The singing phenomenon: Pragathi Guruprasad

Born in Singapore, raised in California, this songstress is now creating a stir in the musical scene in Tamil Nadu with her melodious voice. The prodigiously gifted playback singer Pragathi Guruprasad talks to us on her likes, dislikes and more.

By Namita Gupta

With your name synonymous being with singing, what proved to be the catalyst for you to zero in on it as a career choice?

I don’t think I’ve zeroed in on a career choice yet as I’m still studying in college. I think music will always be a part of my life regardless and it is a blessing to be able to have a career at this age doing something I love so much.

As a singer, you need to be conscious of your voice and are required to take additional care with your vocal chords. How do you do that?

I think voice care is psychological a lot of the time. I enjoy eating and drinking cold items and items that many people think are bad for the voice. I eat ice cream, drink cold water, etc. Before a concert, recording, or travel, I try to avoid it just to be on the safe side. Otherwise, I try to keep my voice trained with vocal exercises and lots of practice.

Is there any one particular genre like metal or pop you think you’d want to sing in to take your fans by surprise?

I think rap is something I’ve always wanted to experiment with. I’ve started listening to a lot more hip hop as well and I’m interested in giving that a shot, I think my voice will suit the genre. I think I’ve done so many crazy things, my fans wouldn’t be surprised no matter what I tried.

How do you prep up before a live performance?

A lot of practice, vocal exercises, and some alone time to prep.

Off late, there has also been a surge in independent artistes producing music that is being liked by everyone. How do you view this trend and do you have any plans to get into it?

I always consider myself an independent artist and think it is such a big blessing to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with musicians all over the world and release independent music. I believe my independent releases are just as popular, if not more popular than my playback releases. It is so humbling to see independent music on the rise with bigger artists releasing non-film music and companies like Sony and 7-up encouraging indie bands and musicians.

Recently, folk singer Shankar Ganesh was adjudged the winner at the Super Singer event. This is the first time a folk singer was declared winner. Did you expect him to emerge victorious?

I apologise for my ignorance, but I wasn’t able to follow the recent season. I was, however, invited to the finals and had the opportunity to witness the finalists perform live. I think Senthil was absolutely incredible in the finals and his performance was the best.

Has there been any particular instance during an event where you will have planned everything yet things start to fall off, but you eventually managed to get things back on track?

I think this industry and career is so unpredictable, things like that happen on a daily basis. It is more surprising when things go as planned than the other way around. I think the chaos has happened so many times that I’ve gotten used to finding a way to build myself back up and take it on.

Any one celebrity you connected on a personal level and went on to become good friends with?

Nayanthara.

Since there has been a boom in social media over the past few years, what was your first reaction when you heard reports about you being in a relationship with actor Ashok Selvan?

Both of us thought it was really funny. Little did we know it would blow up overnight.

It is a tough world we live in and women are faced with innumerable challenges on a day-to-day basis. How do you overcome barriers when you come across any – your motto or motivation?

I think being a woman in any industry is difficult, all the more so in the movie industry. I want to believe times are getting better for us and it is high time we stood up for ourselves and stayed strong. My motivation comes from my role models within and outside of the industry including my mom, sister, and strong women in the industry who have had an influence on me like Nayan.

There are conflicting reports about your film with director Bala being shelved and some other stating it has been put on hold. Can you tell us the actual story regarding the project?

In all honesty, I don’t know. I think only he knows the answer to that question. If you do ask him, let me know as well.

Your name recently popped up as a contestant in the reality TV show, Bigg Boss. If you were to get a wildcard entry, would you give it a shot?

With due respect to the show, I would not be interested.

Generally, this one question pops up frequently – Vijay or Ajith – whose film would you like to star in? We want to take that question to two other stars – Dhanush or Simbu?

Vijay, Dhanush.

Name one celebrity who you would like to be interviewed by?

Baradwaj Rangan.

Cafe Coffee Day or roadside tea shop?

Roadside tea shop, always.

Fashion choice – traditional or modern?

Traditional.