Caralisa Monteiro

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Caralisa Monteiro
Background information
Born Mumbai
Genres RnB, Blues, Jazz, World Music, Opera, Bollywood
Occupation(s) Playback Singer, Composer, Musician, Social activist, Long Distance Runner
Instruments Vocals, Keyboards
Years active 1999–present

Caralisa Dominica Cecile Monteiro is a Recording artist, Singer-songwriter, Bollywood playback singer, vocal arranger, road runner and social activist. Caralisa has been one of the most successful advertising professionals from Mumbai, India, and has sung extensively for Bollywood movies as well as other independent music projects over the last decade and a half. She has lent her voice to more than 4000 Advertising jingles and voice-over projects. She is known for her powerful vocals and soulful delivery. Caralisa recorded her first jingle with Loy Mendonsa and Ehsaan Noorani and she has gone on to become the “go-to” artiste for quality and efficiency in the advertising world. Recently Caralisa has been working on her solo album of original music to be released in October 2014. The album will features collaborations with the biggest names in the music industry.

Early life[edit]

Caralisa was an ordinary girl growing up, and her childhood can best be described as tragic. Born to Emeline Monteiro, a school teacher at Don Bosco High School, Matunga and Neville Monteiro, an accountant in Mahindra and Mahindra, she was exposed to music was at a very young age.[1]

Her Father was a purist and formally trained in Opera under Hyacinth Brown. Many considered him to be the best bass Opera singer in Asia. It was only natural that Caralisa and her older sister Giselle would take to music too.

Tragedy struck very early in the Monteiro household, her Mother was diagnosed with Polymyositis (chronic inflammation of the muscles). Her Mother eventually lost her battle with cancer when Cara was only 11. The tragedy made her an introvert but a firm believer in God, with the hope that the future would only be better. This is when her bond with her sister grew to a friendship that was uniquely their own.

Caralisa had participated in a very few singing competitions in school and college and not surprisingly had never lost. Giselle (Caralisas sister) was an active social worker and music director, and was also making waves as a fabulous, soulful singer and the two girls began to dream of a bright future in the music industry.

Tragedy struck for a second time when her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in her last stages. Giselle being the fighter that she was put up a brave front, but a year later she succumbed to the disease. From then on Caralisa threw herself headlong into her work.



Caralisa's break through came Music Directors Loy Mendonca and Ehsaan Noorani Of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to do her first ever jingle, which was a Coffee ad that she did with her sister before her passing.

Over the past 15 years Caralisa has worked in over an astounding 4000 jingles which she has sung on, rendered her voice to, written lyrics for, co - composed and composed. She is often referred to as the "Jingle Queen".[2][3]

Caralisa's uncanny ability to accurately mimic voices and accents makes her the "go-to" artist for advertising work that requires foreign accents or even to mimic famous international singing personalities. She has dubbed in foreign languages and accents for campaigns like "Mother Dairy Ice Cream", "", "Thomas Cook" and many more.

Some of the big ad campaigns she has sung for include "Set Wet Zatak", "Vespa", "Milano Biscuits" featuring Hritik Roshan, "Nivea", "Polo Fashion Flavors" by Wendell Rodricks, "Lakme Fashion Week", the "Fastrack" Move On series featuring Genelia D'Souza and Virat Kohli, the "Idea Cellular" campaign by R. Balki and Ilaiyaraaja, "Slice (soft drink)" Aamsutra featuring Katrina Kaif, and "Schmitten Chocolates" featuring Priyanka Chopra. She was also the voice behind the famous "Limca" jingle that featured Sameera Reddy.[4]

Besides these Caralisa has worked in several other big campaigns including the "Airtel" campaigns and most beauty products. She was also the voice for Bipasha basu on the "Gili Jewellery" Campaign.

Caralisa has worked extensively with some of the most busy music directors in advertising like Ram Sampath, Samir Uddin, Zubin Balaporia, Vishal-Shekhar and Lesle Lewis. She has consistently worked with the best Agencies, Production houses and Advertising Film Directors.

Bollywood and other[edit]

Her first break with Bollywood came when the acclaimed trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy invited her to sing the chorus of the song "Jaane Kyon" from the cult film Dil Chahta Hai in 2001.[5] She has since worked with numerous music directors on a variety of projects. She was initially known for the rendition of English parts in Hindi songs, however she broke the trend with Phir Dekhiye of Rock On!! in 2008.[6] The song received praise from all quarters and was commended for its soulfulness.

