Music profile-Richa Sharma
A singer full of energy and spirit
What people identify most about Richa Sharma is her full-throated classy voice! That’s what sets this young singer apart from the rest of the lot. It’s been ten long years since Richa landed in Mumbai in search of an identity in the music field. Today she is one of the most respected and talented singers in Bollywood having worked with almost everybody in the music fraternity. What more, her recent release MUSAFIR has attracted fantastic reviews about her singing prowess.
Richa also eagerly awaits the release of Mira Nair’s international venture VANITY FAIR in which her song has already received rave reviews overseas.
Richa Sharma is the youngest of seven children of a temple priest in Faridabad (Haryana). Her father Pandit Daya Shankar Upadhyaya and mother Manorma Devi taught young Richa the art of singing bhajans, particularly Mata Ke Jagran, which slowly and steadily became Richa’s destiny in the initial years of her life. When she was eight years old, she was invited to sing before religious congregations in and around Delhi. She got herself enrolled in the Gandharva
Mahavidyalaya. Under the tutelage of Pandit Aaskaran Sharma, Richa went on to get proper training in Indian classical and light music. Richa added ghazals; film songs, Punjabi and Rajasthani folk songs to her repertoire, thus making her voice reach out to more and more people in a variety of sounds.
While music was at its peak in Richa’s life, academic education had to be sacrificed and without any backing with a dream to make it big in the music world, Richa landed in Mumbai in 1994. She sang cover versions and bhajans in order to ensure she had her bread and butter and simultaneously continued her struggle in Bollywood. She made her debut in Bollywood with Sawan Kumar’s SALMA PE DIL AA GAYA in 1996 and followed it up by a number of films until the big hit came by in the form of TAAL where she sang for AR Rahman.
Thereafter a spate of hits followed: ZUBEDIA, SAATHIYA (with AR Rahman); HERA PHERI (Lalit Sen); KHAKHEE (Ram Sampath); TARKEEB (the song Duppatte Ka Palu), BAGHBAN (Title Song for Aadesh Shrivastava); SOCH (the song Nikal Chali Be for Jatin-Lalit); RUDRAKSH, KAL HO NA HO (Sad version of the title track for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy); GANGAJAL (Sandesh Shandilya); POPCORN KHAO MAST HO JAO (for Vishal-Shekhar) and the most popular song for KAANTE (Mahi Ve for Anand Raaj Anand).
Richa Sharma took a step into people’s hearts when she hosted the ever-popular ANTAKSHRI with Anu Kapoor on Zee TV. Richa’s exuberance and earthy style of hosting the show attracted a lot of attention. She hosted the show for almost a year before ending a successful run on television.
The versatile playback singer has also done quite a few albums to showcase her talent. Albums like NI MAIN YAAR NU SAJDA KARDI, PIYA and WINDS OF RAJASTHAN (for Times Music released early 2004) have brought out the classiness and grace in Richa’s voice and her variety as a singer.
At present, Richa is gathering reviews on her work in MUSAFIR. She has been super-excited about her songs in the film and hopes that with this one a lot more work falls in her laps. Besides these Richa is looking forward to the release of Mira Nair’s VANITY FAIR, A R Rahman’s THE RISING & ADA, Anand Raaj Anand’s KAANCH, Salim Suleiman’s KAAL, Himesh Reshmmaiya’s untitled venture for David Dhawan, Sen Brothers’ SHEESHA and many more.
A small town girl who began singing at God’s home is today one of Bollywood’s biggest success stories. With no backing, this girl has proved that talent and enthusiasm cannot be curtailed no matter where you live and where you land up. A girl full of energy and spirit - that’s Richa Sharma for you.