Crooning glory

Last Updated 02 September 2017, 18:45 IST
Remember the powerful ‘Veeron Ke Veer Aa’ song from the mega blockbuster Baahubali 2: The Conclusion? Or the hauntingly melodious number ‘Ang Laga De’ from Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram Leela? These are but a few gems in singer Aditi Paul’s repertoire. Her golden voice has been colouring the music of films in Indian cinema with its sheer range and brilliance.

“My parents have always been musically inclined,” starts off Aditi. “My maasi was a student of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sahab. So, yes, I think I am born with musical genes.” Having lived in Kolkata, Aditi is an alumnus of Santiniketan and has been brought up on a steady diet of Tagore’s works, thanks to her parents’ leanings towards art and culture.

Music for all seasons

She was always keen on pursuing classical music, and when she took part in the reality show Indian Idol, she had zero clue about film music. “Indian Idol was an important turning point,” she says. “It was definitely an important platform for me and gave my career as a playback singer the initial boost. But I had to work very hard to learn the language and perfect my diction. In fact, I am still learning new Hindi words and getting acquainted with film songs. The accent needs to be perfect when I sing a song.”

As for herself, her idols are aplenty. Aditi is a big fan of icons such as Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan... “It takes me to another world each time I listen to them. I admire and respect these legends.”

Talking about her career, Aditi says, “I began my career singing ad jingles.” Her first Bollywood break came with film-maker Ram Gopal Verma’s Rann, starring Amitabh Bachchan, with the music for the film composed by her friends Dharam and Sandeep. Over the past few years, her career has traced a winning trajectory with Aditi lending her vocal chords for A R Rahman’s compositions in the Rajnikanth-starrer, Lingaa, in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Then came Vicky Donor, Rakht Charitra, and countless shows on foreign turf spanning USA, Canada, Dubai and Turkey.

What is that one thing about her that very few know? “I learnt to play the sitar for six years and always wanted to be a sitar artiste. As luck would have it, I fractured my hand and switched to vocal music. And here I am,” she laughs charmingly. “Though my underlying passion was the same, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in music. Also, I love baking and I am pretty good at it. I am a foodie, but it is good for me to avoid spicy food as the after-effects can be adverse!”

And just as we have comfort food to rev up a low mood, Aditi picks on a combination of “a cup of tea, Tagore, and my pet by my side” as her mood lifter.

Getting into the grind

Prod her for her pick of favourites in songs and she immediately responds, “There are too many. But I love ‘Lag Jaa Gale’, ‘Ka Karoon Sajni’ (Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahab’s rendition),‘The Girl From Ipanema’, ‘Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo’, ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’, and many more. Of course, Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ has the power to make me cry anytime,” she confesses.

Her riyaaz sessions fluctuate, in keeping with her hectic recording schedules. “There is no fixed time, to be honest. In fact, I often get scolded by mom for not doing my riyaaz regularly. I am currently learning from Pandit Bhavdeep Jaipurwale,” she shares.

Now, after singing superb numbers in mainstream commercial cinema, Aditi is busy working on her extended play that consists of four original songs... “It should be out in mid-July, if everything falls into place,” she says, crossing her fingers.

But her “will power, perseverance and desire to keep learning and experiencing new things” is what Aditi counts as her biggest attribute. “I believe in ‘live and let live’. I say, have faith, practise daily, and just go for it.”

So, what does she prefer, Mumbai, or Kolkata? “Both!” she retorts promptly. “Kolkata, rather Santiniketan, because I have spent my childhood there, and Mumbai, of course, as it is the city where I am working towards living my dream,” she ends with a radiant smile. Sing on.
(Published 02 September 2017, 14:38 IST)

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