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The Next Big Thing: playback singers

Experts feel that some singers will rock 2011 better than others. Let's take a look at them.

music Updated: Jan 03, 2011 12:47 IST

Our judges
Shilpa Rao, Singer
Male

Nikhil D’Souza
Has a unique and new voice

Suraj Jagan
Keeps getting better. Love his voice

Tochi Raina
Is original. Has a distinctive style

Female
Alyssa Mendonsa
Her voice is fresh and unique

Monali Thakur
A superstar with an amazing voice

Antara Mitra
Great voice texture

Kunal Ganjawala, Singer
Male

Suraj Jagan
Recognised finally! Here to stay

Shail Hada
Well trained. Nice classical sound

Nikhil D’Souza
Never heard him, but told he’s good

Female
Antara Mitra
A nice, versatile voice and range

Alyssa Mendonsa
Fresh voice. Music is in her blood

Monali Thakur
Is capable. Has a versatile voice

Sajid Ali, Music composer
Male

Raja Hasan
Is a good upcoming singer

Bishakh Jyoti
Talented. Great for playback

Shadab Faridi
Dynamic voice. He’ll be big

Female
Mamta Sharma
Her first playback song was a rage

Abhilasha
A promising playback singer

Sniti Mishra
Fantastic and unique voice

And the singers who get the maximum votes from our judges are...

Suraj Jagan
‘I didn’t know my song would be such a hit’
Give me some sunshine, sang Suraj Jagan in the film 3 Idiots, and the sun hasn’t stopped shining on him since. He had songs in Johnny Gaddar, Rock On!! and My Name Is Khan, but 3 Idiots was his big winner. “I’d met Shantanu (Moitra) for a jingle and he told me that someday he wanted me to sing for him in a movie,” says Suraj. That turned out to be Give me some sunshine. “But I did not realise how big it would be then!” says Suraj.

Claim to fame
Give me some sunshine – 3 Idiots
Sadka kiya – I Hate Luv Storys
You & I – Hutch jingle

Alyssa Mendonsa
‘I have no formal training’
Alyssa Mendonsa’s career began when she was asked by the trio Shankar Ehsaan Loy to give a rough vocal take for Karthik Calling Karthik. There was no looking back. “I’m grateful to be picked as one of your Next Big Things,” she says. You’ll hear her again in the forthcoming movie, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Claim to fame
Uff teri ada – Karthik Calling Karthik
Papa jag jayega and O girl you’re mine – Housefull
Adhoore – Break Ke Baad

Nikhil D’Souza
‘It has been a bit of a struggle’
A regular on Mumbai’s indie-rock circuit, Nikhil D’Souza left his job in Muscat in 2007 to try and make it in the music industry. After performing self-written and composed numbers in clubs and music festivals, he finally got a break in Aisha. “I was recording Dil titli for Airtel when Amit Trivedi spotted me,” he says. Heard in movies like Break Ke Baad and Anjaana Anjaani, Nikhil’s soulful voice has put him on our ‘Next Big Things’ list. “I am surprised and honoured,” he says.

Claim to fame
Perfect life – hit independent single
Sham and Lehrein – Aisha
Anjaana anjaani – Title track of the movie
Main jiyoonga – Break Ke Baad

- From HT Brunch, December 26

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