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Singer Madhushree: I don't want to be a replica- Cinema express

Singer Madhushree: I don't want to be a replica

The singer talks about her Tamil cinema comeback with AR Rahman’s ‘Mallipoo’ from Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu

Published: 14th September 2022

It's impossible to listen to songs like ‘Sanda Kozhi’ (Ayutha Ezhuthu), ‘Kannan Varum Velai’ (Deepavali), and ‘Ragasiya Kanavugal’ (Bheema) and not immediately recall the voice of singer Madhushree. The singer, after a break of six years on account of the pandemic, has now returned with a chartbuster in ‘Mallipoo’ (Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu). “I got a lot of Tamil offers during the pandemic and was wary about travelling for the recording at the time. So, I turned them down. I am glad to return with a song by my favourite composer, Rahman sir.”

While some singers establish their uniqueness through voice experimentation, Madhushree has largely stuck to her signature style. She attributes this to her mother Prabti Bhattacharya and mentor AR Rahman. “When I began singing, I would try to imitate other singers, but my mother didn’t want me to be a copy. The second confirmation came from Rahman sir when I sang ‘Sanda Kozhi Kozhi’. He said that my voice was unique and that all I had to do to be successful was to own it completely and not alter it.”

And ‘owning one’s voice’ also means being able to understand the emotion of the character the song is about and recognising its placement in the film. “That’s how I can relate to the character and deliver the correct emotion. For instance, while recording ‘Mallipoo’, I tried to communicate a dash of sadness to match the mood of the film.”

The singer recorded her first film song— ‘Mohabbat Zindagi Hai’ (Moksha)—when she was 30. While some might deem that to be a bit of a late entry, she believes it was ‘perfect timing’. “I believe everything happens for a purpose. There are singers who started really early but vanished after a few albums. I, however, had time to practise and improve my voice before making my debut. As I spent time building my voice, I didn’t have to alter it after starting to sing for films. I consider myself fortunate that way.”

While the singer is widely lauded for the sweetness of her voice, there has been the occasional criticism about her Tamil diction. Madhushree, who remains well-aware of such feedback, promises to get it right in her upcoming songs. “I don’t have many people around me who speak Tamil well, so it is a challenge to make sure that I pronounce every word right. Lyricists like Thamarai have been helpful and kind during recording sessions, but now, it’s time for me to master Tamil pronunciation. Also, you can expect me to sing more in the language soon.”

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