In a career spanning over a decade, which includes extensive work in the Hindi film music industry and background score, Cara has sung on mainstream Bollywood films like Rock On!! (Phir Dekhiye), Don (2006 Hindi film) Theme, Don 2 (Don Waltz), Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna where she sang hit song Mitwa with Shafqat Amanat Ali, Karthik Calling Karthik with Shankar Mahadevan and on Anjaana Anjaani she sang the song 'Tumse hi Tumse'[7] for which she also wrote the female parts, in the movie Hum Tum Aur Ghost, she performed the song 'Kal Tum The Yahan' which was a duet with Shankar Mahadevan. (Arshad Warsi). She also sang on (Sam's Theme) from the movie New York (film) and on Kabul Express she sang the haunting theme, Kaal (Akhiya Teriya Ve with Kailash Kher), on Salaam Namaste she performed a duet with Shaan for the remix. Some otf the other movies she has sung in are Kaal (Nassa Nassa), Shakal Pe Mat Ja (Mil Gaya), 'Dhoop Ke Makaan Se', Brides Wanted (Runaway) and White noise (Resonate).

She also has a few big hits in Tamil Cinema. "Maaricham"[8] a song written by music director A. R. Rahman from the movie Sillunu Oru Kaadhal in 2006 and "Porkkalam" from the movie Yaaro Iran Yaaro to name a few. More recently she has sung on the R. Balki yet to be released film Shamitabh. (The film releases Feb 2015.)

She has worked with some of the premier names in the industry including A. R Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal Shekher, Ram Sampath, Pritam Chakraborty, Salim–Sulaiman, and Ranjit Barot.

Early in her singing career, Caralisa performed in a production of Carl Mendes's “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” , which had original music by andrew Lloyd Webber, as the narrator for which she received fabulous reviews. She also starred in the musical On Broadway[9] which was a mash up of several musicals.[10]

Caralisa has worked with noted Welsh musician and composer Karl Jenkins performing the track "Hymn" on his project Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary for his India tour. As the only soloist, she was featured on Dance Masti,[11][12] a dance album by Farhad Wadia.[13]

Caralisa has sung the Hindi version of "When You Believe" from the Dreamworks Animation for the film The Prince of Egypt.

Independent Music[edit]

Caralisa started writing her own songs in college but due to the demands of being the only bread winner in her family at an early age, had to concentrate on work.[14]

Caralisa entered and was one of the finalist on Sutasi,[15] an Asian talent hunt in 2008. Caralisa's performance in Singapore gave her the confidence to pursue her original music. Her debut album will be released in late 2014. This was televised across the nation on Zee Café.

She made an appearance with Hard Rock Band Overhung at the finale of Harley Rock Riders: Season IV and guested on the bands song "Waste". The festival was organized by Harley-Davidson India and produced by Rolling Stone India.[16]

Caralisa wrote and recorded the ballad All Alone[17] that was featured on the Indie movie Rize of the Zombie starring Luke Kenny.[18][19][20]

The album will feature the talents of some of the best musicians in the Country today.

Social Activism[edit]

Caralisa has always championed women empowerment and has spoken out on her various social media platforms about equality of the sexes and abuse of women. Caralisa was an ardent and publicly vociferous AAP supporter during the recent Indian General Election, 2014 and continuous to speak her mind out on social media about the importance of good, clean, corruption free governance.

Caralisa performed at the ‘Rhythm and Blues Festival’[21][22][23][24] organized by the Genesis Foundation and supported by Rolling Stone Magazine (India) in association with Jack Daniel’s India to raise funds for underprivileged children to provide critical life-saving interventions in 2013.

She has committed to raise awareness for breast cancer through her to be released debut album’s lead single “Angel in Disguise”[25] and to raise funds to assist cancer survivors and people currently battling the disease.

Personal life[edit]

Caralisa currently lives in Mumbai with her husband and their dog, Slayer. Inspired by her husbands fitness regime, Caralisa took to hitting the gym several times a week and dropped 24 kg in the span of 2 years. She is now a fitness fanatic. She recently got into long-distance running and regularly runs the Pinkathon and other Marathons as a hobby and also uses her new found love for the sport to raise awareness for breast cancer. Caralisa recently won third place in the ‘Run India Run’ 10k Marathon for women. Caralisa was born a Roman Catholic and continues to be a devout follower.

