from Review by Mr. Suresh Mehcnit

In Indian film music there was a period when a couple of singers were dominating the whole industry and one can hardly hear some others singing playback for lead pairs. For example, Lata Mageshkar was the branded voice for any heroine in Hindi film music and later many new singers arrived and even then they got very less chance compared to Lataji and Ashaji and same is the case for male singers. Even the mass liked it that way. With their inborn talents those singers were able to sustain in the industry without allowing the people to get bored out of their voice.

In 80’s a lot of singers came into lime light and everybody was given equal chance. After 90’s, a new era of music started. With the advent of many new composers like A.R.Rahman, there was a drastic change in the type and quality of music both delivered and expected. They wanted something fresh in each and every song and so to bring freshness in their songs composers started hunting voices which increased the number of singers in the industry.

Those days the whole album was sung by only two singers utmost four but now every album has minimum ten singers fighting for a place in credits. These days when you hear a song you are not sure about the singer before seeing the CD inlay. The singers are more and the songs are widely distributed to each singer. Very few are able to register their voice in the minds of the people due to lack in opportunity. The singers lose their identity and they lack uniqueness these days. Many of them sound similar especially the female singers.

But now again the cycle repeats, an 18 year old girl well trained in Hindustani classical music is emerging as the most promising singer of this music era. It is none other than “Shreya Ghosal”.

First Impression

I heard her voice in a soft, melodious romantic Tamil song “Chellamai Chellam” composed by Karthik Raja. First I thought it is sung by Sadhana Sargam but I felt there is something different in this voice and it is thinner and innocent compared to Sadhana’s voice. Then after looking the credits in the CD inlay I came to know about this new singer “Shreya Ghosal”. To be honest, I was very much impressed on very first hearing itself.

I admit at this moment that she is going to be the next “Lata Mangeshkar” of Indian film music and the reasons are

Dream Break in Debut

No one would ever dream of such a terrific launch like that of Shreya Ghosal. She got selected as a best female singer in the most popular TV show “Sa ri ga ma pa”. She sung Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s favourite Meera bajan on the show and grabbed his attention. This later fetched her chance of giving voice to Aishwarya rai for the movie “Devdas” music being composed by Ismail Darbar. She sung five songs in her debut album itself and all are chartbusters and also she won a national award for it.

Within Two years

In a short span Shreya Ghosal has sung in 5 Indian languages viz., tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali other than Hindi. And above all she has sung for almost all leading music composers in Indian film music such as A.R.Rahman, Illayaraja, Yuavn Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja, Vidhyasagr, Anu Malik, Himmesh Reshimayya, Jatin-Lalit, Nadeem-Shravan, Anand Raaj Anand, Rajesh Roshan, M.M.Kreem, Manisharma, Ismail Darbar, Devi Sri Prasad and few others. The highlight is that all her songs are chartbusters in other languages also.

Singing in South Indian Languages

As I am more close to Tamil film music my knowledge in limited to her singing in Tamil films only among the south Indian languages. There is always a opposition in Tamilnadu for north Indian singers singing Tamil songs because how great the singer may be in his mother tongue he fails when it comes to Tamil. Many great north Indian singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Sadhana Sargam, Lucky Ali, Udit Narayanan, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder singh, Adnan sami tried their hands in Tamil music but no one has succeeded in pronouncing Tamil to perfection. They literally kill the songs by their annoying pronunciation though they are very much talented. But we have to blame the composers for this and not the singers. But amidst all such singers Shreya Ghosal is refreshing and convincing. Though I won’t say she is perfect in pronunciation she is far better than all the above mentioned singers and manages well excellence.

Voice and Singing

Like A.R.Rahman who laid a common road for north Indian and south Indian film music, she has a unique voice which suits both north Indian and south Indian heroines. That makes her spectrum of opportunities wider and she reaches every part of India through regional music and wins hearts of many music fans. No matter how good is the singer, when a north Indian singer playbacks for a Tamil heroine, most of the time it is a misfit but she is the first to break this barrier also. Her tone is a unique perfect blend of that of singers of both the extremes.

Not everybody who has good voice can sing in films. Shreya has got very sweet, soothing, innocent voice. Being trained in Hindustani classical music she is able to sing any song effortlessly. What I like most in her is she is so expressive and emotions flow while she sings. She is versatile too. Her sudden transition from classical Devdas numbers to Seductive romantic melodies in Jism is evident of her versatility. Though mostly she sings only romantic and soft melodies in Hindi she has got different variety of songs in south Indian languages to prove her skills.

Awards and Accolades

She bagged all possible awards in the year 2003 for her songs in Devdas and Jism.

Filmfare Award - 2003 for ’Jadu Hai Nasha Hai ’ - Jism
National Award - 2003 for ’Bairi Piya ’ - Devdas
Zee-Cine Award - 2003 for Dola Re Dola ’ - Devdas
Sansui Award - 2003 for Dola Re Dola ’ - Devdas
IIFA Award - 2003 for Jadu Hai Nasha Hai ’ - Jism
R.D. Burman Award - 2003
AV-MAX Award - 2003
Stardust Award - 2003


Above all she is just 19 and a lot more to come yet from her. She is going places with each and every song of her turning chartbusters. Hi Shreya, Wish you all the Success.

Shreya at her best in

Jadhu hai Nasha (Jism), Bairi Piya (Devdas), Enakku Piditha Paadal (July Ganapathy), Unna Vida(Virumandi), Chellamai (Album), Cheppavae (Okkadu), Main hoon na(MHN), Ninaithu (7g, Rainbow Colony), Illangathu Veesuthey (Pithamagan), Kopama (Varsham).