1, 2, 3… 2456 and counting


Alka Yagnik was in Sydney recently as part of an Australia New Zealand tour. Poornima Koonath talks to the legendary artist who has sung for more than 1,000 films

Alka Yagnik, the singer who made the numbers 1 to 13 interesting and stimulating and got it playing on everyone’s lips for many many years was in Sydney as part of her Australia and New Zealand tour.

The Indian Sun was invited for a ‘Meet n Greet’ with the singer at the Madison Function Centre. The Sydney leg of Alka Yagnik’s tour with Shravan Rathod was organised by Showkraft Entertainment in association with Heart and Soul Productions.

Yagnik shot into the limelight with the song ‘Ek Do Teen’ from the film Tezaab. The song won her the first of her seven Filmfare Awards for Best Female Playback Singer, the only other female singer to have won that many after the legendary Asha Bhonsle. In a career that span over 30 years, Yagnik has worked with many Indian composers and has sung with several Indian singers. When asked about the highlights of her illustrious career, she struggled to pick one as she said she had so many satisfying and amazing moments throughout the entire span of three decades. However, she said that receiving five award nominations in 1993, earning two national awards and working with and learning from the stalwarts of the Hindi music industry have been moments that she looks back at fondly.

Yagnik said she sang every song with complete honesty and commitment, even though there have been songs that were outside her tastes. While she was in the recording studio she did complete justice to every song that was given to her. “I realised early in my singing career that I had an aptitude for light music and was deeply inspired by the great Lata Mangeshkar,” said Yagnik. She acknowledged that the kind of songs that are being churned out today lack depth of meaning, but considers it a passing phase attributed to the fact that there are too many artists in the arena today. Outside her world of music and singing, Yagnik works closely with NGOs in Mumbai on projects helping to empower the girl child. The projects include runways, debates, etc that are confidence boosting activities. “Growing up, I was an introvert, but I had encouraging parents, and that’s how I got to where I am today. I want to do the same for my daughter,” she said.

She emphasised the importance of instilling in every girl the importance of self-worth and confidence. And who knows better than the legend who has sung over 2,456 songs in 1,114 films.


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