Meet Shreya Ghoshal, the melody heart throb, the accomplished playback artist, the brand ambassador for Joyalukkas, the judge at Junior Indian Idol a reality show, the daughter, the sister, essaying all her roles with grace and perfection.
In Kuwait to visit the Joyalukkas showroom at Lulu Hypermarket at Al Rai, Shreya Ghoshal commented on Joyalukkas’ interesting concept of “the purity of my voice likened to the purity of gold”. “I am really honored to be associated with Joyalukkas, ‘the world’s favorite jeweller’. To me, gold is the quintessential metal, the epitome of purity and glamour, and it is forever.”
The excitement at meeting Shreya Ghoshal quickly turned to admiration, as Shreya humbly spoke of her work, her dreams, and her grounded upbringing. Bedecked in a red and green Kanjeevaram, the vibrant colors only emphasized her charming persona, both warm and magnetic.
Speaking of her early years Shreya attributed her musical journey to her parents. Her mother Mrs. Sarmistha Ghoshal, also a singer, was her very first teacher. Her father Mr. Bishwajit Ghoshal, has been the strongest influence and he is the figure she looks up to “in every aspect of my life”. Shreya candidly admits that having talent is one thing, but life lessons she learnt from Dad. “Dad guided me on the philosophy of life, how to conduct oneself in any given situation, and how to remain real and rooted. As a result, this so called achievement or success of mine, I am not attached to it, if for some reason tomorrow everything were to vanish, I would still be very happy, as long as I could sing or even listen to music, as music is a part of my soul.”
Shreya’s honey dipped voice echoes melodiously in the room as she speaks of her aspirations, “as there is so much more to do! Indian music is so rich in style and variety; however Bollywood songs are naturally bound by the concept of the film, the director and the scene itself. Bollywood is one of the most successful industries, contributing in a major way to the commerce of the country. I am glad to be a part of this industry which is sometimes larger than life. There are some forgotten genres of music, I would love to explore those, and for my personal growth, sing independent non-film songs which I have not done for a long time.”
Commenting on the rapid change in the music industry vis-à-vis the digitization of recording and the trend of multiple music directors per film, Shreya said she is comfortable with it and loves to work with the flow of the industry. “Around us everything is changing and evolving. I have no qualms about change, as long as good work is being done.” ‘Good work’ reminds us of some song lyrics she was recently unhappy with. Referring to the increasingly bold lyrics in few songs Shreya felt that she would like to stick to certain principles, in the sense that “I have sung seductive songs as well, but there is a certain style to them, they are not in-your-face cheesy.”
Being the judge on Junior Indian Idol is one of Shreya’s major assignments. The popularity of the reality show is unprecedented.”Yes, the success of the show is unbelievable and something I had never imagined. The children on the show are amazing, and the good part is that though they are given a theme, they are given a lot of freedom as well. They take just a day to learn the song – I would say each one of them is blessed with something more than just vocal ability; they are great artists, not just singers. I expect that some of the future playback singers will definitely be from this crop.”
It must be heartbreaking to see them eliminated? “Oh yes, in the last episode Emon left us, and Priyam had to be consoled more than Emon, as they are such good friends. They are competitive contestants, but at the end of the day they are babies.” To all budding singers who feel they have it in them to make it, Shreya had just one piece of advice “It’s not easy, you have seen plenty of reality shows, singers come and singers go. To stay, you have to keep the passion of your art alive, stay focused and work very hard.”
Shreya Ghoshal is a highly decorated artist, right from winning the National Award for her debut song ‘Bairi Pia’ as Paro’s voice in Devdas in 2002, to an IIFA Award for ‘Chikni Chameli’ in Agneepath in 2013. Award functions are the norm of the day, but how many are too many? “I feel the sanctity in the National and Filmfare Awards, and to a certain extent in the IIFA Awards, as it addresses a global audience. I agree, now award functions are neatly packaged with sponsors and have become more a means of entertainment, and in that sense have lost their essence.”
In the span of a decade Shreya Ghoshal has accomplished more than other artists can dream of. “Yes I lead a life where my days are tightly packed with assignments. But when I get a breather, I feel is this all happening to me? I cannot thank God enough for everything I have achieved. I thank my fans and audiences for bringing me to where I am today. Somewhere along my journey, I realized that it was not just limited to my voice, people genuinely loved me. I would like to use this adulation to achieve bigger and better things. There are great singers in the industry and I would love to get together with them and produce some power packed independent work.”
“As I go through life, I feel it’s my time for realization – I want to understand what my final spiritual role is.” Aren’t you too young for this? Shreya throws back her head, her laughter ringing like music itself “Oh God am I sounding like an old lady?”
“But honestly speaking, where I belong is in the studio, if not recording, at least humming. Since the morning, this Geeta Dutt song from yesteryears ‘Meri jaan, mujhe jaan na kaho’ is buzzing in my head, it’s like a recurrent dream. I would never touch legendary work, but yes, I would love to do a cover on it.”
Shreya Ghoshal, not just one of India’s finest voices, but truly a pure gold experience - humility, compassion and power house talent coexisting in a beautiful human being.