By Ekatmata Sharma
New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Music is a universal language that connects all. India’s diversity can be witnessed through its music that changes with every state. As the lines of languages are blurring through the boom of social media, there is an emergence of singers singing in different Indian languages. These artistes are breaking barriers and singing across different languages.
Today’s young singers have embraced multilingual songs with grace.
Pavithra Chari, a cross-genre vocalist-composer, said in an exclusive conversation with IANS, “In the past few years I’ve seen an increase in versatility as an important element in the music industry. Just as there are experimentations with genres, I believe that extension is made for languages as well.” Pavithra has written and released three studio albums and toured extensively across the globe.
Palak Muchhal, 29, has sung in almost all Indian languages – Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, Punjabi, and Kannada. The young singer recently rendered her voice for ‘Kabhi Tumhe’ in ‘Shershaah’.
Palak expressed, “I’ve been singing in different languages ever since I was a kid. I used to travel to different countries and different states, so I used to include a song from their folk music or their local language in my concerts.”
She continued, “When I went to Dubai, I sang in Arabic when I went to Nairobi, I sang in Swahili. When I used to travel in the south, I used to sing in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam. Then I started singing for films. So, I started getting offers to sing in films from different languages. I really enjoy it. I find it challenging, yet fun.”
She has films like ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, ‘Aashiqui 2’, ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’, ‘M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story’ to her credit.
A lot of singers from the North are singing songs in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and other south Indian languages and vice versa.
Composer and singer Vipin Patwa stated language is not a barrier in music. “There are a lot of singers that I would like to work with who are from the north. I believe that language is not a barrier in music. Working on music in different languages helps you gain more experience and you also get a chance to learn the language and the culture.”
Vipin recently composed music for ‘Bhuj – The Pride Of India’ for the song ‘Ishq Mera’. He said, “I have worked in different languages like Oriya, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Nepali as well.”
He has composed music for films like ‘Housefull 4’, ‘The Girl On The Train’ to name a few.
The multilingual singers shared that switching from one language to another is challenging, but the experience of singing in different languages is enriching.
Pop singer Shirley Setia elaborated, “It’s surely very challenging, as the pronunciation has to be precise and correct while singing, along with the feel and emotion. But it feels great to see fans connect with it, and to hear them sing back to you at concerts is blissful and truly amazing.”
Shirley has sung her single numbers with names like Atif Aslam, Raftaar, Jubin Nautiyal, etc.
Singer, songwriter, composer, and Indian Idol contestant John Oinam shared the visibility of multilingual singers has increased due to social media. “India is a multilingual country and it’s quite common here for a person to know or speak more than two languages. Multilingual singing visibility has increased because of social media platform and its reach,” said John.
Hailing from the northeast, John sings in three different languages – Manipuri, Hindi, and English. He shared his technique of switching from one language to another. “I switch from one language to another while singing I pay attention towards the pronunciation and the accent of the language that I am attempting. I practice specific words or phrases before singing so that I don’t miss the essence of the song,” he said.
Young singers Shirley and Palak believe that multilingual singing was prevalent earlier, but it got highlighted now due to social media’s easy accessibility.
Shirley said, “I think we see it as an emerging trend now due to social media and how accessible it has become for everyone. Be it Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, Shreya Ghoshal all have lent voices to beautiful melodies, and it’s great to see this being carried on even today. Agreed Palak, “Kumar Sanu ji, Lata ji, Alka Ji, Sunidhi Chauhan ji have sung in different languages.”
“Music truly connects people from the hearts, no matter what the language may be,” concluded Shirley.