The Voice of Bollywood at the BPC
In December, the Berklee Indian Ensemble welcomed its first female artist in residence, Bollywood playback superstar Shreya Ghoshal. She is best known for her soaring soprano voice, which has been featured in major Bollywood productions. Ghoshal’s residency at Berklee included the concert at the Berklee Performance Center, in addition to a master class and a recording session. Coordinating her visit to Boston were alumni Annette Philip ’09, Clint Valladares ’98, and Rohith Jayaraman ’16, the directors and assistant manager of the Berklee India Exchange.
Considered a national treasure in India, Ghoshal performs in more than 12 of her nation’s languages. While the show took place in Boston, fans around the world streamed it live via Concert Window. “Since this concert and partnership was announced with Berklee, my fans have been super proud, and I believe some of them will someday follow in my footsteps,” the singer stated.
Ghoshal began performing at the age of six, and won a national singing competition as a teenager. She made her Bollywood playback debut at age 18, and rocketed to instant success. She later began collaborating with top composers from various regions of India, often as the primary vocalist for their music.
Contributing to Ghoshal’s success is a tremendous work ethic. “I don’t take a holiday or weekend off,” she says. “I like being in the space of a studio, creating a new song. Being in that creative mode keeps me alive.” She shared that touring and recording are “necessities in my life.” Her tours take her around the world on a regular basis, and she plays to audiences in the United States at least once a year. Those shows often draw thousands of Indian and Indian-American fans in cities such as New York, Austin, and San Francisco.
Ghoshal was candid about being the first female artist to join the Berklee Indian ensemble for the fifth anniversary of their Signature Series performances and the Berklee India Exchange. “I really [hope this concert] encourages women in any part of the world to take up music and be confident about their individuality.”