Abhilasha Chellam is her name. And she has won over the judges with her pristine renderings of Lata Mangeshkar's numbers. When the girl recently auditioned for Zee's Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, judges Vishal-Shekhar were so bowled over they immediately decided Abhilasha is the voice of tomorrow.
The girl who has sung in front of and been praised by Lata Mangeshkar, chose one of Lata Mangeshkar's most complex tunes 'Tu Chanda Main Chandni' from the film Reshma Aur Shera …and Abhilasha swam through it!
Now the judges feel the girl has the potential to shape up into a prominent voice of tomorrow.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Shekhar Ravjiani says, "When we heard Abhilasha we knew we were in the midst of extraordinary talent. Of course this country is filled with young singing talent and we're only to happy to see them on the show. But Abhilasha is special. She has the same voice-quality as Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghosal. The two singers do not need any voice-adjustment when they record. We feel Abhilasha has the same quality."
But Shekhar is not in favour of making singing commitments to Abhilasha or any other contestants.
Abhilasha Chellam Says the composer, "We don't believe in saying, 'Aapko hum gaane ka mauqa denge.' That fact that we believe in Abhilasha is enough testimony. Having said that I must point out that Sa Re Ga Ma Pa contestants Amanat Ali and Raja Hassan have sung for us. There's no reason why Abhilasha shouldn't. She is phenomenal."
Shekhar agrees new voices are always welcome in Bollywood. But he doesn't agree that there is a scarcity of competent voices. "We think Shreya and Sunidhi among the female singers and Shaan and KK among the male are very good."
Shekhar himself is doing substantial playback singing .He sang recently for Imran Khan in I Hate Luv Storys and now again for Imran in Break Ke Baad. Composing partner Vishal Dadlani recently sang the chartbuster Dan Te Nan for Shahid Kapoor in Kaminey.
Do we see a clash of interest here in the ear?
Shekhar emphatically erases all such notions. "Vishal and I were friends before we became music partners. Unlike other composing duos, we don't compose tunes separately. Each of our songs carries our collective identity."