She rose to the Bollywood stardom with her super-hit song ‘Goriya Chura Na More Jiya’ from Coolie No 1 followed by several other hit songs in Bollywood movies and scores of albums with major Bollywood playback singers. But soon she chose a path away from the glamour of Bollywood and took a road that quenches her soul. Chandana Dixit is visiting Sydney and Melbourne on 4th July and 10th July for the delight of music lovers. The following is what Chandana says about herself in her website.
I feel blessed to be able to live this life, exploring and developing my creative aspirations, literally following my bliss………..
This journey began according to my mom in my childhood, where I expressed my self by singing songs in the shower and drawing and colouring in my free time. I grew up in Nigeria (W Africa), where there wasn’t any scope to formally learn, but we were the only Indian family to own a harmonium at home. My parents were interested in music. Mom is a sangeet visharad and Dad a shaukiya (spontaneous and natural) singer.
My formal training in classical music began on our return to India with Saraswati Bai Rane of the Kirana gharana for about six years during which a solid foundation and love for the form was established. A special beginning was also made when I won the first place in my first attempt at a music competition, followed by many more including the National Government Scholarship.This appreciation helped me in gaining self confidence and faith in moving forward.
During this time I was fortunate enough to be picked up by Arun Date to sing ‘Bhawgeet’s’ as female solo lead in his famous ‘Shukratara’ shows all over Maharashtra.
After which I began briefly training with Veena Sahasrabuddhe and simultaneously was introduced to music director Kalyanji bhai of Kalyanji Anandji duo. He convinced my parents that I should train for playback singing as my voice quality was suited for that form, but also felt that I should discontinue with my classical music training as that would interfere with my progress to acquire the required tone for Bollywood or light music. Thus my classical music training came to an abrupt halt.
At this time I had also completed my formal education in acquiring a degree in Graphic design from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalay.
I started my Bollywood music career with a superhit song ‘Goriya churana mera jiya’ from the movie Coolie No 1, followed by some other hits like Sheher ki ladki, chooma chooma etc, also released some Bhajan,Ghazal Pop, TV Serial title songs, jingles and Cover version albums, It was an incredibility fascinating time to have the opportunity to record and sing with India’s famous and talented composers and singers. But have to confess always having a nagging feeling something was amiss and incomplete in my life which I now understand after reconnecting with my classical music.
Life took a different turn when I got married and moved to Seattle in USA over a decade back. It was a whole different experience, with some peaceful time to do some soul seeking and realized I had to reinvent and go back to my unfinished business of reconnecting with classical music. I began by starting my music school ‘Swarangan School of Music’ in which I train students in classical and light music. And also deciding on how I wanted to go about my advanced education in music. I fortunately found Gurus who helped me in the specific areas I wanted to develop in like Pt.Kaivalya Kumar Gurav, Pt. Vikas Kashalkar, Pt. Bholanath Mishra (thumri, dadra), Ustaad Ghulam Niyaz Khan amongst others. I am grateful for their generosity in allowing me to develop and grow in the direction I wanted to. I don’t believe in the restrictions of following a particular gharana style but rather of following your own bliss and seeking the beauty and light as you are able to perceive and grasp from various sources.I also did my MA in music from SNDT University.