by ASJAD NAZIR
SINGING STAR PUTS SOME OF HER MOST DEVOTED FANS IN THE HOT SEAT
BOLLYWOOD music queen Shreya Ghoshal has always shared a close bond with fans and sees them as family.
Those very same fans will embrace the singer with open arms at her forthcoming UK shows in Birmingham, London and Leicester, where she will perform with a 40-piece symphony orchestra.
The concert will see Shreya perform her greatest hits along with classics from a beautiful bygone era of Bollywood.
Eastern Eye got the singer to turn the tables on some of her biggest fans on Twitter and put them in the hot seat for a first-of-its-kind interview. Shreya said the fans means the world to her and are the real stars.
What is your favourite song I have done?
Nimasha Jayaweera (@Nimasha4SG): After I heard Sun Raha Hai for the first time, I went mad and cried a lot. I fell in love with your voice since childhood, but truly discovered you after this gem and became your die-hard fan. This song changed my life completely. I would love to see this gem as a fixed entry song of your concerts. Love you loads from Sri Lanka. Namo Buddhaya.
What song do you have on repeat?
Anoushka Vaidya (@Heart_Shreya): Your songs are always on repeat, but the one that puts me in a trance is classical based thumri Kangana from The Great Indian Butterfly. What harkats and tranquillity the song possesses. It’s soothing and a perfect paradigm of a classic; your melodious voice is like a cherry on top.
What would you want me to do differently?
Sohini Saha (@Sohini_6): I would want you to help make independent music independent in the truest sense and come out of this Bollywood style with more projects. It would require a deeper change in music, maybe structurally, rather than being just self-produced outside the Bollywood industry. I would want you to push further boundaries into unheard domains of our musically rich genres and explore them in untapped ways, and make a difference in music. I believe you can do it.
If you could get me to sing for someone, who would it be for?
Shubham Marhatta (@Shubhammarhatta): First of all, thank you for giving me the best euphoria of my life when you allowed me to share the concert stage with you at a Mumbai gig in 2016. Your voice is so pretty, you are a person who is so great and your melody has become my life’s rhythm. If I got the chance, I would request you sing Hasi for the person who’s been my backbone and friend, my brother Sanskar (and his girlfriend).
I love Lata Mangeshkar jee, but which of her songs are your favourite?
Susmita Majumder (@Susmita_SG): I feel so glad to have this opportunity to answer your question Shreya di. Na Tum Bewafa Ho, O Basanti Pawan Paagal and Is Mod Se Jaate Hain are my most favourite. The way she puts pure feeling into her songs is inspiring. Naam Goom Jayega is the song I relate to most because meri awaz hi meri pehchan hai. I would love my voice to be my only identity. Just like Lataji, just like my inspiration Shreya Ghoshal.
What do you like best; my dance numbers or the slower emotional songs?
Karan Rajput (@Karanr7395): Although I love your dance numbers, your slower emotional songs harmonise my mind, body and soul, and takes me to a different space altogether. Your emotional songs make me nostalgic and their best parts are the ‘alaaps’, which we usually don’t get to hear in dance numbers. Your slower numbers in regional languages also rejuvenate my mind even though I don’t understand most of them. That’s how your voice weaves that magic.
Which of my songs can you most relate to?
Saman Khan @Saman_SG: Choosing one song is difficult but I think Ta Ra Rum Pum is the song which I can relate to the most. I always listen to that song whenever I have terrible days/mood. It gives me strength, motivates me and gives me hope that everything will be fine soon.
I believe in a number of social causes, but which are closest to your heart?
Harshit Sheth (@ShethHarshit55): A social issue close to my heart is education. Lack of education leads to destructive scenarios in a nation where livelihood, money and luxury matters more than education. I’ve seen educational promotions everywhere, but where is the education? Being a teacher, I can proudly say I’ve taught kids for free and am confident they will be good, empowered human beings when they grow up and carry on the legacy of education.
I really enjoy singing for all the leading ladies, but which heroines do you think my voice suits most?
Kiran Zahra (@SG_ShiningStar): To be honest, only your voice matters to me. Even in your old songs, I never wanted to know what heroine or movie it was. I just knew that Shreya Ghoshal sang the song. No need for anything else. Your voice is enough. I listen to your songs and always imagine your face. Saying it from my heart, you’re the only best heroine behind your own voice. Love you!
I love my audiences singing along with me at shows. If you could join me on stage, which song would you want us to sing?
Iqra S (@Iqrasaysthat): I will pass out if that ever happens. Being a singer myself, I have been inspired by you and want to pursue a career in music. I don’t think I can ever sing with you because I respect you so much. But, yes! If it were to happen, I would absolutely love to sing any ghazal of yours with you. Something like Mere Dil Mein from Habib Ke Naghme because you never sing it live. And accompanying you while singing this song would be unreal. Loads of love from your Bangalore squad Kanika, Ruqaiyah, Sneha, Shubham and me.
I am the biggest fan of my well-wishers and can’t thank them enough, but what makes you a super fan?
