She is known to have rendered Bade Ghulam Ali Khan ghazals and item numbers like Chikni Chameli with equal mastery.
Perhaps one of the most melodious voices today is that of Shreya Ghoshal’s. When the singer first burst onto the music arena with her scintillating numbers in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Devdas, she revolutionised the music scene, which had been static for nearly a decade before her. She is known to have rendered Bade Ghulam Ali Khan ghazals (Bhor Bhai in Delhi-6) and item numbers like Chikni Chameli with equal mastery.
When you first appeared in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, did you ever think that you would come so far?
Not at all, I was just a kid at the time. But, it was definitely a learning experience. And during the course of the show, I met Kalyanji Anandji, who mentored me and also convinced my father to shift to Mumbai. I owe a lot to my parents. They helped me say no to a lot of offers while I was still in school because the time wasn’t right.
You suddenly came into the scene years later with your super hit songs in Devdas. How did it feel to become a star overnight?
A lot of people still ask me about Devdas and Dola Re, and how it felt to sing those songs, but I really can’t describe the feeling. It was like a dream come true. It was one of those moments that came like a storm and I was swept up in it all. And, really, the hard part was maintaining that level and quality of singing afterwards.
You have been part of a lot of reality shows. What do you think has changed over the years? Do you think that it is possible to become a star based on the shows alone?
I think that kids nowadays are much smarter than we were back then. To tell you the truth, we were quite naive (laughs). I look at those shows and I can see that the mic is not even close to my mouth most of the time because I was so nervous. Nowadays, kids take it all in their stride and are better on stage. I don’t think anything really changes before and after a reality show. What matters are the steps you take afterwards.
You’ve worked with AR Rahman, who performed on the previous episode of Unplugged. How has that experience been?
It has been like a dream right from the start. I am a huge fan of his. My friend and I had a collection of all his songs in a DVD, even the Tamil ones. So, to actually work with him was incredible. Even today, after having worked with him on so many projects, I still feel that same awe.
This is your first time on MTV Unplugged. What did you enjoy most about it?
I love the fact that you get to work with a completely acoustic arrangement. It creates a completely new sound and gives the song new life. I mean, you have sarangis, double bass and saxophone players. When we recorded these songs in the studio, I never even thought they could be rendered this way.
You mentioned some of the innovative instruments used. Are there any that you were introduced to for the first time on the sets?
Oh, yes. So many of them. Some of the instruments were used in ways, which I had not thought would be possible and some others, especially in the percussions section were completely new to me. Like the Happy Drums for instance.