglish song that was rendered seamlessly by young Anushka, it became hit around the time the film released but went on to be chartbuster as months passed by. Today, it is one of the most enjoyed urban songs due to its funky rhythm and an excellent rendition. Then came 'Zindaggi Rocks' which lent Sushmita Sen a true blue rock star image thanks to Anushka's lively rendition of the title track. Anushka rocks in the song!
6. Tulsi Kumar
She may as well be yet another singer to make news in the New Year. First to come was Anu Malik's title song version of 'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye' which was all sugar-n-saccharine in true Bollywood ishtyle! She came across as a very good singer for someone who had just started her playback career a few months back. Later when Himesh Reshammiya version of the title song came [a bigger hit], she even featured in its music video and soon became a household name. 'Sarfaroshi' [Tom Dick and Harry] was yet another popular number to her credit in a few weeks time and it started becoming clearer that Tulsi Kumar would certainly be enjoying a good run in Bollywood.
7. Rekha Bharadwaj
She just had one song in the year and she was superlative in her rendition. Rekha Bharadwaj who has sung exclusively only for her husband till date (musician-filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj), sang 'Namak Issak Ka' in 'Omkara'. Think of an item number and Sunidhi Chauhan strikes your mind. But Rekha redefined item singing in Bollywood with her intentional rustic rendition of the song, perfectly justifying the setting and ambience of the film. Though the song was not as popular as the other item number in the film (Beedi Jalaile), it was an aural delight and a rare gem in its own way. Rekha perfected the avadhi dialect and got all the nuances correct. Her vocals just made Bipasha Basu all the more sensual in the item song.
8. Kavita Seth
In spite of being situational, 'Mujhe Mat Roko' made such a stunning impact in the Gangster that one went back to the album to check it out again. The name Kavita Seth flashed and one knew that it marked the arrival of a talented singer who could do wonders if tried in different genres. A song set in the film's climax that could move any viewer/listener into tears, 'Mujhe Mat Roko' was a cry into the arms of someone you love! Not many might be aware that Kavita made her debut in 2005 with a less-known but extremely well-sung and mesmerizing song 'Maula' in Vaada.
9. Shilpa Rao
Just like Kavita Seth, Shipa Rao too made a powerful impact in Bollywood on the basis of a solitary number. 'Tose Naina Lage' from 'Anwar' has been her claim to fame and composer Mithoon promises that this classically trained singer can come up with a Western pop number with as much aplomb as a melody fused in Indian classical music. Watch out for her in 2007!
Nihira is the third relative newcomer after Kavita and Shilpa to have made composers sit up and take notice of her talent in the year gone by. In a star studded affair called 'Salaam-E-Ishq', she got an opportunity to sing a duet with Shaan, 'Mera Dil', and made quite an impression in this peppy melodious song. Unlike Kavita and Shilpa, she may not have had to prove her mettle with classical based songs but a popular number like 'Mera Dil' means she has arrived in the big league.