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Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Have you heard of Madhushree? Or rather, should we ask have you heard Madhushree? For sure you have. But if the name doesn't instantly click in your mind, let us tell you that she is the same girl who sang 'Kabhi Neem Neem, Kabhi Shahad Shahad' from Yuva. Indeed Shahad (honey-soaked) is her voice - that's where Sujata Bhattacharya gets her rechristened name from.
Madhushree (Madhu means honey) as she is popularly known in the music industry has sung for films like Saathiya, Swades, Kisna, Paheli, Mangal Pandey and Rang De Basanti to name a few. IndiaFM has an exclusive conversation with the talented singer.
Was taking up singing as a career your personal choice or something that happened by chance?
Basically I come from a musical family. I have been singing from childhood. It became a career option once I knew I could sing well for the audience. Singing is something I have always been inclined towards.
Did training happen at home or you took formal training in singing from outside as well?
I took training from my father. But after learning the basics I did take professional training from my guruji.
How did you start in Bollywood?
I was in south, doing really well. People used to tell me that my voice is very good for Bollywood. So I thought of giving it a chance. I met with music directors and they liked my voice. I worked with Rahman, Rajesh Roshan, Shankar Ehsan Loy to name a few. That is how I entered and now I am working hard.
You work mostly with A.R.Rahman
Yes, but I sing for others too. I enjoy singing for A.R.Rahman. He experiments very well with the songs he asks me to sing. I believe his songs are very different. I really thank God and A.R.Rahman whenever he calls me to sing for him and we have been giving good songs together so far.
You are still known as the Neem Neem girl.
'Kabhi Neem Neem' became a superhit and hence I came in the lime light. But earlier also I sang songs which were hits like 'Kuch Na Kaho' and 'Maahi Ve'. But yes, 'Kabhi Neem' was a different song. I sang for Rani and my voice suited her perfectly.
Are you singing in the film Guru?
Yes. I am. The song is called 'Baazi Laga'. It is a very foot tapping number. It is an item song. I am looking forward to it.
Is this the same song in which Mallika Sherawat does an item number?
I do not know about that. But this song is not on Aishwarya, I can say that. Rest you have to wait and watch. That is all I can tell you.
Does the actor's personality affect the voice you lend to them?
Of course it does. I always ask before I sing for a star since I have to prepare myself accordingly.
Do you believe in singing only for a particular type of songs or would you like to try different genres?
I like all types of songs. I would like to do everything differently.
How tough is it to sing in different languages?
It is a little difficult. We are used to singing in Hindi. Different languages need a lot more of concentration. It is easy if you are used to singing in different languages.
Who are your favorite singers?
I like Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosale and Lataji.
Any particular music director you would like to work with?
I would have loved to work with Madan Mohan!
You must have done many live shows. What is the difference between performing live and singing in a studio?
Recording is for a particular star. You are singing for them, as their voice. In shows, I am myself, singing as myself. I enjoy both. But the bottom line is public should enjoy what we do.
How important is winning awards?
It is important and it is not also. If you win an award, you feel you are getting due credit for your talent and hard work. But on the other hand, if you do not win an award but the song is popular then that becomes my reward.
Tell us about your upcoming assignments
Mukhbir, Manthan, Guru.
Finally, what is your real name?