'I think my lines have blurred'

'I think my lines have blurred'
She started learning music at the age of four. At 16, she was recognised by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and she made her first Bollywood playback singing debut for ‘Devdas’. Since then, she has won several awards and created musical masterpieces in various languages across the country. Recently, Shreya Ghoshal rendered an acoustic treat for ‘Royal Stag Barrel Select MTV Unplugged Season 6’ with a power-packed performance. She spoke to Anila Kurian about her experience in the show and her journey in the industry so far.

What do you enjoy most about live performances?
I love singing live more than recording in the studio. When you’re recording, you work on the melody and the audience hear only the final product. But when you’re on stage, you get to add your own last-minute elements to it. The experience, paired with the energy of the audience, is a blissful one.

Do you ever get nervous?
Yes! I am always nervous before I go on stage but completely forget about it when I start singing. I worry if I am doing the right thing, if I am going to be alright and so on. I usually ask my parents for help or the people I admire the most.

If you could describe your sound in a few words, what would it be?
To be honest, Bollywood is a place where you end up mixing all the genres. That is the quality that is required here. But if you look at international music, there is a clear division of the genres and the sound an artiste brings out. So with my years of experience here, I think my lines have blurred. I don’t know what my style is but I have evolved over the years.

You’ve sung in many languages. Any new ones you want to try?
I’m always open to new challenges, styles and languages. I think I have tried almost every language possible but I am yet to sing in Kashmiri and Odia, to name a few. Unfortunately, there isn’t much happening in that field for me to venture into.

Any new singers in the industry who you think resemble you musically?
Yea, there are a few I can think of and I am very grateful for it. It makes me happy that I have done something in my life that someone else can take inspiration from. I feel like I have done something right in life when I hear them sing.

A musician you are looking forward to working with?
I believe I have worked with most of the new artistes in Bollywood now. Some of the latest ones were Arijit Singh and Benny Dayal —they were a lot of fun to work with. I’m looking forward to newer ones entering the field so that I can work with them. Unfortunately, the opportunity to work with other female singers isn’t much so I’m not asking for too much there.

Your current favourite song.
I think the whole album of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is really good. The song ‘Channa Mereya’ is making the rounds everywhere and I’m glad I get to hear it so often.

Tell us about your ‘MTV Unplugged’ experience.
Shooting for the show was so much fun. We sang some of the popular songs that are very close to my heart. It was very difficult to choose only six songs but it was very refreshing. It was a completely acoustic set so the music was clean and soulful. It was good to take away the grandness of the movies and make it only about the song — private and intimate.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I believe that I am good at  meeting and interacting with people. I love that I can entertain people. But I am an introvert and a very private person. When I am doing nothing, I like to stay in my room and be in my cocoon. And it is  something that happens quite often too.

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