We recently spoke to the neo-nightingale of India – Shreya Ghosal. She joined us for a chat on the rarity of folk music, experience with Ilayaraja and more. The following is an excerpt from the interview.
Starting off Shreya we know you have been part of reality shows and many live shows, is there something that attracts you to melodies from the olden era?
If you are ready to travel back with me to the sixties we know that music was rarely even purchased for the purpose of listening. In those times if someone loved a song or a record they would listen to it for a year or two. In our times as you know we are so much consumed by the idea of time.
In the present scenario we find a lot of beginners and professional musicians create songs in minutes. Do you think it is a correct approach?
I don’t want to lecture about right and wrong but all I can say is that playing music and recording it the way it is played came first .Sequencers and tones are mere imitation of the raw sound, perhaps which is reason they can never match the instrument or the flair of a performance by a hum.
Do you think reality shows could help showcase the talent of youngsters?
No doubt about the media coverage. Definitely, it is a hope for the upcoming bunch of performers. With certain shows the focus is on folk music and it really inspires my ideas to look even deeper in my culture. Folk music is a rarity these days I tell you it is the sound people are waiting to listen to in reality.
Now that you have told us about the regions tell us your journey with the languages, if we are correct you have all the languages covered in India except the forest lingo.
Ahaaha! That is my next aim, well, I learnt to sing in Bengali since childhood thanks to my mom, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati and many more followed. I sang for the Tamil industry even before I started singing in Hindi. During my ‘Sa re ga ma pa’ days as a contestant I was practicing in the long corridors of the Mahalakshmi studios and Karthik Raja heard me. Initially I would just sing alaaps but still it was a good training ground.
Oh, so how has the collaboration with Illayaraja Sir been?
He is a gem of a composer and I always used to ask him about the lyrics and the emotion. He on the other hand had an entirely different aprroach to it. He told me once, ‘Go as the song goes. If you want to understand and then place your emotions it will kill the innocence of the musical experience.
With that thought we would wrap up, thank you for your time Shreya our best wishes to you. Keep singing like the way you do.