Shreya Ghoshal’s debut in Tamil was relatively quiet. It was for a Vasanthabalan movie back in 2002. While Album failed miserably at the box office, strangely enough, one of the songs – Chellame Chellam, featuring Sruthika clad alternately in a bath robe and a lacy nightgown (set to Shreya’s vocals) – was continuously on air.
Now, 13 years and several prestigious awards later, Shreya Ghoshal is the subject of a good many listicles such as this on her birthday.
A few of our favourite songs – some popular, some lesser known – spanning four languages:
1. Munbe Vaa: A beautiful melody from Sillunu Oru Kaadhal that rises and falls in glorious tides. This is also one of her best renditions for an AR Rahman composition.
2. Vadagai Koodu: An Aswath Naganathan musical, this song, which begins a little unremarkably at first, is instantly uplifted by great vocals. From Nalanum Nandhiniyum.
3. Thirandhein Thirandhein: A contemporary number with some electro beats that organically give way to Shreya’s vocals. And, she makes it her own. Our only grouse? The music tides over the lyrics. A Thaman composition for Vandhaan Vendran.
4. Sundari Penne: Best of 2014, from Oru Oorla Rendu Raja, set to D Imman’s traditional sounds. Unhurried and lovely.
5. Rayilin Padhayil: Rooted in Carnatic, this song from Appavi breezes through some melodious ragas. While Hariharan gets too concert-y, Shreya beautifully complements the flautist’s notes.
6. Sandiyare Sandiyare: …Shreya writes her lyrics in Hindi. This Raja number – with lovely folk accents – was probably written in Hindi, too. Can’t tell that if you listen to the song, though.
7. Oru Vetkam Varudhe: A pleasant romantic song in Pasanga, with minimal orchestration, just enough to elevate those vocals. James Vasanthan composes.
8. Jagadanandakaraka: An agreeable enough namesake of the beautiful pancharathna krithi, SPB and Shreya’s renditions make us linger despite the visuals. For the Telugu movie, Sri Ramarajyam.
9. Sogasu Chooda: One of Harris Jayaraj’s best compositions. In Telugu. Made better by Shreya.
10. Aavani Thumbi: As always, her pronunciation is near-perfect. For the Malayalam movie, Sneha Veedu.
11. Baatein Hawa Hai: A modern version of Kuzhal Oodhum Kannanukku, this number from Cheeni Kum almost does justice to the original (rendered by KS Chithra).