Sawan Dutta is a multi-faceted talent rolled into one - an architect, singer, composer, jazz artist, et al. She is one of the few Indian women to have directed music for a commercial feature film and has also directed the music as well as sung for Manu Rewal's 2005 feature film Chai Paani Etc. (starring Konkona Sen Sharma) Ms Dutta is also one of the original members of the experimental fusion band Indian Ocean.
But it is only with Lady Chatterjee - her first solo non-film album, which is also India's first fully animated video-tone character and 3D animated item girl that Sawan Dutta shot to limelight. The album has also made it to the Limca Book of Records 2006.
Sudeshna B Baruah chats up the 36-year-old self-effacing diva who considers music her religion, her God.
Tell us something about your training in music?
Personally, it began at the age of 3 when my grandfather gifted a harmonium with multi-coloured keys. This was sufficient to prod me into the world of music. Besides, I have done fifth grade in piano from the Royal School of Music, London and have received training in operatic vocals from Korean tenor, Mr. Hur Chul Young and India's best known soprano, Situ Singh Buehler.
Lady Chatterjee was quite popular among GenX.
Sawan Dutta has created music for shows likeIndia's Child Genius, Mastermind University Challenge, Bhanwar, Bluffmaster etc
She has composed the soundtracks for commerials like Creative Line, Maruti, Airtel, Nestle, Outlook.
Has worked on award winning documentary series for Aaj Tak- Twenty Five incredible Years,
Has composed the music for Jungle Tales, India's first 3D animated cartoon.
Has composed the anthem for the Indoansian Djarums Supper Soccer Tournament.
Has composed the signature IDs for channels like Sahara Samay Rashtriya, Zee Sports, Awaaz, South Asia World and signature tune of Doordarshan National.
I was indeed oblivious to its popularity, till I started getting feedback on the Net, about people's craze for the animated item girl. Indeed, I go to know, children started adopting the phrase "
Amar songe chat korbe
" (as being used by Lady Chatterjee on the video) in their daily conversation. Besides, the title song of album is being remixed in Germany and has already been dubbed in French. Given that, social networking is quite a rage in India these days, I think this innovative concept struck a chord with GenX.
Despite being a multi-faceted persona and being your name is yet to gain popularity?
Yes. I don't deny that I have poor marketing skills and am a hardly a party animal. I would also blame it on the excessive commercialisation of music channels. I feel they have a fetish for projecting nudity more than creative aspects.
Is Lady Chatterjee your alter-ego?
Lady Chatterjee is called so because she is a chatterbox. Incidentally, I too like to chat on the Net and am a very talkative person. This is quite a common streak in both of us.
Your name is also associated with Amaan-Ayaan's music albums Truth and Dreams
Yes. I have worked on their latest album Truth and am also associated with their yet-to-be-released album Dreams. I am the person behind turning the classical album (Truth) into a lounge album. And the best part is Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is quite impressed with the facelift and has lent his voice to one of the tracks on the album. It is for the first time that the sarod maestro has sung in an album. This is quite an achievement in itself. Hence, I am on cloud nine on being associated with the album.
Well, my piano. It gets most of my attention in my spare time.
Your upcoming projects?
I have few international projects that will showcase some of the young faces of instrumental musoc