Craving to showcase her talent

Born as a Bengali but mistaken for a South Indian, Sujata Bhattacharya aka Madhushree is loved for her voice in songs like Maahi Ve (Kal Ho Naa Ho) and In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein (Jodhaa Akbar).

On her recent visit to the City, the songstress shared with Metrolife that, “My father wanted me to be a classical singer. I rendered classical music in a programme in college but had started singing much before that. I have heard that I started singing in Durga Puja as a five-year old,” says the singer.

“As a child,” she was told that she has to grow up to be a singer. “So I grew up with the same thought. But I was a very good athlete. Infact I had to choose between athletics and music as a career, when I turned 15,” she says expressing her love for the sport.

As destiny and parents’ will had it, she went on to do her Masters in music and then took up a job in South Africa. “I was supposed to teach classical music but my students wanted to learn Indian filmy music. In countries outside, India is known through its films and I thus started learning India filmy music by listening to songs of Lataji and Ashaji,” and she soon developed an interest in them.

“I wanted to meet AR Rahman and he used to work from Chennai so I had to live in South India. When my voice became recognisable, people mistook me to be a South Indian! It was only when Kabhi Neem Neem (Yuva) became a hit, people started recognising me through Bollywood,” says Madhushree who sang the same song in Tamil and Telugu too.

Having worked with leading music directors, she still loves Rahman’s simplicity. “He composes a song in a way that the singer can justify it. He knows what is right for the singer and even gives chance to newcomers.”

But the fact that, “songs composed for films today are mostly male-oriented,” upsets her. “Apart from an item number and a romantic duet, there is hardly any scope for a female playback singer. Earlier there used to be atleast three to four solos and duets but there is so much remix today that a singer hardly gets to exploit her voice.”

This inspired her to release her album, Pal - Ek Ehsaas. It is a romantic record in which she has “worked with music director Bobbyji (her husband) for the first time. There were a lot of clashes but one should not compose with one’s spouse. Else you are taken for granted,” she shares with a loud laugh! 

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