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Song all the way

K. JESHI

Blessed with a voice that is magical, K.S. Chitra keeps smiling her way through her career.



INCREDIBLE HUMILITY: K. S. Chitra

A face-to-face with a singer is always a pleasure. When it is `Chinnakuyil' Chitra, the joy is double. Gifted with a voice that is magical, K. S. Chitra keeps smiling her way through her career.

From "Paadariyen Padippariyen" to "Ovvoru Pookalumae," winning awards seems to be a habit.

A six-time National award winner for best female playback singing, she has also won 16 awards from the Kerala State Government, seven from Andhra, four from Tamil Nadu and three awards from Karnataka and still counting.

Request her for a few minutes of tête-à-tête after a three-hour musical show, she readily agrees, flashing her winsome smile. Besides her melodious voice, her endearing humbleness has also won her many fans.

"The inspiring "Ovvoru Pookkalume" from `Autograph' that fetched me the recent National award is very close to my heart," she says adding that the credit goes to lyricist Pa. Vijay and music director Bharadwaj.

Her current projects

Chitra, who has sung "Jaage Hain Der Tak" for A. R. Rahman in Maniratnam's `Guru,' is currently working on private albums besides other South Indian films. She has sung three melodies for Sultan Khan's pop album titled `The Ustad and the Divas,' which was released recently.

Her album with ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali is also ready for release. Another full-fledged ghazal album featuring traditional ghazals is in the pipeline.

Does she take extra effort to preserve the sweetness of her voice? To this, she smiles and says: "I just make sure to carry my water bottle wherever I go."

The singer was one of the celebrity judges at Asianet's Star Singer show and has also been a part of the jury in a few episodes of Zee's Sa Re Ga Ma. Ask her about the experience and she says, "I always get confused while taking a decision because all of them sing well. The margin of error between the winner and the loser is very thin. Selecting the winner is a tough job. And the saddest part is seeing the youngsters break down when they fail to make it to the top."

She continues: "Youngsters should listen to a lot of senior singers. Only when they listen to different styles of singing will they be able to develop their own style."

This versatile singer, who has completed 16,000 songs in seven languages, says "technology has made singing film songs much easier now. The chance of correcting errors, even in each and every word, is possible now."

Chitra says that melodies are getting lost in films because songs are choreography driven. "A lot of media shows promote this trend of dancing and singing. So, youngsters also prefer peppy songs with fast beats. Earlier, melodies merged with films. When you listen to songs like "Kannae Kalaimanae," you can immediately visualise the picture, it is not so now," she adds.

A sign of tribute

Chitra recently released My Tribute, a collection of kritis and bhajans dedicated to the legendary M. S. Subbulakshmi. And, there are plans to release an album of Lata Mangeshkar's evergreen hits in her voice.

The singer has also paired up with Hariharan for a ghazal album in Malayalam. Likely to be named Malhar, it is expected to hit the stands in the beginning of next year.

Her advice to budding singers?" Music is like an ocean. Learn music for the sake of music and not for singing in films. Be it Carnatic or Hindustani learn it with utmost passion. If you get an opportunity, you can sing in films too," she adds.

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