KOCHI: Three-and-a-half-year old Zublee Baruah loved to listen to her mother sing. Once when the little one accompanied her to a show in Guwahati where she was to perform, Zublee insisted that she too would sing. While her mother said she’ll let her sing some other time, little Zublee pestered her so much that she had to give in. ‘‘Thus began my singing career,’’ says the 25-year-old singer from Assam who was in the city recently for a recording.
Zublee vividly remembers her first performance on stage. ‘‘The audience asked me to sing a Hindi song.
I didn’t have a clue and began singing Yemen raag that I had heard my mother sing during riyaz.’’ Needless to say, she won hearts. With her mellifluous voice, Zublee has been winning hearts from then on.
She has lent her voice to more than 1,000 Assamese albums (her solo album ‘Pranipat’ is a tribute to the late Jayanta Hazarika) and a couple of Assamese films including ‘Ranangini’ and ‘Joonda Emman Goonda’. Zublee tours the country for her shows every now and then with her band. ‘‘Every month, we have at least seven shows. Since it’s the time of Bihu, I have been busy with shows in Assam from April. It’s a hectic schedule till mid-June,’’ says the singer who has to he credit Bihu albums such as ‘Tora 2006’, ‘Tora 2007’, ‘Joontora’, ‘Ringaringa Mon’, ‘Soru Phool’ and ‘Kolija’.
‘‘I’m here to record a song for composer Sunny Viswanath. It’s a duet with Shaan. The song has terrorism as its theme.’’ Zublee is excited about her first visit to Kerala. ‘‘All I have to say is wow! Am looking forward to more projects in the south. And yes, more frequent visits to this lovely place. I’d love to sing a song in Malayalam too!’’ In 1997, Zublee was awarded the Nabin Surya award for the best female singer of Assam.
The pretty singer has also stepped in front of the camera in an Assamese film, ‘Maharathi’, and has acted in several serials (including ‘Mongolu Mohajanar Biya’ telecast on Doordarshan) and plays. She also anchored the musical show ‘Saaz’ in NE Hi-Fi channel. ‘‘It was an exclusive show on musicians in Assam.’’ Zublee started learning Hindustani classical from the age of eight and earned herself a Visharad degree.
While music is her passion, the singer has never ignored academics.
After completing LLB from Guwahati university, she went on to get an MBA from Symbiosis, Pune. ‘‘Im planning to do Company Secretary course as well.’’ But music remains her priority. ‘‘I’ll soon be shifting base to Mumbai to try my luck in Bollywood.’’ Ask Zublee about Assam and she says that it’s pretty much like Kerala. ‘‘I find a lot of similarity between the two states.
As in Kerala, food is served on banana leaves during rituals and functions. We too use coconut in plenty.
Men in Assam use lungi as their counterparts here do. The climate isalmost the same. Like you have Vishu here, we have Bihu which also falls on April 14.
Above all, both Assam and Kerala are beautiful!’’ Setting aside time off from a busy schedule, Zublee is exploring the possibilities of learning Western and Carnatic music. ‘‘I want to take music and academics hand in hand.’’ Coming up next for Zublee is a Hindi album with Zubeen Garg of ‘Ya Ali’ fame. The singer is positive about making it to the big league of Bollywood. ‘‘Let’s see what lies in store!’’