Welcome Shreya, we Sydneysiders look forward to listening to you

Kris Raman - Shreya Ghoshal










By Kris Raman

A singer of the top echelon is prudently judged by the respect and following of the music lovers the singer attracts. Shreya Ghoshal triumphs in this regard, judged by the huge caravan that follows her religiously to whichever venues where she performs. ”˜Piu’ (Shreya Ghoshal’s pet name) is a phenomenon currently sitting pretty high up on a perch others cannot venture near. Nightingale Lataji ruled the roost for many decades and we are now convinced that Shreya is a proven and worthy successor to Lataji.

I hear that Shreya Ghoshal is visiting us for the fourth time in as many years and a concert is planned to be held on August 21, 2016 at the massive Sydney Olympic Park arena (Indian Downunder Advertisement in June-July 2016 issue) and by a modest estimation it should be a packed affair. The show is named as ”˜Deewani Masthani’ is supported by major sponsors and guided by experienced entrepreneurs with proven ability to handle major shows.

When the nightingale and others of her vintage and class faded out from the scene, over ten years ago it was the notion of many that it was hard to fill up the void, though there were Alka Yagnik, Sadhana Sargam, Kavitha Krishna Moorthy and others of lesser ability and stature keenly waiting on the wings to flutter in to9 the number one spot. From nowhere appeared a brilliant singer named Shreya Ghoshal and arguably she became the number one female film singer of Hindi cinema in no time quick smart. Her success so far is phenomenal; 4 National awards, 6 Film Fare awards, 9 Film Fare south India awards, 7 IFFAs, 7 Zee cinema awards, 3 Mirchi Music Awards, 4 Guild Awards and 4 Kerala State Film Awards and many other gongs, against formidable oppositions. All these happened between 2003 and 2016.

Shreya is a Bengali Brahmin girl, from Rawat Bhata, Kota, of Rajasthan. Academically well up and conventionally trained in Hindustani Classical music everything goes in favour of her. Born on March 12, 1984, she was spotted by Sa Re Ga Ma Pa music context organizers and later encouraged by Kalyanji (Music Director) and Film Director S.L.Bhansali, her progress to stardom was meteoric and in a haste. Bhansali’s Devdas (Music Director of the film was Ismail Durbar) was the launching pad for Shreya’s vertical take-off. In rapid succession she snared the highly coveted Film fare Award and R.D.Burman’s ”˜Newly emerged talent’ award (year 2003) in her maiden film venture, Devdas. Her voice blended to the persona of screen Goddess Aishwarya Rai who was the heroine in Devadas. The ever popular song ”˜Dola re dola’ in film Devadas won her accolades and won for her many chances, to sing for some of the top Bollywood Music makers. To top it all in 2003 she won the National Award for the song ”˜Bairi Piya’.

I like to mention that her uncanny ability to sing in multitude of diverse hard to master styled Indian languages is something out of this world. A key element of her success is her perfect language diction and intonation capacity with which she blends well with the characteristic theme and style of the song. When I first heard her sing in Malayalam, I thought here is a Malayalee girl with a great future, soon to find that she in fact is a Bengali girl and a gift to our Kerala music. Shreya told me in an interview that she goes to great length to learn the pronunciation of words to perfection, as well as to understand the characteristics of the language culture and blends them all with her singing ability. ”˜Swara madhuryam (sweetness of sound) ”˜Laya gnanam” (sense of timing) and ”˜gana alapana parijnanam’ ( singing ability) makes one a great singer. Shreya is a true example of that notion.

Shreya’s music trainer is her mother who is a good classically trained musician and it immensely helped Shreya to become a good singer.

She recently graduated in English literature, she wishes to do a Masters’ degree in English literature. Philosophical in her conversations she thinks God shows the path she has to follow. She says “I meekly do so”. Many things happen because of destiny, like she was born in a musical family; her home was always a hub of musical activities. She thinks she is a “culture curry”. She did not say why so?

Everyone has an inbuilt favouritism streak in him and her. Shreya too has favourities ! ”˜Shreya’s ”˜favourites’:  favourite screen heroes (Guru Dutt and Madhuri Dixit), Favourite food (Mum’s fish curry and rice), favourite holiday spot (Mauritius), favourite perfume (David Off), Favourite car (Not keen on cars still it has to be Porsche ”˜Cayenne’ GTS Edition 3,2010, or its latest version. Good choices Shreya.

She is far ahead among the pack of the current professional singers, and to me she will be there for long innings God willing.

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