Film music not as exciting as before: Sunidhi Chauhan

Film music not as exciting as before: Sunidhi Chauhan

The playback singer, who has been in the industry for almost three decades now, hopes to make a mark in the indie music space

Sunidhi Chauhan made her debut as a playback singer at the age of 12, with ‘Ladki Deewani Ladka Deewana’ from the 1996 film ‘Shastra’. The same year she won the title of the best female singer at the reality show ‘Meri Awaz Suno’.
Over the course of her career, she has lent her voice to several songs in the Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi and Telugu film industries. She has garnered several awards and accolades including the RD Burman Award in 2001, Filmfare awards in 2011 and 2006 and the IIFA in 2007. 
Metrolife caught up with the singer while she was in town to record a song at the McDowell’s No 1 Yaari Jam Pads and chatted about her career, reality shows, and motherhood. 

What are the differences you can see between Meri Awaaz Suno, the show you started off with, and today’s music hunts?

Meri Awaaz Suno was not a reality show; it was a competition. There was no voting system in place, and talent was the only thing that mattered. Honestly, I only participated so I could meet Lata Mangeshkar, who was one of the judges (laughs).

As a judge on reality shows now, I can relate to the contestants. It is great that there are so many platforms out there that allow you to showcase your talent. The problem, however, is that there are many people with aspirations to become musicians, and you really have to be extraordinary to stand out.

Do you think that these hunts actually help people in pursuing a career in music?

These shows have the ability to make your famous overnight. But being a musician requires a lot of experience, hard work and dedication.

It is not easy to be able to cut through the big ocean of talent that this country has to offer. If your aim is to make it in Bollywood, it may not be easy. On the other hand, I have met many singers who didn’t make it past auditions but went on to make it big in their own towns and cities.

You started singing at a very young age. Did it affect your childhood?

My childhood was extremely different from that of my friends. But I enjoyed being able to bunk school and skip doing my homework to go record a song. I was never interested in studies, and I am happy my parents supported me when I wanted to quit school and pursue music.

You have been in the industry for almost three decades. What are the changes you have noticed?

The music has changed a lot, for the good. Some people will disagree and say that the songs that are produced now are not like the music of yesteryear. But bad music is not something that belongs solely to the current times; good, average and bad songs have always existed. 

Are there any songs that you have rejected and you wish you hadn’t?

None at all. I have been doing this for so long, I know exactly what I want and so far my decisions have been in my favour. When I don’t feel like I can do anything better with a song, I ask the music director to retain the demo voice. I need to feel excited about a song to be able to give it my all.

Which of the songs you have sung, is a personal favourite?

There are so many. If I had to pick one, it would be ‘Le Chale’ from ‘My Brother...Nikhil’. There is also ‘Aa Zara’ from ‘Murder 2’ and ‘Behtha Hain Mann’ from ‘Chameli’.

Any advice you would give to upcoming singers?

Don’t rush the process. Focus on your talent and passion. I see so many youngsters chase fame and money, and it is sad. So many talented people lose their way because they try to take the easy way out. Don’t just try to cash in on instant fame and become a sellout. 

What is the one thing you wish your fans would understand about you?

It is quite difficult for fans to know a musician as an individual. My personality will only unfold and speak for me when I start making my own music. But I am very happy with the way I am loved and treated.

How has motherhood changed you?

I am loving every bit of it. My son, Tegh, is almost two now, and there is something new happening every minute. I take him with me everywhere I go. He loves travelling and gets bored at home. So, I am doing more shows than ever now (laughs). 

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I am really looking forward to doing something in the independent music space. This is the right time. Film music is not as exciting as it used to be, for me. So I am going to try my luck in the indie space.


Her Kannada songs 

2002   ‘Aeeeyy Aeeyyii’ from Hollywood ; ‘Hungama’ from ‘Kodanda Rama’ 

2004   ‘Nanagintha Yaaru’ from ‘Rowdy Aliya’;  ‘Yelu Bannada’ from ‘Love’

2005   ‘Chikubuku Railu’ from ‘Jogi’ ; ‘Joke Joke’ from ‘Shri’‘Gandasu Horagade’ from ‘Anna Thangi’; ‘Kannalley’ from ‘Aham Premasmi’

2006   ‘Kunidu Kunidu Baare’ from ‘Mungaru Male’ 

2007   ‘Kanaso Idu’ from ‘Cheluvina Chittara’;   ‘Jum Naranadi’ from ‘Naanu Neenu          Jodi; ‘Baaro Nanna’ from ‘Maathaad Maathaadu Mallige’;‘Ee Bandhana’ from ‘Banna Banna’ 

2008   ‘Thattarammayya’ from ‘Madesha’ ;  ‘Nooraru Janmada’ from ‘Chaitrada Chandrama’ ; ‘Haadonave’ from ‘Haage Summane’ 

2009   ‘Taare Annuthare’ from ‘Gulama’

2010   ‘Ku Ku Kogileyinda’ from ‘Prithvi’; ‘Nindalla Kala Nandu Baa Habeebi’ from ‘Antharathma’;  ‘Saathiyaa’ from ‘Huduga Hudugi’

2011    ‘Alibaba’ from ‘Gun’;  ‘Kuni Kuni’ from ‘I Am Sorry Mathe Banni Preethsona’

2012    ‘Naanenu Alla’ from ‘Kalaya Tasmai Namaha’

2013    ‘Andaaje Sigutilla’ from ‘Tony’

2014    ‘Kannada Mannina’ from ‘Aryan’

2019    ‘Sye Raa’ from ‘Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’ (Dubbed version) 

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