Madhushree – An interview..

madhushreeA trained classical singer from Kolkata, she made her Bollywood debut with Rajesh Roshan’s Moksha. But her song that really got heads turning was Kabhi Neem Neem from Yuva, and she subsequently went on to become a regular feature in ARR scores, recording some memorable songs with him like Pal Pal Hai Bhaari (Swades), Tu Bin Bataye (RDB), Hum Hai Is Pal (Kisna) and also scores of other Tamil and Hindi songs. We present to you Music Aloud’s interview with playback singer Madhushree.

You were born Sujata Bhattacharya. Why the name change?

I wanted to be different and not get mixed up with other Sujata’s of the industry, and therefore took on this name.

Tell us about your musical upbringing.

From childhood i have been thought to be a singer. I come from a musical family and so started learning music from my parents. Only my father wanted me to be a classical singer and was not happy for me being a playback singer until he heard my song “Hum Hain Is Pal Yahan”

Though you debuted with Rajesh Roshan, the person who really made you a regular affair was A R Rahman. Tell us how you landed a chance to work with him.

When i came in Bollywood, there were not so many platforms for newcomers as today. So you had to get good connections to be heard by the right person. I made an album and sent to most of the industry music connections. And Javed Akhtar Saheb heard the album and directed me to Rajesh Roshan. But my doors really opened when A R Rahman and Mani Ratnam gave the chance to sing for Rani Mukherjee in 3 versions Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, Kabhi Neem Neem from Yuva. I met him through voice-over maestro Brij Bhushanji, who took me to ARR when he was recording for Lagaan in 4D/Worli. I waited till 2 o clock in the morning and then i met him, after which we recorded classical bandishein and from then he started calling me for recordings, continuing till today.

How has the experience of working with ARR been?

Recording with ARR is more than a recording experience. He is such a humble and good human being, that you easily feel home. and because of this you as an artist can deliver more than ever.

With ARR you also debuted down South. How difficult was it to get hold of Tamil? Do you speak Tamil now? 🙂

Yes he gave me the chance in Tamil too, but other music directors picked it up. I haven’t reached so far as to speak Tamil, but I’m learning Tamil form a good teacher, Prema

Though in Tamil you now work with an array of music directors, your Bollywood lineup is still majorly comprised of songs from ARR. Is it like you have been selective in your projects? Is there going to be a change in the trend soon?

In Bollywood I have in fact sung for other music directors too, like Rajesh Roshan, Shankar Ehsaan Loy etc…The trend will definitely change. I have an item number in Rajnikant’s Robot and Champak Jain of Venus told me that this would change my image in Bollywood.

Tell us about your debut album Lagan Lagi. The album didn’t quite get its due we felt, in spite of having some wonderful songs. Was it the marketing? Or the classical genre?

When making Lagi Lagan, we had a focus in mind and I got more than expected. Private albums in Bollywood generally don’t do well, but this album did get me some name in the industry.

Any more private albums in the pipeline?

Yes, I have more than 5 albums lined up…

What are your current/upcoming projects?

There are too many to speak about it and I would rather let it be a surprise .. 🙂

What kind of music do you generally follow?

I listen any good music.. From Classical to Hindi pop… From Western Classical to Hip Hop.