At first, Madhushree Bhattacharya's name may not strike a chord, but mention 'Tum Bin Bataye' from Rang De Basanti or 'Kabhi Neem Neem' from Yuva, and you'll get the connection. The honey-coated voice that belongs to these songs is none other than that of Madhushree. Yet, despite having such melodious and successful numbers to her credit, Madhushree feels that she hasn't got the credit that she deserves.
"I feel bad at times. I have worked with some top-of-the-rung music directors and film directors, but I feel I should get more work," she rues. But the singer says that she is hopeful as most of the music directors she has worked with have repeated her. "I believe in God and I'm a very positive person. So I'm sure that good times are ahead," she says with a smile.
Belonging to a musical family, music has always fascinated Madushree. She completed her Masters degree in music from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata; thereafter she went to South America, where she began teaching at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations. But after three years of teaching NRIs, she returned to India to try her luck in Bollywood. Madhushree considers Kabhi Neem Neem to be a turning point in her career. "Before that song, I had sung numbers for Saathiya and Kal Ho Na Ho but people were not aware that it was my voice. They thought that maybe it was Alka Yagnik or Sadhna Sargam. But 'Kabhi...' had such a different tone that they sat up and asked who this singer is," she smiles.
Now Madhushree is all set to give competition to the leading singers with her forthcoming songs in Maniratnam's Guru, Mukhbir and Manthan. "They're all beautiful numbers and very different from each other," she informs. After singing for almost all the current leading ladies in Bollywood, who's the one actor she would like to lend her voice to? "People tell me that my voice suits Rani a lot but I would have loved to sing for Kajol or Madhuri. Let's see if that wish comes true..." she trails off. Well, one can just say, keep wishing Madhushree, one never knows when dreams gets fulfilled!
That song is really good. One of my favourites. And she has sung it excellently 👏 So did Sanchita that day 😃
she has really a very nice sugary voice. here's another interview of her tht came in the telegraph few weeks back.
God will protect me from campbaazi?
Madhushree is the latest voice from Bengal that is happening in Bollywood. By Anil Grover
Q: So you are not Madhushree, you are Sujata!
I am Madhushree! I was Sujata [Sujata Bhattacharya changed her name to Madhushree on the advice of A.R. Rahman, as he knew too many Sujatas in the music world and his own group].
Q:Other new singers have got instant recognition and fame. But in your case, although your songs have gone on to become superhits and been loved by the public, they mostly don?t know that it is one Madhushree who has sung them! How?s that?
I think because of the confusion with my name, people didn?t relate immediately. But now the listening public has got the taste of my voice and can recognise it easily now.
Q: With your classical base in thumri and khayal, why did you trail off to Mumbai for playback singing?
It was always my desire to do playback singing.
Q:So, how did it happen, anyway? Was it with that aim or was it destiny?
My parents wanted me to be a classical singer, but destiny took me to South America (Surinam), where I was deputed by the ICCR to teach classical music. But my students were only interested in light music so I started teaching them film songs. By doing this I became famous for singing film music and people started appreciating me. So it gave a great boost to me and when I was on my home leave in Calcutta, Sanuda [Kumar Sanu] also suggested that I try playback singing and this was for me more than enough incentive to give it a shot in Bollywood as playback singer.
Q:What does your husband do? You were married at what stage of your career? How supportive has he been?
Robby is basically a businessman, but he loves music and he is very supportive. I?m also very grateful to my father Amarendranath and mother Parbati Bhattacharya, who taught me, inspired me, and supported me since my childhood. Not to forget my Guru, Amiya Ranjan Banerjee.
Q:You were hardly seven years old when Madan Mohan happened to you and changed your life, it seems? How was that?
I was very small when some body introduced me to him at a function. I do not remember much about the meeting, but he had mentioned that my talent in khayal gayaki would hold me in good stead as a playback singer.
Q:Recently, the talking point has been Madan Mohan?s music being ?revived? in Veer-Zaara. How did that make you feel?
It was a great idea. I liked the music.
Q:You are in the Rahman ?camp?, it is apparent. Certainly, that has been a great achievement. But do you think that that would also keep you distanced from other music directors in Bollywood?
I don?t think so. You need one hit song to become a mainstream playback singer. After that, everybody will give you a chance.
Q:How did your Tamil film happen? Did the Rahman connection help there ? or did you catch Rahman?s ear through that film?
Music director Vidyasagar gave me the first Tamil break, then came A.R. Rahman?s Yuva song in Tamil and Telugu ? which was thanks to Mani Ratnam whose first choice was me.
Q:A lot of Bengalis have done very well in the Bollywood music world before, and even now. How do you explain that?
Because music is in Bengal?s culture. And I?m proud to be a Bengali.
Q:One hears so much about camp-baazi, politics, dog-eat-dog, etc in the film industry. How do you think you will survive all that?
I have just entered the mainstream stage and I have yet to experience that. I have a great belief in God. So God will protect me from campbaazi.
Q:Name your favourite song among the ones you have sung so far?
I would say both Kabhi neem neem (Yuva) and Hum hain is pal yahaan (Kisna). Both have also got me a lot of recognition and appreciation.
HER TOP 5 HINDI SONGS (FEMALE)
HER TOP 2 HINDI SONGS (MALE)
HER TOP 2 BENGALI SONGS (FEMALE/MALE)
HER OWN HIT TRACKS:
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