Anweshaa

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Anweshaa
Birth name Anweshaa Dutta Gupta
Born (1993-12-15) 15 December 1993 (age 20)
Origin Golf Green, Kolkata, India
Genres Film music (playback singing), Indian classical music, Rabindra Sangeet
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocal
Years active started 2008

Anweshaa (born Anweshaa Dutta Gupta; 15 December 1993) is an Indian singer who made her presence felt in the Indian music scene at the age of 13 through the reality show Amul STAR Voice of India, Chhote Ustaad. Anweshaa was runner-up in the finals, where the outcome was solely decided on the number of votes polled. She was the favorite of judges throughout the contest and had the sole distinction of bagging a Sarvottam for all her performances. Anweshaa is known for her soulful rendition of a classical-based song from the movie Bhool Bhulaiyaa – "Mere Dholna". Anwesha is also known for starring in Gajendra Singh's Music ka maha muqqabla at the age of 16. She not only had the sole distinction of '6 Singer of the Day awards' for seven performances, but also won the 'Singer of the Series award'. In spite of being the youngest in the show, she defeated the winners and participants of various shows (Indian idol, JJWS, SVOI, SAREGAMAPA) who participated in 'music ka maha muqqabla' and received the award. She was hugely applauded in this show for her flawless and rocking performances, which helped her team to the finals. Also one of the opposite teams captain in the show, Shankar Mahadevan said that '"she was the best singer that ever emerged from a reality show after Shreya Ghoshal in the 90s". She has also made her debut in commercial playback singing in a Hindi movie Golmaal Returns. Anweshaa has sung the song Tha Karke,[1] which is said to be the most expensive song to ever be shot in Bollywood.[2] Apart from few Bollywood songs, She has sung many Bengali songs, albums, two Tamil songs and one Telugu song for the movie (Uu Kodathara? Ulikki Padathara?) to her credit. Along with other awards, she won Best female playback singer award for Bengali song in Tele Cine awards 2011 (nominations included Shreya Ghoshal, Richa Sharma, June Banerjee).[3]

Biography[edit]

Anwesha is a student of LYCEE School Kolkata,India. She is the only child of Mita and Kushal Dattagupta. Anwesha's ambition is to become a playback singer in the music industry and she idolises her parents. Her favourite singer is Lata Mangeshkar and Amitabh Bachchan is her favorite actor. She started yoga when she was only six. Anwesha does four hours of 'Riyaz'(Practice) everyday. She also likes reading detective stories and enjoys cricket & football (soccer in America).[4]

Musical background[edit]

At the age of four, Gupta started her training under Shri Jayanta Sarkar, a leading personality in Indian classical music and a composer. Anwesha still continues her training in Hindustani Classical music under him. She is guided by her mother in light music.

Anwesha achieved 1st Division with Distinction in Hindustani Vocal and Rabindra Sangeet under Bangiya Sangeet Parishad Examination (2002–03 and 2003-04). She also became one of the few recipients of the Jugal Srimal Talent Scholarship in Rabindra Sangeet, given by Tagore Foundation.

Anwesha was the Winner of "Young Talent Contest - 2004" in Indian Popular Vocal category (Junior) organized by the Calcutta School of Music. She has also won the All Bengal (Inter School) Music Competition 2006 organized by Smile World, an NGO. She was also the runner up at Amul Star Voice of India Chhote Ustaad. [5]

Early public appearances[edit]

Anwesha performed in Sabujer Deshe in 2000 (ETV Bangla). She was a Mega Finalist in Tarana music competition (1st Schedule) which was telecast in January 2003 (ETV Bangla). In early 2007, she also participated in the musical game show Antakshari (Star Plus) where she represented East Zone. [1]

Recordings[edit]

  • "Mohiyoshi" composed by Shri Jwatileshwar Mukhopadhyay in the album Ei Prothom Abhijit.
  • "Sukher Mela Biswa Bhubone" in a Thalassemia Project by the West Bengal Voluntary Blood Donors' Forum.
  • "Prabahini", a West Bengal Govt. Project.[6]

Discography[edit]

