She has her roots in Rabindranath, being the niece of Ritu Guha and the granddaughter of Subho Guhathakurta, two renowned Rabindra Sangeet exponents and has sung her way to the hearts of her audience. The beginning, however, was somewhat different. At the age of five she acted and sang in a Bengali film titled Deepar Prem, Moonmoon Sen’s debut venture. It also starred Tapas Pal. Eight years later she lent her voice as a playback singer in Tapan Sinha’s Antradhan and there has hardly been looking back since.
Meet Shreya Guhathakurta who firmly believes that there’s not much scope for experimentation with the bard’s music. “Because, the way Tagore had composed and conceived his music, it is very unique. It’s not very difficult to balance tradition and modernity in his songs. However, gone are the days when Rabindra Sangeet accompaniments only meant the esraj and the tanpura.”
Coming from a family of performing artistes, Shreya loved the stage from the time she was a child and preferred taking the centre. “I still love that. Besides, being a bit eccentric by nature, I tend to drift. Sometimes, I started with a Tagore song but having forgotten the words, drifted to another song. The audience didn’t seem to mind,” she says.
Shreya has fond memories of Kanika Bandyopadhyay. “I used to call her Mohordida, and she stayed at our Sarat Banerjee Road residence whenever she visited Kolkata. Her style has influenced me greatly and she was very fond of me. I used to sit on her lap and learn Rabindra Sangeet. She has once snubbed me when I attempted to sing Tobu Mone Rekho, at the age of five, saying that I was too young to sing it,” recalls Shreya.
Storyline and Soundscapes (2009) at GD Birla Sabhaghar, Kolkata, was a memorable event for Shreya. She got to share stage with the likes Farooq Sheikh, Aparna Sen, Shabana Azmi and Dhritiman Chatterjee. “They were the narrators of the programme while the songs were rendered by me and Pramita Mallik. I never dreamt of sharing the platform with such luminaries,” says an excited Shreya.
Shreya has already performed at several places across the globe and one sincerely hopes to listen to her more often in the coming years.