New Delhi: Popular playback singer Shreya Ghoshal has several blockbuster songs to her credit. Her illustrious career includes four prestigious National Film Awards for Best Female Playback Singing. She has bagged several Filmfare Awards in Bollywood and South as well.
During coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Shreya Ghoshal released a new song, Angana Morey. In an exclusive chat with Zee News Digital, the singer opened up on her journey and experiences.
Q. How did Angana Morey happen?
A. It happened during this lockdown actually when I was feeling very uninspired and bored. I wanted to do something which would at least give me some joy because this was a time when none of us could go out and be playful. The idea for this song came also from my love of classical music. That is where my roots are and it is undoubtedly my first love. I also wanted this song to be packaged intelligently in such a way that it sounds contemporary and takes you on a journey with the emotions well accentuated.
Classical music in its purest form is very beautiful but it can also be hard to be consumed by the audience. I wanted this song to appeal to all generations and to take them on a transportive journey within the span of just five minutes. I thought, let me do the kind of music which I want to hear myself. That’s how it started and I had a ‘raga’ in mind which I am fascinated by. I was listening to a lot of ragas at that time and I thought I would make a ‘bandish’ inspired composition and it just happened very naturally and organically.
I did not want to take the stereotypical fusion route and Soumyadeep took it up as a challenge to do something very Indian and very modern with the bass notes and trance and all these different genres coming together. It did not seem forced but flowed quite harmoniously.
Q. What has lockdown taught you?
A. The pandemic year was obviously depressing for all of us in many ways, but at the same time, it emerged as a blessing in disguise for me. 2020 has definitely been an eye-opener. I actually enjoyed being at home and it was a welcome break from the non-stop career responsibilities that I have had for almost 20 years now. I got a lot of time for myself to be with family, listen to music, learn, get back to ‘Riyaz,’ think, be in a very creative space without having deadlines or the pressure of planning how many boxes I have to check tomorrow. I learnt that I actually like being a normal person and enjoy doing very normal household things like cooking, gardening and cleaning. These simple things really ground you.
It is a time for a lot of people to finally focus on things they really enjoy, to pursue their passions instead of just running behind money, material things and careers. There’s no peace left in anybody’s life and in the choices they make. I think I have really reached that phase in my life where it will be hard for me to go back to the crazily hectic routine I used to have a year or two ago. Not that I’m not missing it but I will take it easy for sure from here on.
The biggest lesson was to let go of the desires for things that we don’t need. So simplification of life happened with everyone cutting down on things and luxuries that we thought we couldn’t live without. In any case, I lead a simple life but I have simplified it further and I am very happy about that. Whatever new lessons that I learnt during the pandemic, I am going to continue with throughout my life.
Like doing a lot of chores with my own hands not just because it is fun doing these simple things but because you feel more connected with your life rather than being oblivious to it and taking its blessings for granted. Like getting a lot of things done for you without acknowledging them. Taking charge of your life without taking any help, is empowering and teaches you the meaning of life, makes you stronger and more rooted in your existence.
Q. What are your upcoming Bollywood numbers?
A. It’s hard for me to list them now before their release. I am not allowed to reveal the names.
Q. Do you think remixing old classics is a bad idea?
A. The thing is that once you have a formula of success, everybody is trying to repeat it and then all the originality, and excitement, creativity is based on. Because you are working to repeat a success which has already happened. And you cannot repeat the same formula and hope for the same amount of success. So that’s the problem where I feel sometimes industry lacks a little bit of courage and guts to experiment. And that’s why we have these phases where the music is facing a very disturbing phase where only remixes are happening.
But we soon recognize our problem and try to do some experiments. There are some people, director, music composer, the producer who think different and they put there foot down that no I want to do something different and then another trend start. So I wish we were a bit more courageous of different kinds of music that we believe in instead of just following trends.
Q. Who is your favourite playback singer?
A. Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar