Singer Malini Awasthi couldn’t be happier. After Agent Vinod’s popular mujra number Dil Mera Muft put her unconventional voice in the spotlight, this folk singer from Lucknow, is looking forward to making a mark in Bollywood with her unique style.
“I’m very happy that the song has become a hit. The best feeling for me is that it has clicked with the youth. I’m glad that Pritam (music composer) asked me to sing the song just the way I sing folk numbers, with the same embellishments,” says Malini, who began her stint in playback singing with movies like Bumm Bumm Bole (2010) and Soundtrack (2011).
A popular name in the live folk music circuit in the Hindi-speaking northern belt of the country, Malini’s USP is probably the fact that her recordings carry the same energy that she exudes on stage. “I’m very passionate about the music I play and want to help popularise lesser-known folk styles with my shows and recordings.
I perform extensively, from big cities to small towns and villages in UP and MP. The kind of music I play — thumri, dadra, kajri and hori — has a dedicated audience,” says Malini who sings in dialects such as Awadhi, Bundelkhandi and Bhojpuri.
Currently, the singer’s plate seems full with multiple Bollywood projects. “I am singing a folk ‘vidaai’ number in Issaq and a ‘nautanki’ song in Rajpal Yadav’s Ata Pata Laapata. There’s other work flowing in too,” says Malini, who is keeping busy juggling between Lucknow and Mumbai for her live shows and recording. Folk songs might be her forte, but is she bothered about being typecast to that genre alone?
“I am an authentic folk singer. So I know that only composers who require that kind style would call me. But being a classically trained singer, versatility comes naturally. Besides playing folk, I’ve recorded and performed fusion music with Midival Punditz too,” she says.
Global wave: Yusa
Cuban singer-singer songwriter Yusa never fails to surprise the listener. A multi-instrumentalist, who plays the guitar, bass, keyboard and percussion, and sings in Cuban Spanish, her jazz-funk compositions exude an easiness that is often associated with brooding artistes. It’s no wonder that her style is often compared to that of Tracy Chapman’s.
Check out Yusa’s music on My Space by logging on to www.myspace.com/yusaspace