At Lata Mangeshkar’s L.M. Studios at Lokhandwala, where she was recording the song for the Hindi Diwas, playback singer SONALI PATEL tells Senior Journalist JYOTHI VENKATESH that her dream is to meet her Goddess Lata Mangeshkar one day or the other as it has been her dream to meet her.
Tell me something about the song you have recorded for producer Manju Gautamji?
It is a gaurav geet composed for the Hindi Diwas by music director Udbhav Sir, who has sung some wonderful songs for Yash Chopra’s Mohabbatein as a playback singer. It is a beautiful song and a very catchy composition penned by Devmani Pandey. Udbhavji has extracted my best as a singer for the song and I am very thankful to Keshav Raiji for suggesting my name to Udbhavji.
Did you sing the song after a lot of rehearsals?
Udbhavji sent me the track after explaining to me on the phone what the tune will be and let me have a free hand as a singer and only did fine tuning wherever he felt it was not taking shape properly.
What lured you towards taking up singing as a career?
Music has been running in my veins right from the time when I was a tiny tot. In fact I had started singing in public on the stage when I was just two years and nine months old. My father Music Director Shri Krishna Chandratre has always been composing music while my grandfather Bhanudas Chandratre Kalvalkar is a kirtankaar. It was my father who trained me in music. Besides both of them, I have also been trained in music by Shalini Naik and Late Prabhakar Pandit too. I am also trained in Western classical music.
How did you get your break in films as a playback singer?
It was Abhijit Joshi who is the music director of the film Jayjaykaar who called me and asked me to sing for his film. It was a folkbased motivational song. Till date I have sung in quite a few Marathi films, to be precise around 20 films, the prominent among them being JayJaykaar directed by Shantanu Rode. For the Marathi Film Patil, for which I had also composed the song as a music director, with my partner Uday Salvi, was the programmer. We both arrange songs too. In the credits you will read my name as Sonali-Uday.
Have you also sung in films in Hindi?
Yes. I have sung an Aarti song with Shankar Mahadevan for the Ajay Devgn-Sonakshi Sinha starer Bhuj: The Pride of India directed by Abhsihek Dudhaiya for Music Director Amar Mohile. Incidentally, it was for the first time that I got the opportunity to sing for a veteran music director like Amar Mohile.
How did you manage to not bracket yourself as a singer who can sing only a particular genre of song?
Besides the fact that my USP is that till date I have sung for different music directors who have different styles, I do not believe in binding myself in a particular genre or a groove. Till date, I have sung songs for films and albums in Marathi, Hindi, Rajasthani and Gujarati.
Who is your inspiration as a playback singer?
My inspiration as a playback singer have always been Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale who I revere as my Goddesses. It is my dream to meet them one day or the other.
Who are your other favorite playback singers?
I like the texture of the songs sung by Shreya Ghosal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Arjit Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Kailash Kher, Javed Ali and Divya Kumar and they are my favorites. In fact I am lucky enough to have been able to compose a song for Javed Ali too.
OK. Who are your favorite music directors in films?
My favorite music directors till date are A.R. Rahman, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Salim Suleiman and Ajay-Atul. I also like Meet Brothers, M.M. Krem, Preetam, though I have not yet sung for them. I also like Baapi and Tutul for whom I have sung for the film Lisa.
What according to you is your forte as a singer?
I would like to call myself a versatile singer because if you listen to me singing an item number you will not realize that I can also sing songs which are based on Classical or Western music
How do you keep yourself in perfect musical shape as a playback singer?
I do not mind working hard. In fact I shuttle from Pune where I stay to Mumbai at least four times a week in pursuit of my work.
Which is your forthcoming project as a music director?
For Apeksha Films and Music, as a music director & singer, my new Hindi romantic sufi song which I have sung with Javed Ali & a few Marathi songs too. As a Music Director Duo Sonali-Uday, my forthcoming film is Dil Dosti Deewangi, for which I have also sung songs.
What is music as far as you are concerned?
For me, music is omnipresent in every aspect of my life without which l cannot live at all. The style of music may vary from place to place and person to person but it will always be there.