Known for her unconventional, husky voice, singer Chinmayi Sripada first shot to fame among the Telugu audience when she dubbed for actress Sameera Reddy in the movie Surya s/o Krishnan in the year 2008.
Another time that the same audience was smitten by her was in the role of Jesse in Ye Maaya Chesave, partly why actress Samantha also became a crowd favourite.
Though most of us here know her for her voice as a dubbing artiste, Chinmayi has a lot more on the other side.
Born in a family has a musical bent, it was only natural that she made singing her career.
“I was trained rigorously in my foundation years. My mother is my first Guru, who ensured that I had all it takes to end up in this profession,” says Chinmayi, who will be in the city to perform at the Monsoon Nirvana, a charity fund raiser, hosted by Sparsh Hospice, a foundation for palliative care by the members of Banjara Hills Rotary club.
Having trained under her mother guidance, she received her first break from music maestro AR Rahman at the age of 15 where she lent her voice to “Oru Dheivam Thanta Poove” in the film Kannathil Muthamittal. And since then, the singer has gone in to sing in all four South Indian languages, in addition to Tulu and Hindi. Many will remember her sweet voice in the song Titli from the film Chennai Express which went on to become a huge hit.
Though raised in Chennai, Chinmayi’s association with Telugu language goes back to her school days. “I studied Telugu as a second language all through my schooling years. My husband, Rahul Ravindran is also from Hyderabad so Telugu has never been alien to me,” quips Chinmayi for whom language was never a barrier.
Having gotten her first break from Rahman, she counts him as her mentor.
“He has been the one person I look up to. Apart from him, Vishal and Shekhar have also been my mentors. They have always been there giving me inputs,” she shares.
Working in the different film industries down South, there are few individuals, the singer enjoys working with the most. “Raghu Kunche in Telugu and Achu Rajamani in Tamil are ones I enjoy working with the most. We are of the same age group and it is fun to work with them,” she states.
Quiz her on whether the experience varies with each industry, she admits she learns something new with different music directors. However, she puts it down to the genre of music she is singing in. Though she holds her own in all genres, her favourites remain ghazals and sufi numbers, the same that she is going to perform tonight. “Ghazals are the closest to my heart and they fascinate me as a singer. And Sufi too,” she comments. Wadali Brothers, Farida Parveen, Madhu Rani and Mehdi Hassan are some artistes, the 29-year old follows religiously.
With a large number of fans, many of whom being youngsters who look up to her, her advice to youngsters is pretty simple.
“If they are out there with passion for music, then they are on the right track. But if they are here for the glamour and the jazz, then they will take much longer to make a mark,’ she signs off.
Catch Chinmayi Sripadi live at JRC Convention Centre tonight at 7 pm.