Singer Chaitra fan of Dr Rajkumar’s songs

Singer Chaitra fan of Dr Rajkumar’s songs

Kannada playback singer Chitra H G says her latest album ‘Krishna Enabaarade’ will appeal to the young and old alike

Chaitra HG is trying to make classical music cool again.

With over 1,000 performances to her credit, playback singer, recording artiste and classical musician Chaitra HG has cemented her place in the Kannada music industry. She began singing in 2000, at the age of 15, and has continued to mix tradition with innovation in her works. 

Chaitra launched her brand new album Purandara Dasa’s Devaranama ‘Krishna Enabaarade’ on April 6. She talks to Metrolife about her latest work and journey so far.

Tell us about your latest album...

My latest album is my version of Purandara Dasara Devaranama, ‘Krishna Enabaarade’.  There are four stanzas in the song but we chose two that we thought would connect to the people and would have a recall factor. I am used to singing these songs in a ‘kacheri’ setting, with a harmonium and tabla, but here we have mainly used a piano, a string backing and drums.

How do you think the young generation will relate to it?

Nowadays, it is considered ‘uncool’ to listen to classical or traditional music. To change this notion, I have tried to incorporate the best of both classical and contemporary notes. I feel youngsters should listen to this because there’s music, spirituality and philosophy in it, along with beautiful visuals.

What do you enjoy singing the most?

I look at music as one entity; I don’t differentiate between movie songs, item numbers or classical renditions. I enjoy all forms. Having said that, I feel playback singing is exciting because you don’t know what you are going to sing and with whom. Getting into playback singing and working as a solo and recording artiste taught me how to use my voice and increase my range.

How has your father influenced you?

My father Gopinath H S is a Hindustani tabla artiste. My twin brother Chaitanya and I learnt the basics of music from him. He has been teaching music for about 40 years and has students from six to 60 years. He understands exactly what the youngsters want and what the older generation enjoys. He has been and continues to be a great inspiration for me.

Who are your favourite actor-singers…

Closer home, Dr Rajkumar has undoubtedly been one of my favourites. He learnt classical music only after he began acting. It is hard to be the person that he was. Also, there’s a lot of liveliness, simplicity and playfulness in Kishore Kumar’s songs.

You have talked about a great support system at home...

My husband Keerthi, my in-laws, my parents and my son Arohan have always been my strength. But I am what I am because of my mother Sandhya Gopinath. She has gone through some tough times to help me reach where I am today.

How do you handle fame? 

I behave like any other person; I mix with people, go to the vegetable market and buy things. Sometimes, people ask me for a picture and oblige them. There have also been times when some of them get on my nerves. Then I politely ask them to behave.

Are you careful about what you post on social media, due to trolling and all?

I believe that you are your image. I post all kinds of images. It could be me dancing around in my shorts, me singing at a ‘Kacheri’ or even pictures from a performance. I don’t believe in posting something just to portray a larger-than-life image.    

Your advice to aspiring musicians… 

It is important to understand what you want in life, what you are capable of and how you want to achieve it. More than anything be yourself.