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<b>Woman behind the voice: SRILEKHA PARTHASARATHY</b> Woman behind the voice: SRILEKHA PARTHASARATHY

Topic started by jacob (@ on Sat Jun 5 01:04:47 EDT 2004.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

Friday June 4 2004 10:19 IST
Annie Thomas

Meet Srilekha Parthasarathy, whose peppy Kalyanam thaan kattikittu has us dancing

That she is passionate about singing is obvious from her introduction: ''Singing's all I've done since I can remember.'' Her track record is true to her words: Srilekha Parthasarathy started when she was four - and she won a prize at a major children's singing competition in Delhi.

But then singing is not the only thing Srilekha has done either. She's done theatre, has written a bit, composed some music, compered a show for a channel, was the Cultural Secretary of her college and worked in a public relations firm. Phew.

Only recently, Srilekha has decided to stop spreading herself thin and focus on singing. This is post Kalyanam thaan kattikittu from Saamy, Dims Kattai from Thirumalai, Yaetho Ondru from Lesa Lesa (this was her first song), Saithanae Saithanae from Yethiree and Pachakilli from Kuthu decision. A wise one, we should say.

Considering she has achieved all these in just a span of two and half years, when she moved to Chennai from Delhi to give playback singing a serious try. 'I've been one of the lucky few to get such a good break.''

The break, she insists, came solely because of her hard work - she has no godfather or any known person in the film industry. Srilekha did so many jingles while in Delhi - in 16 languages including the four south Indian languages and Gujarati, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Konkani and so on - that she reached a point of boredom. Yet she loved singing. That's when she decided to move to Chennai bag and baggage and get into playback singing.

But why Chennai and not Mumbai which is closer to Delhi? ''Because I like the language and the people.'' She came armed with about 60 demo CDs, which she recorded in various styles showcasing her versatility. Before long, she landed herself Harris Jeyaraj's Lesa Lesa.

Without her family's encouragement and support, acknowledges this budding playback singer, none of this would have been possible. ''Even if my enthusiasm weans, my parents see me through and keep me going.''

Srilekha knows exactly where she is going. ''It's not like I want to sing 50,000 songs. I want to do about a 1,000 songs and most of all I want to leave a mark. At least 50 out of those 1,000 songs should be remembered for me. Like Chitra, Janaki and SPB who will always be remembered for the songs they sang,'' says Srilekha.

By the way, Srilekha's favourites are SP Balasubramaniam, Hariharan, Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt. Srilekha herself is a trained Carnatic and Hindustani singer, and has sung from western to bhangra pop to ghazals to you-say-it-she's-sung-it. That must explain her choice of favourites. But she makes it clear that she does not like to and does not want to copy any of them. ''It is important to have a style of your own and sing in your own voice. Only then will you be remembered. If you sound like someone else then what's the point, '' she says.

Looks like Srilekha does not lack in ambition. ''I want to have a show of my own. Like a 'Srilekha Parthasarathy night'. That's one of my dreams,'' she tells you casually. And they are not blind dreams either. For instance, though she is confident that she can compose music, she is aware of her current priorities. ''If I get an offer to do the music for a film, I will take the chance. But for now, I'm concentrating on my singing. It is important to be focussed.''
There is probably only one thing that will make her give it all up. ''I love travelling, seeing new places, new things and I love collecting curios for my house. So if I get the chance to travel all over, I will drop everything and go for it,'' she says.


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