It is a distinctive of India with its many languages that talented entertainers here can easily captivate an audience which does not always speak their language.
27 year old singing sensation Shreya Goshal, for example, is an Indian playback singer who has sung in over seven languages in her career so far.
At recent concert in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, enthusiastic fans, music critics and even local politicians were entranced by this beautiful and charming young woman’s performance – despite just two of her songs being in Tamil. Her set was almost entirely in English and Hindi.
Not that Shreya isn’t versatile in Tamil - she has sung well over a hundred film songs in the Tamil industry.
Recipient of four Filmfare Awards and four National Film Awards, she has lent her voice to more than 180 films overall.
A Bengali, she moved to Mumbai to train her voice under renowned teacher Kalyanji and kick-start her career in the film industry. Shreya, who tours extensively, both nationally and internationally, has since acquired a growing and loyal fan base in many of India’s communities.
It was easy to see why at the ‘Shreya Goshal Live in Concert’ on March 26 at Chennai Music Academy. The event was presented by the Bengal Association Trust for the aid of cancer patients and the education of girls.
Upcoming Bengali film music singer Kuntal Banerjee started off the event with his smooth vocals and dance moves, quickly commanding enthusiasm from the audience. His Hindi version of the Tamil Ilayaraja classic ‘Ilaya Nila’ was particularly well received.
Shreya then took the stage with audience well and truly warmed up. Today’s Chennai audiences are enthusiastic and vocal, even raucous; music lovers here are certainly not shy or reserved!
Shreya kicked off with a song from her first film project, ‘Devdas’, which galvanised the audience. That set the pace for the rest of the show. Her pitching was as perfect as it can get and her melodious voice was flawless to the end.
Shreya is an entertaining, talkative performer, maintaining an easy, almost casual, interaction with the crowd. Inevitably, individual requests came forth; some were accommodated, but there was a well prepared set to get through.
Indian entertainment is truly multicultural, but this is still Chennai. Judging from the audiences’ response, the highlights of the evening were definitely the two Tamil songs, ‘Munbe Vaa’ (which she slyly celebrated as the best recording in her career) and ‘Manippaaya’from the film ‘Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya’.