Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘Be it humming opportunity or re-recording, take a chance & accept it’

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In an exclusive chat with The Pioneer, the legendary singer S. P. Sailaja, who is currently judging the 15th season of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, shares about what makes the current season different from the previous ones, dealing with minor conflicts with the other judges, the precautions that she takes on her performance day and more.

Amartya Smaran

S. P. Sailaja, the Kammani singer needs no introduction whatsoever. Music aficionados and casual listeners alike can easily recognise her soothing melodious voice in a heartbeat. The singer started her glorious career at the age of 13 and went on to record over 6000 songs. She even lent her swooning voice to actresses like Tabu and Sridevi.

That’s not it, she is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. And to everyone’s surprise, she mesmerised the audience with her performance in the superhit film Sagara Sangamam(1983) which marks her only full length acting role to date.

At present, the legendary singer is seen as the judging on Zee Telugu’s 15th season of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, which aired on January 29 along with famous lyricist Anantha Sriram and Mukkala Mukkabala fame Mano.

With several hit albums and songs in her name, from the past decade or so, she’s been busy recording private albums, and singing devotional songs.

When The Pioneer enquired about the format of the show, S. P. Sailaja said, “This is not a regular season.” Making the most of the quick interview, we decided to dig deeper into the question. “They’ve picked up four teams from the last four seasons. From each season they’ve chosen six contestants who were in the top 10 and the four teams will be competing against each other,” she shared.

The legendary singer told us that this season is going to be a lot more interesting for people to watch. “This is a different way of conducting a show because in the regular episodes we used to conduct some shows and pick up people. We have the best singers from all the seasons. We know the strengths and weaknesses of the contestants and we have the best of the lot. People are going to enjoy it and it’s tough for us to judge. We have to pin point each and everything,” informed the hummingbird.

We’re all allowed to have our opinions. An opinion is a statement and criticism is a detailed explanation of all the good and bad aspects. Isn’t it true that too many chefs spoil the dish? Well! It is, but not if there’s a clear idea about their respective roles.

As we already know, there are three judges on the 15th season of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, it’s not always easy to stay on the same page with other judges. However, S. P. Sailaja believes in discussing things out and sticking to her point at the same time.

How does the Botany singer deal with the minor conflicts that may arise with other judges on the show? “Actually it’s like fighting with siblings. Sternly, I would say these are the marks or this is my judgement of a singer’s performance. I tell them three times and if they don’t accept, I don’t even force them to look into my paper,” quipped Sailaja.

The calm and composed individual that she is, S. P. Sailaja doesn’t take teamwork for granted. Even if things go the other way round, the songbird never loses her cool. “Sometimes, it will just go on the line but we have to come to terms with all of them. It is not an event between the three of us. It’s all about teamwork and we even need to consider time. At times we all sit together and speak amongst ourselves and take the decision. So far no worries!,” said the vocalist in an assuring tone.

Who doesn’t love indulging in the tiny pleasures of life? All said, a performer’s life is a lot different. They must refrain from certain things in order to keep their voice intact. The Edo Teliyani singer shared that she keeps a fair distance from aerated drinks and religiously meditates every day. Did you know that S. P. Sailaja speaks as little as she possibly can on the performance day? “No matter what precautions we take, we tend to get some allergies but speaking affects the voice a lot more than singing. You have to take care and on the sets I usually take a lot of water. I don’t take any aerated drinks. I’m not supposed to ask other singers not to indulge in such things. It’s just that I have a problem with that. I talk less whenever I have to perform at a show. I preserve my energy and I meditate everyday. I have my own rules set up for me,” said the songster with a chuckle.

“Grab whatever opportunity you get,” stated the soloist, giving her only treasured piece of advice to all the young singers and wrapped, “Do it! Whether it is a small humming opportunity or re-recording for a movie, go for it. You should sing everything. If you get a chance, accept it and be busy. That brings a lot of exposure.”

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