Artist of the Month
Monali Thakur

Words likes ‘sensual’ and ‘seductive’ comes to your mind when you hear Monali Thakur sing. Her rendition of the chartbusters, Khwab dekhe jhoote moothe and Zara Zara Touch Me from the superhit Race, convinces you of Monali’s capacity of portraying a fun, young yet sensual siren to the T. But it was Sawaar loon from Lootera which proved that she is capable to portray maturity in her voice. The song was a major hit and largely cemented Monali’s place as a leading playback singer.

Monali hails from a family with a musical background. Her father is noted yesteryear actor-singer Shakti Thakur. Monali, too, seems to be towing her father. Her sister Mehuli Thakur Goswami is a fine playback singer in her won right.

Monali has juggled between singing and acting and has already played the lead in Alokito Ek Indu, a hit TV serial. Many from the industry egged Monali to pursue acting. She followed it up with a Bengali film but soon gave up on acting and began to concentrate on playback.

Monali began her career early and started participating in college events. She learnt Hindustani classical from Pandit Jagdish Prasad and also from Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty. An avid dance enthusiast, she started taking Bharatnatyam, salsa and hip-hop lessons after school. Monali appeared as a contestant in Indian Idol 2 in 2005 but was eliminated in the ninth position. But she had already attracted attention of the judges who labelled her as an enormous talent. By the age of 14, she bagged the Anandalok best playback singer award for the serial Sri Ramakrishna.

Monali, lately, has returned to acting. She will be soon seen as the lead in a couple of Hindi films. One is Nagesh Kukunoor’s Lakshmi which is about child prostitution and the other is tentatively called Mango, a fun film with a large ensemble cast. Monali, by her own admission, is glad to pursue both singing and acting. She has lent her voice to both the movies.

Monali has judged a Bengali music reality show, adding another feather to her cap. But she felt that she was too young to share the judges’ seat with other eminent musicians and decided not to judge such shows in the near feature. She opted out from the show and started concentrating on her music career. She met several talented musicians and enjoyed listening to them and later performed live with Karsh Kale, an exponent of Asian underground music.

Monali has never limited herself to any particular genre of music. She traverses effortlessly between serious, light classical to downright sensual. As the popular idiom says, the best things come in small packages..

--- Prabuddha Neogi


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