Success defines your path in life. It is seen as a barometer for rewarding the most deserving person. Famous playback singer Richa Sharma is not a new name in the Hindi film industry. The soulful singer, who started with devotional songs, went on to become one of the most-sought after names in the music industry. Her voice not only touches the inner zone of your soul but also makes you realise why Richa Sharma is the name which speaks volume of her decade long career. In an exclusive interview with Ritika Handoo of Zee Media Corp, the singer talks about music, Bollywood and what keeps her going.
You have had an illustrious career in Bollywood. Tell us something about your journey.
I feel really blessed to be a part of this music industry. I have had a great journey so far, where I have enjoyed my work and got appreciated for it as well. I was lucky to have become a part of this world, and still stand grounded on my feet. It's truly a blessing.
At what age did you start singing professionally?
I was very young when singing intrigued me. I was just eight years old, when I picked up the mike and started singing professionally. I hail from Faridabad, Haryana and I still remember that my first pay cheque was for just Rs 11.
You have even rendered your voice for devotional songs. How has the experience been?
My first stint with singing was for devotional songs. I started off singing songs in praise of the Almighty. Gradually in 1994 I moved to Mumbai, and the city of dreams gave me my first break. I too had my share of struggles, before making it big in the industry.
Veteran singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle are stalwarts. Do you feel inspired by their body of work?
Yes, of course. Both Lata ji and Asha ji are pillars of our music industry. They have always inspired me and others who are like me. We have always looked up to them for driving us towards music. When I started singing, all I wanted to do was sing like Richa Sharma. Today, I complete 20 long years in the music industry and I feel very proud of it. Good quality singing is what matters to me the most.
Any favourite playback singer?
There are many who are really good singers. People like KK, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal and many more are great singers. From the current lot, I like Arijit Singh. He sings very well. In some ways, I feel, we all inspire each other to go good work. There are unique qualities in each of us, and we try to imbibe and learn from them.
Which music director would you love to keep singing for?
I have worked with many good composers, and all are great in their own respective ways. I have enjoyed working with Vishal-Shekhar, Pritam, Salim-Sulaiman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and the likes. From the younger lot I find Amit Trivedi very talented. Besides them, Sachin-Jigar duo is also interesting to work with. The kind of freshness and newness they bring to any song is just amazing.
Which Bollywood actress suits your voice the best?
When I had initially started singing in Bollywood, I wanted to sing for all the leading ladies at that point in time. Be it Rani Mukerji or Kajol—they were all my favourites. But now, over so many years, I feel it doesn't matter who you sing for, but what you are singing. The song should be soulful, after all it is the voice which matters the most.
Do awards matter to you at this stage of your career?
It is very important to get appreciation for your hard work. Therefore, I feel awards are a token of the reward for which you toil so hard. They mean a lot to me.
Tell us something about the Live Quotient Awards (LQA).
It's a great platform, where live performances take place. LQA celebrates the Creativity and Excellence of live entertainers. It is one of its kinds, where live performers are rewarded. This time they have decided to felicitate me. Performing live has always been my first love, and I still enjoy being on the stage. It's great to be on LQA this year.
What are your future projects in Bollywood?
Although I never plan my future, there are a couple of projects I am working on. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I can't reveal the names at this stage. However, besides film music, I am also cutting my own individual album soon, which will have two-three singles by me.