- Journalist- Rishakhi Chakraborty
The Journey Of Pragya In Her Words
- You have been always surrounded by music, how and when did this start?
~I have come from a musical background, so music was always there. I started learning Hindusthani Classical music from my mother. I started singing for All India Radio when I was in the 4th standard and also for Television. Then I started learning Ghazals. Music was always in the house, it had never left me. I come from Rampur Sheshwan Gharana, and my mother was one of the disciples of that Gharana.
- But you began your career as a RJ and then you shifted to singing, how did this happen?
~ This is a very interesting story. As a kid I used to go to All India Radio with my mother in Kolkata. I saw this new trend of FM came in, and it is a very interesting job, so I auditioned in All India Radio and got selected. I got through as a Radio Jockey and I was enjoying the kind of job, and I moved to private radio stations like Radio Mirchi and Big Fm. People were appreciating my work, and somehow music faded away a little. I got the Best Radio Jockey award in 2008 in Kolkata, but then I was feeling that something was missing. I love to sing, music is my passion, but RJing also I enjoyed. Then I moved to Bombay, because in Kolkata I was more into RJing. But in 2009 when I shifted to Bombay, I was again into a job at 9XM. Though I was handling music over there, I was also their channel voice; then again I moved to Zoom. But I started feeling that I was not doing what I wanted to do. So in 2015 I quit my job and focused on singing. Because I was felt, it was now or never, as I felt it was too late by then. I am enjoying this musical journey and using every opportunity like I am singing for Ad-films as well as movies like Mehbooba. I have also got opportunities in Bollywood, which will be releasing soon, hopefully. So that’s the story.
- You have sung two new tracks for the upcoming Telegu movie ‘Mehbooba’, how did this offer reach you?
~ I first sang the hindi version and once it got approved I was sent the Telegu lyrics.
- Given an option which one will you choose- RJ or Singer. And why?
~ Always music. But I am close to RJing also. Whenever I enter a Radio Studio I feel like missing the place and I always love to be on air.
- Did you have Journalism as your subject, since you have been a successful RJ?
~ No, I did my masters in English literature from University of Calcutta, and also did my B.ed. But, RJing is a passion. It is really strange that I never got any training in that field, but I myself used to teach aspiring RJs.
- Who is your inspiration or who has been guiding you in your journey?
~ As a RJ there was no such guidance, but as a singer there is my mother and my sister. My family had been all supportive from the very beginning and encouraged me all throughout. I can discuss with my sister about singing and take her advice, she also inspires me a lot. And I am a big fan of Sunidhi Chauhan.
- Are there any such changes that you would want to make in the music Industry?
~ Being a newcomer in the industry I don’t have that position, but given a choice, I would want the focus to be on quality music. Party numbers are more popular, also female dominated songs, Bollywood is not concentrating on one particular thing. Likewise, one music director should do all the songs of an album. Or, one singer must be given a song, and not ten singers. It happens that a sense of insecurity comes in when competition arises, and the singer is unable to deliver 100% into the song, knowing that he may not get the chance. A lot of things is happening and not one particular singer is getting the limelight, and is not getting enough time to grow. Consistency is missing.
- You have been the background singer for Hasee Toh Phasee, R Rajkumar, etc. How was the experience?
~ There is no stress, unlike a song when you are completely responsible for the outcome. Because a song will have your own approach and your own take; like in ‘Mehbooba’, it is a Romantic movie, and I am also a romantic person, there’s more to think. Ad-films and background singing is more of a layering, whereas a song needs your perspectives, concepts and style. Both are completely different.
- ‘Pyar Kiya Nahin Jata’ and the bengali version of ‘Radha’, which one is more special to you and why?
~ Of course, ‘Radha’. ‘Pyar Kiya Nahin Jata’ is an old song, and I was asked by Times Music to sing that song, but obviously I had put my efforts in it. But ‘Radha’ is a Sunidhi Chauhan song, and Sahid Mallya is my favorite too, I like his style of singing. Doing a Lata Mangeshkar song is really something, I simply followed the instructions while singing her song ‘Pyar Kiya Nahin Jata’. And singing a Sunidhi Chauhan song in a different way, ‘Radha’ was a completely different experience for me, and is much closer to me.
- Any message for your fans.
~ I am in the initial phase of my music career, I am still learning; so please listen to me, I love you so much, keep supporting me. I would like to tell all the youngsters that, if you have a passion then follow that passion. And never ever give up. Work hard and try.
- A message for LaughaLaughi.
~ You are such a wonderful platform. First of all, the name is amazing, I just love the name. In Bengali, লাফালাফি means something which we do when we are happy, and in English also it has ‘laugh’ in it, it is a very happy kind of name. It gave a very happy feeling the moment I heard the name. It’s a very nice coinage, and you are doing a great job. All the best to you. Keep rocking.