The Diva ‘Sunidhi Chauhan’ began her musical journey in Bollywood at an early age of 11, who once dreamt of becoming a Rockstar and eventually through her sheer determination and hard work became a youth icon who’s today an inspiration for many aspiring singers. In an interesting heart to heart conversation with Mala Sekhri Chauhan sheds light on her intriguing persona in the session ‘Kaun hai Sunidhi Chauhan’ at  Raymond MTV India Music Summit 2019 …Loudest.in brings you key highlights of the talk…

I feel like the most powerful woman when I am on the stage, who can do anything.My audience gives me all that power and freedom to express and experiment, as I know they love me. Whatever I create they listen to it with a lot of acceptance and patience and all this makes me a better artist a better performer. That’s me on stage, rest I am a very normal person and just having a good time.”

Talking about living her dreams Chauhan said, “I don’t think I dreamt of it and it just happened. My father tells me that when I was just 3 years old, I used to sing the song ‘Chitti ai hai’ which was a very long song and I had learned it by heart and eventually I started singing Lata Mangeshkarji’s songs like ‘Ye sama hai ye pyar ka’ and many more…It just began as a hobby and eventually, it turned into a profession and I came to Mumbai. It was when I sang my first playback when I actually decided that this is what I want to do in life.”

Talking about being a self -taught artist who learned a lot through listening, Chauhan said, “I have listened and learned a lot from Lataji and Ashaji, Mehendi Hassan Saheb and along with a few western musicians, and can’t say that I am a self- taught artist, yes I have not had any formal training and never had a one on one training from any guru. I think I have learned a lot especially from Lataji and Ashaji and have adapted and molded my voice and style accordingly.”

Talking about Asha Bhosleji and the inspiration she has been for her Chauhan says, “ She is so mesmerizing and has such zeal at this age and stage in life and the kind of energy and spirit she has, that I wonder where does she get that…and I think one needs to love yourself so much and have the self-belief that I am born with a purpose to sing in this birth, to accomplish what she has achieved and that has been a big piece of learning from her. I love her spirit and I have tried to imbibe from her how to learn from various styles and techniques even from western musicians.”

Chauhan reminisces, “I remember when I was around 11 years old, MTV was the only channel that showcased western music. I listened to the Australian singer Tina Arena’s song ‘Chains’ and decided to sing that song. After that, I tried listening and grasping western music nuances from many singers as it was fascinating for me then. Eventually, unknowingly all those impressions and that thought started reflecting in my film songs, and people accepted my voice which had a different tonality.”

Bestowed with a unique voice Chauhan talks about how she groomed herself, “When I came into the industry a particular kind of voices were very popular, but few people like Sandeep Chauta, late Adesh Srivastav, who wanted to do something different tried to experiment with my voice and it was a very bold step to take a voice like that. I was 15 years old when I sang for the heroine in the film. I remember I  was so happy the day I recorded the song, that I could not sleep the following night in excitement and waited anxiously for the song to release.”

Replying to Sekhri who asks, “ With the changing trends in the music landscape where  composers are ready to explore different textures, voices with so many new singers in the industry, genres, situational music to background scores in the films, the Bollywood industry is open today to different realms of music, where does Sunidhi Chauhan sees herself, Chauhan says, “ I feel blessed that I am still a part of this industry this being my 23rd year now and am thankful to all my music directors and producers with whom I have worked with or with whom  I am still working with. I feel I have just begun. I think it is fantastic for all the aspiring singers with new textures and voices who have opportunities now, although one part that bothers me is the autotune as anyone and everyone today thinks to be a singer with the help of it, and that’s a little sad. I am always happy to hear new voices and if I get to meet them I always compliment them. I think change is one thing which is constant and that’s good to know that the industry is evolving.”

What is the definition of a true note or  ‘Ek Saccha Sur’ to Sunidhi Chauhan, pat came her reply, “ A true note ( Saccha Sur) is either there or not there, but when it is there it touches your heart and you start crying. If I have to give an example for me Sukhwinder Singhji  if he sings something like ‘Tera main nahi’ I start crying because he has those true notes, and that note which is not just sung but is felt by the listeners  is a ‘Sachha Sur.’

Mala Sekhri Shares how Sukhwinder Singh was an indirect inspiration for Indian Music Summit, “When I came to Fairmount to decide on the venue, I was imagining how it would be if Sukhwinder Singh sings here from the rooftop, and I just heard a very strong voice as someone was singing from the roof top…and to my surprise it was him, so it was such a coincidence that I thought of him singing in that venue and he was right there in that very moment.”

Talking about her future endeavours Chauhan says, “I want to do something new always which I have not done before, so I am working with some non- films songs which I wanted to do much before, but was not getting time due to Bollywood engagements.”

Paying her musical tribute to the nightingale of India Lata Mangeshkar Ji who has turned 90 this year, Chauhan picked some of her favorite songs of the Diva “Lataji is like a temple for me”, it’s difficult to select which is one of my favorite songs of hers but one song which I could connect after my son was born is ‘Betab dil ki tammana yahi hai.’ The diva concluded the talk by singing another lata Mangeshkar melody ‘Zara si aahat hoti hai’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author

A Hindustani Classical Vocalist and a Musicologist. Pursuing Ph.D. in the same from Delhi University. Presently working with exchange 4media writing across domains ranging from Digital, Marketing, Advertising, Events, Music, Artforms, Artists and lots more... Getting better with time!

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