Year Songs Movie Music Director Co-singer(s) Language
2008 Tha Kar Ke
Tha Kar Ke (Remix)
Golmaal Returns Pritam Neeraj Shridhar, Akriti Kakkar, Earl, Indie Hindi
2010 Megam Vandhu Pogum Mandhira Punnagai Vidyasagar Madhu Balakrishnan Tamil
2011 Mazhayil Kulitha Ilaignan Vidyasagar Karthik Tamil
2012 Ishq Mein Ruswaa Dangerous Ishhq Himesh Reshammiya Solo Hindi
2011 Banarasiya Raanjhanaa A. R. Rahman Shreya Ghoshal, Meenal Jain Hindi
2014 Tu Sab Kuch Re Kaanchi: The Unbreakable Ismail Darbar Sonu Nigam, Ismail Darbar Hindi
2014 Koshampa Kaanchi: The Unbreakable Ismail Darbar Aman Trikha, Sanchita, Subhash Ghai Hindi
2014 Bol Rahi Hai Payal Revolver Rani Sanjeev Srivastava Avi Dutta Hindi

Amul STAR Voice of India Chhote Ustaad[edit]

Overview[edit]

In 2007 and 2008, Anwesha participated in the juniors version of the popular musical reality show Amul STAR Voice of India named Chhote Ustaad. Aishwarya Majmudar was winner and Anwesha became runner up in competition. A total of 12 finalists were shortlisted from over 600 entrants after rigorous rounds of auditions across the country. Anwesha was selected as a finalist through the Kolkatta auditions for Chhote Ustaad.[7] On 13 October 2007, as a contestant of the upcoming Chhote Ustaad show, Anwesha was invited to sing Mann Kyon Behka in the seniors version of the show, Amul Star Voice of India.[8] She also appeared in the Grand Finale of this show, and shared the stage with other Chhote Ustaad contestants in their tribute to the legendary Lata Mangeshkar.

In the Chhote Ustaad show, eminent musical personalities like Pritam, Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghoshal were chosen to be the judges. Anwesha established herself as a judges favourite from her very first performance, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam for which she received a standing ovation from all the judges. After hearing this rendition, the celebrity guest Shaan compared her voice to Shreya Ghoshal.[9] In one of the subsequent episodes, Pritam also mentioned that her voice was very similar to that of Shreya.[citation needed] Anwesha won many accolades along with standing ovations from the celebrity guests. Alka Yagnik said she sees a very very big singing star in her in the future. Other singers Ghulam Ali, Shaan, Adnan Sami, Abhijeet and also music directors anand raj anand, aadesh srivatsav loved her voice.Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya felt that she was beyond the scale of this competition and that if he were Anwesha's father he would protect her from this.Actresses Vidya Balan, Shilpa Shetty, Rani Mukherjee were overwhelmed and even expressed disbelief that anyone could sing so beautifully.[Ami je tomar, Mahi ve, Chalka Chalka re].

However Anwesha's stint in Chhote Ustaad also had its share of controversies. During the course of the show, the organisers publicised that there was an ongoing dispute between Anwesha and Aishwarya, the eventual winner of the show. Also Anwesha, Aishwarya and a few other Chhote Ustaad contestants were involved in a protest against the entry of a new challenger by wearing black wrist bands.[10] But Aishwarya later revealed that both rumours were false in a recent interview. She confirmed that Anwesha had always been her best friend and the protest was scripted by the show organisers.[citation needed]

Grand finale[edit]

Chhote Ustaad became the first show of its kind to have an all female Grand Finale, between Aishwarya and Anwesha. Having captured unprecedented audience attention for months, the grand finale of Chhote Ustaad on 5 April 2008 at Goregaon Sports Club, Mumbai was touted as the clash of the little titans. The two girls - frayed nerves and last-minute diversions notwithstanding - were a picture of poise and professionalism, taking to the stage and belting out one hit number after another, as the audience kept cheering for more. The guest list on the Grand Finale included the legendary Amitabh Bachchan and Juhi Chawla for the promotion of their new release Bhoothnath.

The two A's made it extremely difficult for the audience and the judges to decide who was better. If Anwesha looked the quintessential diva singing "Raat Baki", then Aishwarya lent a new charm to the age-old Geeta Dutt classic "Tadbeer Se". Anwesha managed to nose ahead towards the end with her flawless rendition of her now famous Bhool Bhulaiyaa number "Mere Dholna",[11] forcing the entire auditorium to its feet in a minute of spontaneous applause.

After a marathon session lasting up to four hours, Amitabh and Juhi along with judges Pritam, Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghoshal took the stage and announced Aishwarya as the winner. Addressing the press after the show, Anwesha said, "We are both winners. This is a huge platform for me and I will use it to the maximum benefit. Aami Kolkatar shobaike bolte chai aami aapnader bhalobashar jonyo eto door aashte perechhi. I will continue to give my best and make everyone proud of me".[12]

Controversy[edit]

Anwesha was adjudged as the runner up on this show. In spite of that, she is amongst the youngest of singers to evoke such response through related forums, fan clubs and YouTube video links. The reason for her being the runner could be political interference despite her best performances from the beginning.

