An Exclusive interview with Designer-turned Playback Singer Arpita Chakraborty

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By Rituparna Sengupta Basu

Music is her passion; her mother was her only music guru. She got introduced to the musical sphere at a very young age. She has lent her voice to more than 15 languages including Kannada, Tamil, Punjabi and Bengali. She can be heard in the remake song ‘ye paisa, ye paisa’ of the film Total Dhamal. Her songs have also been screened at the prestigious Cannes Festival. Yes, we are talking about our very own playback singer Arpita Chakraborty, who has already made her mark in B-town. In a quick chat with Expresso, she expresses and shares her love of music.

Expresso: How did you feel when your song got screened at the prestigious Cannes Festival?

Arpita Chakraborty: It was a huge moment for me. I sang two songs in the Indo-Spanish movie ‘Enredados’ which was screened at Cannes. I really loved to sing those songs and am very much happy about it. Even the audience appreciated that. It was really a surprise for me to get selected. Cannes is very prestigious, it is every artist dream to be showcased there.

Expresso: Tell us your feelings about motherhood? The best thing about motherhood is…?

Arpita Chakraborty: I am enjoying my motherhood with my 2 months old little Vian and the best thing about motherhood is that you have got a new life into this world land God has chosen you to gift another life. When your child smiles, it is a completely different feeling altogether. The energy, the action, everything is very fascinating. The best part about motherhood is to be able to bring another life into this world.

Expresso: Your song has been doing the rounds on the internet even before Total Dhamaal released. How do you feel about that?

Arpita Chakraborty: Yes, it was a very amazing feeling. This song was very popular in Karz which was a hit movie in the 1980s and now working in this song as a remake, it’s a really a prestigious reward for me. Before it was released, it was already a subject of discussion in social media and the entire film industry. Huge star cast like Madhuri Dixit Nene, Anil Kapoor, Arshad Warsi everyone is looking so good in this song. And post the release, the song has been praised so much. I am very grateful to the audience for liking the song.

 Expresso: How was your experience singing for Madhuri Dixit-Nene in Total Dhamal? Was it fun working on the song?

Arpita Chakraborty: It was a mind-blowing experience. Once I watched Madhuriji on television I felt that my voice almost like her. It was like a dream come true singing for my dream lady and it was an amazing feeling. We had a lot of fun.

Expresso : You began your career as a designer. And now you are in a different profession. What prompted you to get into music? Did you always want to be a singer?

Arpita Chakraborty: I had a strong connection with music in my childhood. My mother Tapati Chakraborty was my one and only music teacher. I learnt all about the music from her. However, I never thought that I would do playback singing in Bollywood. After completing my studies, I moved to Mumbai and began my career as a Designer. Singing is my passion, and I think my destiny pushed me towards singing and today I am living my dream.

Before becoming a singer I worked as a dubbing artist for several cartoon shows on Cartoon Network, Pogo, Disney. I met Music composer Aadesh Shrivastava and sang for one of his regional films which did not release, unfortunately. Then I worked on another film of his called ‘Satyagraha’. It was Aadesh sir’s last film. I was elated because for the first time I got the opportunity to work with a great director like Prakash Jha.

 Expresso: If not a singer what would you have opted to do?

Arpita Chakraborty: As you already know, I have a designing background. So I would have been doing something in the designing field if not singing. Also, I would have worked as a dubbing artist if not singing.

Expresso: Being a Bengali have you ever considered composing music for a Bengali film? Would you like to feature in your own album?

Arpita Chakraborty: I love Bengali songs very much but as of now I have not thought of composing. But on the contrary, I am waiting for those opportunities for singing in Bengali movies. Through my private channels, I am already doing Bengali singles/songs and hopefully, I will be able to release those to the listeners.

Yes, I would like to feature my own album songs.

Expresso: A piece of advice you would want to give young musicians?

Arpita Chakraborty: Follow your heart, your passion and never give up your hope.

Expresso: Paisa Yeh Paisa’ is a remake song. Do you really like to sing such a song?

Arpita Chakraborty: ‘Paisa Yeh Paisa’ is a famous melody from the 1980s. The producers of the film felt that this tune was fit for the genre of the movie. The remix is basically recreating the old hits for the gen next to get it more popular. And yeah, it’s a nice and fresh feeling to sing those iconic songs.

 Expresso: What would you say is the best thing about being a musician?

Arpita Chakraborty: Music is a divine feeling and being able to immure through music and touch the hearts of listeners is the best feeling for a musician.

 Expresso: One achievement you are proud of?

Arpita Chakraborty: The fact that I am able to sing in different languages. And I am also singing for Bollywood movies which is a very big achievement for me. I have sung in sixteen different languages till now.

Expresso: Tell us about your upcoming projects.

Arpita Chakraborty: There are a lot of Bollywood movie songs which I sung is about to release. But I can’t tell you the movie names right now. And I am also working on my independent album. I am also gearing up for concerts in foreign countries which is in the pipeline.

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