Mahalakshmi pops up an album

Mahalakshmi (of 'Dil Se' fame) has come up with a pop album simply titled 'Mahalakshmi'. In this interview, the immensely gifted singer talks about her musical career that is going places

music Updated: Jan 06, 2003 17:08 IST

Hers is a voice one has heard very often. In the year just gone by, she sung some really beautiful melodies in the Lucky Ali starrer 'Sur', and her presence was felt most remarkably in the soundtrack of the Vivek Oberoi-Rani Mukherjee starrer 'Saathiya.' Forever keen to explore new musical frontiers, Mahalakshmi has also come up with a pop album simply titled 'Mahalakhsmi'. In this interview, the immensely gifted singer talks about her musical career that is going places.

What prompted you to come up with a pop album?
It is another facet of music that I wanted to explore. I have been dabbling in jingles, collaboration albums, music for serials and films. But I wanted to be sure that I was ready to do a pop album because it is a completely different kettle of fish.

When did the idea for the album come into being?
Shankar Mahadevan always kept on saying that I should be doing a pop album. After doing 'Instant Karma', I felt that the timing was right because I had matured as a singer. Sony and a couple of other companies had given me feelers, and we started working on the album in late 1999. What we had decided was that the music would be in the pop mould but more melodic. Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy's forte is composing tight melodies, and it happened that way.

You have been doing a lot of work down South, haven't you?
Yes, one has been working a lot down South, up North (laughs). I have also done work in other languages, like some 100 odd songs in Assamese, songs for Gujarati and Marathi films, apart from singing in South Indian languages including Tamil which is my mother tongue.

How did A R Rehman discover you for 'Dil Se'?
Mr. Rehman was looking for a new voice, and he had heard about me from a common friend Brijji (music director Brij Bhushan Sharma). I had a small part in the song 'Ai Ajnabee' but I worked a lot with him later in both Tamil films and Hindi films like 'Love You Hamesha' and 'Saathiya'.

What projects are you currently working on?
I have had songs in films like 'Sur', 'Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai', 'Bas Yun Hi' and 'Rishtey' recently. Among my forthcoming releases are songs in 'Qayamat', 'Kucch Na Kaho', 'Armaan' and 'Pehchaan'.

Finally, your favourite music director?
Every body has his own individual style. Mr Rehman's melodies are well-structured, but he reveals the complete structure very rarely and leaves it up to the singer to come up with one's own interpretation. Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy give a lot of freedom, but they compose their songs in such a way that one does not have to do any thing often. The industry in Mumbai functions very differently, and here there is a lot of weightage on emotions. Somebody like Anu Malik keeps on emphasising on expressions and feel all the time. Every body is different, but I really enjoy working with them because they are great music directors.

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First Published: Jan 06, 2003 11:55 IST