You are chosen to sing a song for a movie, and it happens to be your first professional recording. On your way to the recording, you meet with an accident. You are bruised, and your vehicle is in bad condition. What would you do? Probably call the party and say that you won’t be able to make it, and rush for medical attention instead. Here’s someone who did the opposite. She jump-started her scooter and made it to the recording, all bruised, to record her first movie number. That is what makes Chaitra H.G. one of the most popular playback singers in South India for the last 20 years.
GrooveNexus recently caught up with Chaitra at the Women’s Day celebrations at GlobalEdge, the IoT-based technology company headquartered in Bangalore, India. After all these years of singing and continued success, Chaitra continues to be a humble human being, interested in listening to people, while sharing memories of her past.
“I am still a humble student of music. I still learn, I still listen,” she says, as she recounts her long journey to success.
Chaitra and her twin brother Chaitanya were born to a musical family, her father being a prolific tabla player and a renowned Hindustani classical vocalist. She started learning the Hindustani form of classical vocals and eventually became adept at singing Western, as well as Indian forms with zeal.
Chaitra’s isn’t the usual voice you come across, she has a natural throw that isn’t normal.
“I was a rejected voice when I started. Someone once told me, I wouldn’t last a week with this voice. But here I am, 20 years on!” she chuckles.
Chaitra today has recorded over 3000 songs in the South Indian film industry, predominantly in Kannada, apart from Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam. She has won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song “Huduga Huduga” from Amrithadhare and has also lent her vocals in Ricky Kej’s Grammy-winning album, Winds of Samsara.
What made her succeed?
“I realized my voice wasn’t the usual kind. I wasn’t bogged down by any rejections. And more importantly, I didn’t try to mirror anyone else. Persistence and practice, that’s what I believed in; not shortcuts or magic,” affirms Chaitra.
The audience at GlobalEdge was regaled with her talk. To a packed audience, she not only spoke about her challenges and anecdotes of success, but also sang some of her hit songs.
Head of Human Resources at GlobalEdge, Naganagouda said,
“Chaitra is an inspiration for anyone. We are thankful to GrooveNexus for bringing her to our campus. Music is a strong bond among us all and GrooveNexus is doing a fabulous job connecting artists to fans in different ways.”
As a message to everyone who’s a music aspirant, Chaitra signed off saying,
“Don’t copy anyone. The world doesn’t need someone who sings like Shreya Ghoshal or Sonu Nigam. Learn from everyone and create your style and space.”
It was indeed inspirational hearing her speak, as we feel proud of the gems our country adorns. Here’s to many more successful stories that are inspiring and praise-worthy.