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A chit chat with Sowmya Raoh

By Staff

Courtesy: IndiaFM
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Sowmya Raoh - does the name strike a chord? Well, it surely will when we tell you that she is the voice behind songs like Nach Baliye (Bunty Aur Babli), Dilbara (Dhoom), Jeena (Dum) and Laila Laila (Samay) ! Just to name a few.

This trained singer from South believes in quality work.

Was taking up singing as a career your personal choice or something that happened due to the influence of your father, considering he was a reputed singer?
My mother was a Kannada singer and I used to accompany her to the recording studios. Then I started as a child singer. My father was with RBI. He was also a singer and along with them I started singing. Then I took a break for some years and resumed singing when I was in college. That time I was not quite serious as I never thought that I will take it as a profession.

Did your training happen at home or did you take any formal training in singing from outside?
It's a discipline in South that each child should learn either music or singing. I learnt Karnataka classical singing for 5 to 6 years. Later I shifted to light music.

You started off as a dubbing artist...
Yes, when I was in Bangalore in 1993, I started as dubbing artist. After that people began to know me and my work. Music composer Sandeep Chowta was looking for a singer, who could sing Hindi songs. Initially when I used to sing with Chitra, I used to observe her. I learned few things from her. And of course everyone learns from trails and errors, I too. It is a slow process but quality has been a part of my work.

Wasn't the Telugu song "Greekuveerudu" from the film Ninna Pelladata a turning point in your career?
Yes it was. I was singing for Sandeep Chowta at Banglore when Ninna Pelladata happened. The response was quite appreciating. Sandeep wanted a singer to sing in Tamil and Telugu along with Hindi.

How did you start out in Bollywood?
Well, I can say that I grew up watching Hindi music so there were no extra efforts to grasp the language. In year 2000, when I used to visit Bombay on and off, I got my first project. I lent my song for the 'Soul of Jungle' and then a background track of Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya. Company was my first Hindi film as a singer. After that, other Hindi films like Dum, Bunty Aur Bubli happened.

Does the actor's personality affect the voice you lend to them?
No, it doesn't affect to any actor's personality. While in my case my voice is heroine oriented so I don't have to modulate my voice. I have sung for many actresses in various languages and different types of songs.

Do you believe in singing only for a particular type of songs or would like to try different genres?
I love to experiment; similarly I would like to try the entire genre. I want to explore my voice in every genre. Till now I have not restricted myself to any specific types of songs. I am open to every new thing that excites me as a singer.

How tough is it to sing in different languages?
Kannada is my mother tongue, so if you know Kannada language then you end up following Tamil and Telgu languages too. I used to hear lot of languages and grasp it quite fast.

Who is your favorite singer in Bollywood?
I like Lata Mangeshkar, Sukhwinder, K.K, Shaan and they all are good singers. But if you ask me about my favorite singer then I would say its Sonu Nigam. He is the most versatile singer in Bollywood. He is an idol for me.

Any particular music director that you would like to work with?
I have worked with most of the music directors like Sandeep Chowta, Anu Mallik, Vishal Shekhar and Shankar Ehsaan Loy. There are many with whom I would like to work with. I want to work with everyone as they all have their own style of music.

You have done many live shows. What's the difference between performing live and singing in a studio?
Performing live on stage is totally different from singing in a studio. On stage you have to exert your voice or you have to be little loud. Whereas in a studio you have to be extra careful as there is lot of creativity involved in making a song.

How important is winning awards for you?
Winning an award is good but it doesn't mean that if you get an award, you are a good singer or vice versa. It feels good when you are appreciated by the audiences. But at the same time you have to be realistic as there are so many talented people around. So in that case winning an award is like getting appreciated by our audience.

Tell us about your upcoming assignments?
There are some films that I am working on. But I can't name them as they are under production. I have sung for Khosla Ka Ghosla that's releasing soon. I am also singing for a Yash Raj movie.

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