Special feature: Sunidhi Chauhan – Beyond Bollywood


Sunidhi Chauhan is a living legend who has changed the realm of playback singing. From party songs to love ballads, there is no music genre she hasn’t conquered in her 23-year career. While it is impossible to imagine the Bollywood music scene without Chauhan, her work spans beyond the Hindi film industry and encompasses multiple languages, styles and cultures. Here’s a glimpse at some of her work outside Bollywood.

‘Mahiya’ – Pehla Nasha (2001)
‘Mahiya’ was a single from Chauhan’s first independent album ‘Pehla Nasha’ (2001), which graced the charts when it first released. Both the song and the video, featuring an 18-year-old Chauhan, created a lot of buzz and proved that she was more than just a playback singer – she was a superstar.

‘Atu Itu’ – Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu (2012)
The Telugu box office hit ‘Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu’ starring Samantha and Nani also gave Chauhan a nomination at the Filmfare Awards South for best female playback singer. The emotional song composed by Ilaiyaraaja in his signature style is elevated by Chauhan’s voice, perfectly highlighting the anguish.

 ‘Heartbeat’ – Enrique Iglesias (2013)
Chauhan has always aimed for global stardom and made her international debut on Enrique Iglesias’ album ‘Euphoria’. ‘Heartbeat’, which was also recorded with Nicole Scherzinger, featured Chauhan in the special Indian edition of the album. The song introduced an Indian flair to Iglesias’ usual style, and Chauhan blended in seamlessly with the flow of the music.

‘Ramaiyya’ – Coke Studio Season 3 (2013)
Coke Studio explored the classical side to Chauhan’s voice with ‘Ramaiyya’ and overlayed it on a more western musical arrangement. Based on a devotional song, the track was produced and composed by husband Hitesh Sonik for Chauhan. The interesting fusion of styles features Chauhan in a way we don’t usually have the chance to hear her.

‘Dil Dharke’ – Anjuman (2013)
This melodious new version of Runa Laila’s iconic song was featured in a hit Pakistani telefilm ‘Anjuman’, which aired on Geo TV. The telefilm was a remake of the original movie of the same name. Thanks to Chauhan’s timeless voice, the track went on to win ‘Best Song’ and ‘Best Female Playback Singer’ at the Tarang Housefull Awards.

 ‘Pyar Ki Yeh Sham Hai’ – The Lion King (2019)
‘Pyar Ki Yeh Sham Hai’ is the Hindi version of ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ for the dubbed version of the live action ‘The Lion King’ film. The rendition also features Armaan Malik, Shreyas Talpade and Sanjoy Chowdhury. Capturing the essence of the original, both Chauhan and Malik add a heart and soul to the song that is hard to ignore.

Chauhan is currently gearing up to mesmerise the audience at her UK/Europe concert tour. Her first performance will be held in Leicester on 6th September, followed by London on the 7th and Holland on the 8th. With a song list that is more melodious and soulful than the trademark power-packed performances she is known for, the concert is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

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