Vocal and Musical Style[edit]

In her formative years Caralisa was greatly influenced by Gospel music and by Western Classical music which laid an underlying tone of soul music which in turn defined the influences she would have in the future.

Caralisa’s vocal style can best be described as light Scandinavian soprano, Afro American soul singer or Native American female singer.

Caralisa has also become popular for her idioglossic vocals and she is known to use them in advertising, playback as well as her own music.

In the studio she developed mimicry which allows her to imitate accurately accents as diverse as German, French and several African accents as well. She is well known for her operatic harmonized vocals.

She has an almost 4 octave range and is known for her power, vibrato and soulful singing.


Year Film Notes
2015 Shamitabh Playback Singer
2012 Rise of the Zombie Playback Singer-Composer "All Alone"
2011 Ra.One Playback Singer
2011 Cocktail (2012 film) Playback Singer
2011 Ladies vs Ricky Bahl Playback Singer
2011 Don 2: The Chase Continues Playback Singer
2010 Break Ke Baad Playback Singer
2010 Anjaana Anjaani Playback Singer
2010 Karthik Calling Karthik Playback Singer
2009 New York Playback Singer
2008 Rock On!! Playback Singer - as Caralisa
2007 The Great Indian Butterfly Playback Singer
2007 Om Shanti Om Playback Singer - as Caralisa
2007 Hattrick Playback Singer - as Caralisa
2006 Sillunu Oru Kaadhal Playback Singer- as Caralisa
2006 Kabul Express Vocalist: Background Score - as Caralisa
2006 Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Playback Singer - as Caralisa
2005 The Blue Umbrella Musician: singer, choir
2005 Dil Jo Bhi Kahey... Playback Singer - as Caralisa
2005 Salaam Namaste Playback Singer
2005 Dus Playback Singer
2005 Kaal Playback Singer - as Caralisa
2001 Dil Chahta Hai Playback Singer - as Caralisa - Debut


  1. ^ "Caralisa Monteiro to trip you up at Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Fest 2014". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Singh, Nirmika (8 Oct 2014). "A peek into the world of Mumbai's ad jingle singers". Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  3. ^ D'costa, Suezelle. "Calangute Girl Rocks On". The Goan. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  4. ^ The Big M. "The Big Jingle Of The Month". 
  5. ^ Kavoori, edited by Anandam P.; Punathambekar, Aswin (2008). Global Bollywood. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 9780814747995. 
  6. ^ D'costa, Suezelle (Feb 15, 2014). "Calangute Girl Rocks On". The Goan. The Goan. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Hammond], [editor, Wallie Walker (2006). Peterson's master TOEFL vocabulary. Lawrenceville, NJ: Peterson's. ISBN 076892328X. 
  8. ^ Ali, Asad (May 10, 2014). "Are Indians Ready To Pay For Non-Populist Music?". Tehelka. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Sharma, Aditi (31 July 2010). "Broadway Comes To Town". Mid-Day. Mid-Day. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Dastur, Nicole (29 July 2010). "Broadway Comes to Mumbai". Times of India. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Carroll, Brandon James (2009). CCNA wireless official exam certification guide. Indianapolis, IN: Cisco Press. ISBN 978-1-58720-211-7. 
  12. ^ "Caralisa Monteiro". Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Mahalakshmi iyer. [S.l.]: Book On Demand Ltd. 2012. ISBN 5510840153. 
  14. ^ Moses, Allan (April 13, 2011). "Soul -tiring Artistry". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Bluefrog's take on Caralisa Monteiro". Bluefrog. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Caralisa Monteiro To Join In On The Overhung party for Harley Rock Riders IV". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  17. ^ Singh, Nirmika (April 3, 2013). "Music review: Rise Of The Zombie". Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "Be Scared,Be Very Scared". 
  19. ^ "Rise Of The Zombie team launch music in Mumbai". The Times of Inida. Jan 18, 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  20. ^ Mishra, Abhimanyu (February 2, 2013). "It's better to be an independent musician: Caralisa Monteiro". The Times Of India. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Photos: Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival 2014". Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  22. ^ "Blues festival hits Kasauli third time round". http://indiatoday. April 24, 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "Kasauli swings to R&B beats on Day 2". The Times Of India. April 20, 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  24. ^ Coresspondent, HT (April 8, 2014). "Kasauli music festival to begin on April 18". Hindustan Times. 
  25. ^ Singh, Amar (April 21, 2014). "Notes from underground The Kasauli Rhythm and Blues festival provided an ample serving of all genres of music". The Tribune. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 

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