Also there were questions raised by the viewers of the show on the fairness of the final verdict as the breakdown of the audience votes was never declared.

Performances and results[edit]

Episode # Date (Theme) Song choice Original artist Celebrity Guest Other Performances Result
Curtain Raiser Introduction "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" Asha Bhosle & Usha Uthup
Episode 1 7 Dec 2007 "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" Mohd Salamat, Dominique & Kavita Krishnamurthy Shaan
Episode 2 8 Dec 2007 "Is Mod Se Jaate Hai" Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar
Episode 4 15 Dec 2007 "Barso Re" Shreya Ghoshal Shreya Ghoshal
Episode 5(Elimination) 21 Dec 2007(Christmas) "Chanda Re" Hariharan & Sadhana Sargam Rajat Tokas Safe
Episode 6(Elimination) 28 Dec 2007 Amrita Rao & Nikhil Dwivedi ScaryLand - "Daiyya Ye Main", Asha Bhosle Safe
Episode 7 29 Dec 2007 "Mayya" Mariam Toller, Chinmayi & Keerthi
Episode 9 5 Jan 2008 "Mere Dholna" M. G. Sreekumar & Shreya Ghoshal Shaan & Vidya Balan
Episode 11 12 Jan 2008 "Dere Dere" Shubha Mudgal Ghulam Ali
Episode 12(Elimination) 18 Jan 2008 (Duets) "Chup Chup Ke" Sonu Nigam & Mahalakshmi Iyer ScaryLand - "Tumhaari Adaon Pe", Kavita Krishnamurthy Safe
Episode 13 19 Jan 2008(1970s) "Aao na gale" Asha Bhosle Alka Yagnik
Episode 14(Elimination) 25 Jan 2008(Tapori) "Khallas" Asha Bhosle, Sudesh Bhonsle & Sapna Awasthi Adnan Sami Safe
Episode 15 26 Jan 2008(Republic Day) "Zindagi Maut Na Ban Jaaye" Roop Kumar Rathod & Sonu Nigam
Episode 16(Elimination) 1 Feb 2008(Folk music) "Morni Baga Ma Bole" Lata Mangeshkar & Ila Arun Ila Arun ScaryLand - "Mausam Ki Adla Badi Mein", Gayatri Iyer Safe
Episode 17 2 Feb 2008(Qawwali) "Pal Do Pal Ka" Mohammed Rafi "Tere Mehfil Mein, Mughal-e-Azam" Lata Mangeshkar
Episode 20 15 Feb 2008(Lullaby) "Oo La La La" Shankar Mahadevan & K. S. Chithra Anand Raj Anand
Episode 21 16 Feb 2008(Himesh Reshammiya) "Soniye" Kay Kay & Sunidhi Chauhan Kunal Khemu
Episode 22 22 Feb 2008(Helen) "Aa Jaane Jaan" Lata Mangeshkar Amrita Arora
Episode 23 23 Feb 2008(Jungle) "Choti Si Kahaani" Asha Bhosle
Episode 24(Elimination) 29 Feb 2008 (Brindavan) "Ek Radha Ek Meera" Lata Mangeshkar Alka Yagnik & Abhijeet Bhattacharya Safe(Enters Top 5)
Episode 25 1 March 2008 (Rock) "Jaane Kya Chahe Mann" Zubeen Garg Emraan Hashmi & Sonal Chauhan
Episode 26(Elimination) 7 March 2008(Bidaai) "Ye Galiyan Ye Chaubara" Lata Mangeshkar Neil Mukesh Safe(Enters Top 4)
Episode 27 8 March 2008(School) "Gaa Re Mann" Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alka Yagnik, Kailash Kher & Sudesh Bhonsle Salman Khan "Kyon Ki", Alka Yagnik
Episode 28 14 March 2008(Bollywood) "Ankhiyan Na Maar" Sunidhi Chauhan Safe(Enters Top 3)
Episode 29 15 March 2008(Party) "Deedar De" Sunidhi Chauhan Aadesh Shrivastava "Kaanta Laga(Remix)", Shefali Zariwala
Episode 30 21 March 2008(Holi) "Mujhe Rang De" Asha Bhosle Vasundhara Raje "Nimbooda Nimbooda", Karsan Sagadia & Kavita Krishnamurthy Safe(Enters Top 2)
Episode 31 22 March 2008 "Kambakht Ishq" Asha Bhosle Urmila Matondkar "Dola Re", Kavita Krishnamurthy & Shreya Ghoshal
Episode 31 28 March 2008 "Maahi Ve" Richa Sharma & Sukhwinder Singh Shilpa Shetty "O Meri Jaan", Suhail Kaul
Episode 33 29 March 2008 "Dhadak Dhadak" Udit Narayan, Sunidhi Chauhan & Nihira Joshi Rani Mukerji "Shankar Kare Dumroo Baaje", "Chalka Chalka", Richa Sharma
Episode 34 4 April 2008 "Bhor Bhaye Panghat Pe" Lata Mangeshkar Bipasha Basu "Saaki Saaki", Sukhwinder Singh & Sunidhi Chauhan
GRAND FINALE 5 April 2008 "Raat Baaki, Race Saanson Ki, Jhumka Gira Re, Ek Do Teen, Kajra Mohabbat Waala, Crazy Kiya Re, Aa Aa Ashiqui Mein" Amitabh Bachchan & Juhi Chawla "Mere Dholna, Mauja hi Mauja, Maria Maria, Mayya Mayya, Khallas" RUNNER UP

