I need to better myself, says singer- lyricist Shalmali Kholgade

Aug 28, 2013, 09:02 IST | Rashmi Henriques

After winning accolades for Pareshaan from Ishaqzaade, singer- lyricist Shalmali Kholgade changed her decision to study music in Los Angeles and decided to give a shot at Bollywood instead

Her decision seems to have paid off with hits like Daaru Desi, Aga Bai, Lat Lag Gayee and Balam Pichkari in her kitty. The singer who will be seen later this week in a musical TV show with singer Karthik chats up with CS.

Shalmali Kholgade

Striking the right chords
I'm more than just fortunate when it comes to meeting the right people at the right time. I had a vague idea of becoming a vocalist but Bollywood gave it a definite direction. There are immensely talented musicians in the industry who are capable of such wonders that it’s hard not to be inspired by them at every step. From singers like Sunidhi Chauhan, to recording and mixing engineers like Alok Punjani - there’s so much to take in.

Dealing with fame
Whenever anyone compliments me, I put my head down and say thank you. Then I tell myself ‘This too shall change’. One needs to have a stable mind to work and thrive in Bollywood. We need to be in constant touch with the reality, and the transitory nature of stardom. That makes it easier to deal with people’s expectations. I put a lot of pressure on myself after the cascade of awards last season. I want to do better for myself. Some days when people around me pat my back, I fail in my own eyes and that’s harder to handle. Also, I work very hard to expose myself to different kind of music so that I can learn more. 

Being a vocalist
I used to enjoy singing live before I joined Bollywood. There is a difference in my live performances -- then and now. I enjoy singing live as well as playback because they come with different set of challenges.

Language no bar
I have done playback for Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films. The difference is I understand most of what I sing in Hindi. But Tamil has to be explained to me word by word, line by line. It is a phonetically more complex language and some syllables take longer to pronounce accurately. It’s like an adventure singing in Tamil. I love it. Hindi has also presented its share of new phonetic sounds when it leans towards Urdu. It has been a very educative experience.

On my plate
I’ve been recording a lot of film songs, which will release soon. I’ve also recorded a song on an album with Agnee. I’m working on an album of TV commercial jingles made into songs, composed by Mikey McCleary. There’s plenty more in the pipeline! At the moment, I am looking forward to jamming with Karthik, who is a superb singer.  

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