Alka Yagnik is one of those singers whose mermerising voice took singing to a new height. She created a new milestone in the history of music by singing in more than a dozen languages. Inspired by Lata Mangeshkar, Alka is confident that the era of melodious songs will return once the age of obnoxious western songs gets over. Sanjay Sinha met her in her Mumbai Studio to talk about her melodious musical journey so far. Excerpts:
Please tell us something about the early part of your carrer?
I started off with some small stage shows and bhajan programmes also I used to sing regularly for All India Radio. I had some bitter sweet experiences. I started from Kolkata and gradually moved to Mumbai.
Who inspired you to become a singer?
My mother Shubha Yagnik, who is a classical singer, inspired me. Till today she is my source of inspiration. She is the one I look for before anyone else, whenever I need some advice regarding music.
Which was the first film you sang for? Can you recollect that feeling?
(Thinking a little) A film called ‘Payel ki Jhankar’ was released in 1980. I lent my voice for the first time for this film. I was confident but apprehensive too, about public response. But by God’s grace I got lots of appreciation.
Alka ji, you saw the golden era of melodious songs. People very fondly remember and hum your songs. That’s why they also call you Melodious Queen. But today’s music trend has become very loud and vulgar. Do you believe that the age of melodious songs will ever return?
The life of vulgar and loud songs is very limited. People forget them within a month or two. But melodious songs are forever. I specially appeal to the youth, don’t follow obnoxious and vulgar music, put your heart into classical and lyrical songs instead. You will get the real pleasure.
Some memorable moment in your carrer?
I can never Forget the date February 12, 1994. I was invited to the Film Fare Awards. I got 7 Film Fare Awards for best singing, which brought tears to my eyes. My mother hugged me. This is a moment of pride for any artist.
Any moment which hurt you?
My father passed away Just a week after I got the Film Fare Awards. God gave me sorrow just after happiness. I was in a strange situation.
Any place that you want to travel to again and again?
Kolkata my emotions, my childhood are attached to this city. Whenever I get an opportunity I go to Kolkata and enjoy with my friends. I can never forget the ‘phuckhas’ and ‘bhelpuri’ of this city.
Do you have any message for upcoming artists?
Without dedication and hardwork no one can achieve success. The youngsters should work hard. Don’t opt for short cuts. Make yourself perfect through patience.
You played a very long innings as a playback singer. How do you feel? Are you satisfied with your carrer?
An artist is never satisfied. He wants to improve everyday, every moment. I never consider myself complete. I still got lots to learn. I would like to thank god, my family, my fans for where I am today. I get a lot of energy, lot of confidence from them, every moment of my life.
Would you like to join politics?
No. I am satisfied being an artist. Moreover, politics has become quite dirty.
Tell us something about your upcoming projects?
I am working on some new projects including albums and films. Apart from these, I travel a lot within India and abroad for my concerts.