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Singing star

Though she is popular for her item numbers, Sunidhi Chauhan says she can render soft tracks too



Vocal power Sunidhi Chauhan

The audience swings to her foot-tapping numbers because she finds singing very exciting and the stage, a recording studio or a public platform, does not matter.

For Sunidhi Chauhan, what counts is how she “connects” with her fans. The petite 23-year-old playback singer packs “power” in her songs. “I sing with a purpose. I can sing soft numbers too and I am lucky that some of my item numbers have been hits.”

Lending her voice to item performers has catapulted Sunidhi to the top bracket of singers in the country.

She explains, “I would call them promotional songs and not item numbers. Sometimes these promotional songs are good and if they become popular, they help me on stage. When I am performing on stage, it helps me because I relate to my audience at live shows. They see me, they listen to me, dance with me. It is easy to connect.”

She had the youth rocking with the ‘Beedi’ number from ‘Omkara.’ Even Sunidhi was surprised with the response to this raunchy song.

“Honestly, it didn’t take much effort because such singing comes naturally to me. It needed power and that is my forte. Vishaal Bhardwaj, the music director, told me to sing as if I was trying to win attention. It worked because I sang from my heart. It was one rare song where the music director put no restrictions. It was fun.”

Sunidhi has spent nine years in the singing industry after being discovered through a music competition, ‘Meri Aawaz Suno’ on Doordarshan. She was merely 13 then. “Those days the competition was tough and I was picked purely on talent. Now unfortunately it has changed.”

She is critical of the current reality shows that have become such a rage. “To tell you the truth I don’t see any reality in most of these shows. They are aimed at creating drama to achieve TRP ratings. There is nothing wrong with the concept but at some point they need to stop this voting system by the public. The best singer must be picked by the judges and not via the SMS route.”

Some of her peppy numbers have dominated the popularity charts for long periods but Sunidhi does not listen to them much.

Favourite songs

“There are a few songs I like to hear again and again. Like ‘Kehta hai man’ (from ‘Chameli,’ ‘Meri zindagi me aaye ho’ from ‘Arman,’ ‘Mere haath me tera haath ho’ from ‘Fanaa.’” Her all-time favourites, however, are ‘Aaj socha to aansoo bhar aaye’ (Lata Mangeshkar’s classic from ‘Hanste Zakhm”) and Kishore Kumar’s evergreen ‘Wohi raat hai’ from ‘Ghar.’ “I value history a lot,” she emphasises.

Says Sunidhi: “I wouldn’t say music today is too noisy. Every song has melody, some are good and some average. There is a place for soft numbers too. Actually, in the last 10-15 years, the trend has changed. People have come to like such songs. It’s a cycle. I think people would need to change their taste for us to return to melody. We only sing what people like.”

VIJAY LOKAPALLY

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