New voice on the block

World of music

New voice on the block

There was a time when doubts were cast over the success of the innumerable talent hunt and reality shows in the country. None of the winners or finalists were able to create their own identity in the industry and were just performing on stage shows and singing their version of hit numbers.

But in the recent past, things seem to have changed. Singers including Kamal Khan, Bhoomi Trivedi, Sreeram Chandra and Antara Mitra have created their own niche. The latest on the list is Aditi Paul — the singer who had taken the nation by storm in the first edition of Indian Idol. Her song, Ang laga de, from Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, is topping the charts.

Talking about the song, which is also an important part of the film, Aditi says, “One of my friends, a music arranger, told me that Sanjay Leela Bhansali was looking for a fresh voice for one of the songs. I met him and sang the first few lines. After listening to my rendition, he asked me to sing the antara as well. Fortunately, he liked my singing and I was called for the final recording. I did not have any particular style in mind while singing, because I have never imitated anyone and will never do that. There is always something special when you are original.”

Speaking about Bhansali, Aditi says, “He is a running encyclopedia. He told me to remember how Lata Mangeshkar would pronounce the word raat in any song. For me, it was a great learning curve. It is a bonus when you are acknowledged for your performance. I was initially quite nervous about my voice being compatible with Deepika Padukone, but all went well.”

Another artiste who has had a lot of influence on Aditi is A R Rahman. She is in awe of the musical maestro and feels lucky to be part of his entourage. She recently sang in MTV’s Coke Studio with Rahman and is part of Rehmanishq now. A beaming Aditi says, “I got a mail from his team and went for the audition. After that, I kept praying and hoping for some good news. Finally, I got the opportunity to sing in the choir in the Coke Studio. It was electrifying. You are on a different high when you see Rahman and ace percussionist Shivamani doing all sorts of experiments in the studio, live. My next aspiration is to sing for the maestro on his own composition in a film.”

Somehow, after coming in the top 6 of Indian Idol and winning accolades from everyone, Aditi was not to be seen for a long time. When asked about the disappearing act, she explains, “Indian Idol days were good. For me, coming to Mumbai and participating in the contest was an out of the world experience. I also struggled a lot with my language and diction because my mother tongue is Bengali. But the reality show definitely helped me focus on my goals.

I finally shifted to Mumbai in 2009 and started singing for jingles.” Aditi’s initial music lessons were from her late Aunt Aarati Bagchi, who was Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s student. “When I was young, my mother would take me to music tuitions, but I was never interested in learning music. Rupashree Pattanayak, Supratik Das and Pandit Ajay Chakraborty were my teachers initially. And now in Mumbai, I am being trained by Bhavdeep Jaipurwale.”

For a girl who studied in Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s Vishwa Bharati University in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, this was not an easy move. “I was a naughty child, so putting me in a hostel was my parents’ idea. In Shantiniketan, I hardly sang any Hindi songs. I was totally involved with Rabindra Sangeet, dancing and also I played the sitar.

Once, I fractured my hand and thus shifted to learning vocals. Whatever I do in my life or in future, I will never ever forget the things I learnt at Vishwa Bharati. The first and foremost being that there should be no competition but co-operation. This teaching by Rabindranath Tagore helped me sail through all my difficult years. Because, I am my own competition.” She already worked with one of her favourite composers, Illayraja, and is looking forward to work with him in future. Aditi has also sung for the film Gang Of Ghosts, which is slated for release next year. 

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