Sneha Chakrabarty (@SnehaLuvShreya): Since we’re both Bengalis, we should be related in one way or another, just kidding! Your music’s what got my attention at the start but when I got to know you, I fell in love with your personality. My existence in this world may be because of a mother, but you have shaped the way I look at it. You’ve taught me the value of unity, humility, compassion and positivity. Fan isn’t enough to describe the endless sea of feelings and admiration I have for you. I know my little soul isn’t capable of much, but I promise that if needed, I would take a bullet for you.
I will be singing my classics during my UK tour, but also the new hits. Which of my recent songs have you loved most?
Himani Patel (@himani__patel): Dhadkane Azad Hain and Tere Bina are a class apart. They are so heartfelt and unadulterated. The exceptional thing is they are independent ventures and I’m glad you took the step into this. In independent music, the singer is free to create their own character and portray certain emotions, which they cannot do in film music. I think Dhadkane Azad Hain would be fabulous with a symphony. Especially those claps in the background!
If you have seen me live, what has been your fondest memory?
Shamma Khan (@Shamma_Khan): One of my fondest memories was seeing you perform live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I have been to many of your concerts and will attending my 10th and 11th this year, but this remains etched in my memory. You always mentioned the Royal Albert Hall as the venue of your dreams, so seeing you walk out on stage to a sell-out 5,000 fan-strong audience was unforgettable. You looked awestruck, overwhelmed and grateful; that was your moment. Your vocal prowess, blue Cinderella gown, confidence and excitement made your Royal Albert Hall performance my fondest memory.
I like making people smile, but what makes you really happy?
Mathangi S (@M4dhu_S): There are the usual suspects like books, warm sunshine and a tumbler of filter coffee. But when I think about what gives me joy, it’s music. I was indifferent towards it even as I started learning classical music as a child, but listening to you live, especially those first few notes you sing before coming on to the stage, made me realise what a thing of beauty and joy music is. I believe your voice awakened something in me. That I now sing all day is because of you. Forever indebted to you for that!
I enjoy singing classics from the golden era of Hindi cinema; which old songs do you like me singing the most?
Zoya Mirza (@zoyamirza7_sg): We all love renditions of old classics by you. I always look forward to the videos from your concerts where you sing the tribute part. You are beyond amazing with Lag Jaa Gale, Meri Aawaz Hi Pehchaan Hai and Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, the list is endless. No one can take an old classical song to a level you can. You make sure that its originality is maintained. You also never forget to give credit to the original vocalist. Thank you for being you. Heaps of respect and much love!
If I could dedicate one song to you during my UK tour, which would it be?
Shelly Rishi (@shellyrishi): Every song you sing in your concerts is extremely special. Main Jeena Tera Naal has a very special place in my heart as it is one of the initial songs I heard of yours. It’s always on my playlist and will remain there forever. It’s a masterpiece, yet so underrated. If you’d include this song in your playlist, people will get to know about it and it’ll get the deserving love. Also, it’s our little group’s favourite song. Shamma, Jagavi and I have a lot of memories attached to it.
My dream was always to sing, but what is yours?
Titas Biswas (@ShreyaComa): I’ve always dreamt to sing. I could picture no time in my mind where music did not hold me. Purity and spirituality are what music reflects, and you’ve been a source of it. Your wholeheartedness, sincerity, the unstoppable passion towards music have driven me close to the thirst of learning without end. There’s a divinity in learning from you that shall be in a perpetual manner. I look up to you with all my heart. I had always dreamed of being Shreya Ghoshal, and you have taught me to be Titas Biswas.
Which of my songs have you listened to the most times?
Swati Mishra (@theSwatiMishra): My all-time favourite is Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai. It released 10 years ago, but still every time I listen to it I fall in love more. Also Humnasheen, as the magnificence of those ghazals take me to another world. This album is my escape. Your voice gives me peace, tranquillity and comfort to my soul. I’m dependent on your voice; it’s my drug. I love you my lifeline. Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai Shreya Main Kya Karun. I dedicate this song to you.
Which of my songs makes you want to get up and dance like no one is watching?
Karisha Singh (@Ksingh03): Radha from Student of the Year has to be the ultimate dance song by you. The semi-classical beginning is captivating and the energy in your voice throughout the song is contagious. I always find myself breaking out into song whenever it plays. It’s no wonder you call Radha your ‘danger song’ and get asked to sing it repeatedly.
What is one positive message that you want to send out?
Anila Nambiar (@anila_4): Success must never be measured by the tangible recognition it manages to accumulate. Every endeavour must be backed by immense conviction; being capable to stand out and still shine. It doesn’t matter if one should fail; attempting is of prime importance. Gather grit to choose the untrodden path; possess an open mind to embrace criticism; be ready to push your own limits at each attempt and outdo your own performance. Most importantly, like you always opine Shreya and I concur: ‘Strive for excellence; have faith and courage to follow your heart, your dreams!’
- Shreya Ghoshal will be in concert at Symphony Hall in Birmingham on May 5, SSE Arena, Wembley in London on May 6, and De Montfort Hall in Leicester on May 7. Visit www.rockon musicuk.com for more.