Playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan has completed 24 years in the film industry. She recorded her first song at the age of 11 in the 1996 film Shastra and won the reality show Meri Awaaz Suno the same year.
"It's been crazy, it has been 24 years and I still can't believe it. I started out really early. I was 11, so time has just flown," she told us in a freewheeling chat.
Even with so many years of experience, Sunidhi still loves the feeling of singing a new song. "I mean there have been so many songs and so many years in this journey. But each time I step inside a studio, go on the mike and sing that song, it's always that first feeling. It's always starting from zero. That's a beautiful feeling. I want to experience that again and again," she explained.
Sunidhi's latest track is 'Gumnaam Raahein' from the from the film X Zone. The new horror film is currently streaming on ShemarooMe Box Office, and has got its music from Sangeeta Pant. When we asked Sunidhi if there is a surprising dearth of female composers in Bollywood, she said, "Oh yes, I totally agree. I mean, it's sad that we don't have too many female music directors in our industry. We do have some, and they are doing really well. But, you know, the kind of success they deserve, they don't really get. I think it's all about opportunities."
"When I heard this song for the very first time, I instantly loved it and I told Sangeeta Pant that I didn't expect this coming from you. She is a very simple looking girl. From her persona, it doesn't come across that she would actually make such a strong, bold song in terms of composition. So if you hear this song, you'll realise that it has a certain aggressive feeling to it. And I just love singing such songs. So I totally enjoyed myself," she added.
While Sunidhi is known for her iconic songs, which still remain as popular over the years, she told us what some of her most favorite songs were. "The most challenging song that I came across was from the movie Sur (2002), Dil Mein Jaagi Dhadkan Aise. Thanks to MM Keeravani sir who gave me all the time to go over it again and again, to rehearse it properly and then sing on the mic. Because the 'mukhra' of this song, was supposed to be sung in one breath. It was very difficult, very challenging. So that's the one I had the hardest time.
"And my favourite songs, there are many but just to name a few, there is Halka Halka Suroor from Fanney Khan (2018), which was Amit Trivedi's song. And I love Lae Dooba (from Aiyaari, 2018) by Rochak Kohli. I love Aa Zara from Murder 2 (2011). And some of the old ones are Le Chale from My Brother Nikhil (2005)." she said.
The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc worldwide and caused a complete standstill in the entertainment industry. Sunidhi says that it changed her as an artist as the free time helped her discover herself. She found her love for cooking for her baby and family. She also realised that no matter what happens, life goes on.
"This year has been devastating for all of us. Not just Bollywood, but everywhere it has been so painful. I would just say that we need to stop pulling each other down, we need more positivity. We need each other, more than ever in these difficult times," she signed off.