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Shakthisree Gopalan

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The Musician
A singer-songwriter, she once opened for Parikrama while wearing a pair of pajamas. Arguably, there is a good reason for that. ‘I was a member of the now defunct Chennai-band called, Pajama Conspiracy, and we would perform wearing pajamas on stage—the whole idea was to be chilled out, to be free-spirited.’ Regardless of her attire, Shaktishree Gopalan has managed to wow quite a few listeners with her impeccable voice. 

She jumped into the limelight when she sang the title track for Yash Raj’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan and nailed it. Tutored in traditional Carnatic music, Shaktishree invested thirteen years to her musical training, toiling long hours to sculpt a voice that eventually caught the attention of musical genius, AR Rahman. He apparently [and serendipitously] heard her in a music studio—she was singing to a coffee-making machine while practicing her voice for another project. Since then she’s been recruited by Rahman as a background vocalist for his myriad compositions. In fact, she crooned Nenjukkule alongside Rahman for MTV Unplugged, a track Rahman had composed for Mani Ratnam’s film, Kadal.  

All of twenty-six, Shaktishree has a strong voice that has a balanced measure of tenderness. It’s the voice that has wooed many, won admirers, including singer Javed Ali who jammed with her recently in Istanbul. In the midst of carving an admirable niche for herself, the singer is also a practicing architect. Make note, she recently designed Rahman’s institution of music, KM College of Music and Technology in Chennai. 

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