My hometown is Banaras. I’m from a middle class Bengali family. I started singing when I was 6 years old. My parents have always been supportive of my career choice, as they were also into music, though not professionally.
My father, Sri Atanu Kumar Bhattacharya plays tabla and he initiated me into music. I then started learning classical music from respected Pandit Devashish Dey. My first big moment was when I won the prestigious AIR Vocal Music Competition when I was in 12th standard. In the meanwhile, I completed the six-year course of Hindustani Classical Vocal music (Prabhakar) from Prayag Sangeet Samiti. Then I got into Banaras Hindu University for my Bachelors in Music from the renowned Faculty of Performing Arts.
During my graduation days, one day I got a call from Gajendra Singh, the creator of the famous music reality show, ‘SaReGaMaPa’ on Zee TV for ‘Challenge 2005’ edition of the show. My parents were really thrilled about that. I was very nervous during the entire process of audition… but eventually got selected in Adesh Srivastav’s gharana. I came to Mumbai for the first time… it was like a dream… I had mixed feelings because this was the first time I had stepped out of my hometown all by myself. But unfortunately, my grandmother expired at that time and I had to quit the show midway. For a brief moment, I was really down.
But after two years I came to Mumbai and joined Gajendra Singh’s music academy… and learnt from the best in the business. Then I returned to Banaras to complete my Masters degree in Music, and was awarded the University Gold Medal. My parents insisted that I should pursue music academically. But I wanted to pursue playback singing… I fought with my family and finally convinced all them to let me come to Mumbai and try my luck at least once. They gave me one month to prove to them that I could do something meaningful in Mumbai, or else I would have to go back. I had heard all kinds of scary stories about how it takes years for a singer to get their first major break, or a hit song. I was apprehensive.. yet I had no option but to try. During my initial days, I used to stay in Vashi with my cousin brother and sister-in-law. I used to travel from Vashi to Andheri everyday by local train for meetings and just to visit the studios, to know people, make contacts. One day, I came across a book called ‘Music-master’ at a magazine stall and I bought it. It had the contacts of people from the music industry. I started mailing my songs to music directors, sound recordists, etc. I would have mailed around fifty people but only three or four of them replied. I went to meet them and got two projects: one was under the Yashraj banner; a film called, ‘The Return of Jagdish Chandra Basu’… for this project, I sang with Shaan and Sunidhi Chouhan; and the second song was for the film ‘Mausam’. Later, I got a jingle for ‘Ganesh Kavach’… and on the basis of these three songs, I could convince my parents to let me shift to Mumbai permanently. I have sung in almost eighty movies (South to Hindi dubbed), a number of jingles like Venkey’s, Swasti fresh chakki atta, Bumchums etc., for TV serials like, Ganga ki dheej’, theme songs, and background vocals for films like ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Houseful 2. I have worked with a few of the most famous music directors of our time, like Pritam, Jeet Ganguly, Ram Sampath and others, and I have learned a lot from each one of them. I have sung for an upcoming movie being directed by Vivek Sharma (director of Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Bhootnath’ ). And recently I sang in MTV Coke Studio with Ram Sampath and Sona Mahapatra. The experience was truly gratifying. Just a few days back, my album released on all the major online music portals… it’s called “The Dark Lounge”, and by the grace of the Almighty, it’s already topping the charts. I also do a unique musical storytelling show, travelling across the country with renowned lyricist and writer, Neelesh Misra.
There’s just one assurance that I would like to give to all my well-wishers and my fans… that no matter what, I will continue to work hard. I believe in dreams and desire. I had a dream, over a period of time, it became my heartfelt desire and today I’m here, and I believe it’s just only the beginning of a lifelong journey.