For those who thought Indian actresses aren’t given a ‘listen’ often, here’s the truth. They are now being considered for playback singing more than ever before. Draped in oodles of confidence, the leading ladies of Indian cinema are now wielding the mike with élan.
The ever-so-cherubic Juhi Chawla gave in to the temptation of Bollywood playback and put years of riyaaz to use when she recorded a song for music composer duo Sangeet and Siddharth Haldipur in the animation film, Bird Idol recently. While the Jhankaar Beats actress shares the inlay with talents such as Shaan and Kailash Kher, she isn’t the one kickstarting the trend.
Many Indian actresses in the past have lent their voice to Bollywood songs. Actress Mita Vashisht, for instance, was lauded for bringing to table a certain degree of rawness when she sang the title track in Pradeep Sarkar’s Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. Siren Kareena Kapoor, too, voiced a pensive Faiz Ahmed Faiz nazm-inspired song titled Jab Nahin Aaye The Tum in Govind Nihalani’s Dev a few years ago. Madhuri Dixit added another feather to her cap when she experimented with a thumri titled Kahe Chhed Mohe in Devdas.Vashisht says versatility is always welcome. “Sometimes filmmakers think an actor can add a new dimension through his/her voice. I sang Laaga… in different versions, and it gelled well with the character,” she says.
The list, however, is only getting hotter. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, known to be an avid singer, is reportedly crooning a track in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish. Katrina Kaif, too, will enter the recording studio soon to sing rhymes for an AR Rahman album. And that too in Hindi! “I’m always game for new challenges. And I’d rather take the uncomfortable route [of singing in Hindi],” she was quoted as saying. Let’s see when Sushmita Sen and Priyanka Chopra, also blessed with vocal talent, follow suit.