After Chhote Ustaad[edit]

  • Anwesha recorded her second playback song for a Bengali film Khela, directed by Rituparno Ghosh, a Bengali film director, on 6 May 2008.
  • Anwesha got her first break as a commercial playback singer in the film Golmaal Returns (Music Director - Pritam) where she sings for Amrita Arora/Kareena Kapoor.[13]
  • She sung the title song for the TV show Waar Parriwar by Gajendra Singh alongside Shaan.
  • She will be recording a Bengali Album, which would release during the Pooja.[14]
  • Anwesha recorded a song with Planman Motion Pictures in the forthcoming romantic comedy I M 24 with music director Jatin Lalit.[15]
  • Anwesha also participated in NABC-2009 held at San Jose, California where she delivered soulful numbers with Shaan
  • Anwesha Tamil debut with the song called "Megam Vanthu Pogum" (Cloud comes and disappears)from the movie called Mandhira Punnagai(Mandhra of Smile), music by one of the greatest music director Vidhyasagar. For the same music director, she has recorded a new song for the new Tamil movie Ilaignan. The song title goes as Mazhaiyil Kulitha along with Karthik.
  • She received best female upcoming singer of the year award for the debut Tamil song in music mirchi awards 2010.
  • She sang, as promised by Himesh Reshammiya (during "Music Ka Maha Muqabala"), one of the songs of the movie Dangerous Ishhq (Vikram Bhatt 2012):
  • Anwesha sang the song "Banarasiya" with Shreya Ghoshal from the 2013 film Raanjhanaa with music by AR Rahman.

Music ka Maha Muqqabla[edit]

  • Anwesha participated in Music ka Maha Muqqabla held in 2009-2010 which was organised by Star Plus. Six teams competed for the title which were captained by Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, Himesh Reshammiya, Shreya Ghoshal, Mohit Chauhan and Mika Singh. Anwesha played for Shaan along with bharath, Harshit Saxena and Shadab. The team reached the finale and played against Shankar Mahadevan's team which had Rahul Vaidya, Sharib Sabri, Neeti mohan and Sanjeev Kumar. Though, they stood as the runner-up in the show, Shaan's Strikers got highest number of votes from all across the country and were considered the most deserving team to win the show.
  • During the course of the show, Anwesha with her beautiful renditions made Shankar Mahadevan himself to come down to compete against her couple of times.She was considered as Sachin Tendulkar of Shaan's team and his Brahmastra.
  • Her performance of Jaane Jaa from Saawariya in Grand Finale moved her captain Shaan to tears and left the audience spell bound.
  • During the show,Shankar Mahadevan complimented her saying"Out of all reality shows,after Shreya Ghoshal,if there is any singer,that is Anwesha as of today"and also said that the Indian film music is secure with singers like her.
  • Himesh Reshammiya said that "Anwesha is one of the top ten singers of the country",he was moved by her performance and offered her a song in his upcoming movie to be released in July.
  • Ismail Darbar was very impressed with her "Naam Gum Jayega" rendition and said that she sings in a way which is just impossible at her age.
  • Shreya Ghoshal complimented her saying "Maa Saraswati resides in your voice".
  • Anwesha had not only the sole distinction of bagging 6 Singer of the Day awards for seven performances, but also won the Singer of the Series award. In spite of being the youngest in the show, she defeated the winners and participants of various shows (Indian idol, JJWS, SVOI, SAREGAMAPA) who participated in music ka maha muqqabla and received the award.

MTV Coke Studio[edit]

She performed a ghazal "Benaam Khwahishein"[16] at Coke Studio on the fifth episode under the music direction of Papon. The song was widely praised for her flawless singing and is considered among best songs that came out of the season.

References[edit]