WBRi Feature: Interview with Actress and Ghazal Nightingale JANIVA ROY Musical Career & Bengali Movie "E Sudhu Amar Gaan" (2012)

Click Play to listen to Janiva Roy talk to Sayantanee Dutt on WBRi On-Demand Audio Broadcast Service

JANIVA ROYFremont, CA, Aug 15, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Janiva Roy (Rumpa) is a leading film playback singer, an exceptional Ghazal performer and a talented actress who grew up in Kolkata. Acclaimed internationally for her soulful Ghazal renditions and popular film songs, Janiva's talent caught attention of discerning ears as early as when she was eight. Coming from a family environment of music, rewaaz was an important part of her childhood (though has never been super-excited about the bandhan way of singing), and later she also trained herself with a microphone to pick up nuances of performing in live shows. Janiva is also an accomplished actress and the only Bengali actress today who sings her own songs live during shooting. In this comprehensive and intimate conversation with WBRi's Sayantanee Dutt, Janiva talks about her childhood, journey in music and acting, rewarding experiences and challenges, and much more.

Janiva Roy tells us about her first album featuring duets of Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd. Rafi - an album which surely was a turning point in her life. After the huge success of her first album came Sajani Tumse Jo Pyaar Ho Gaya with new music and lyrics. It went on to become another massive hit.

At the same time, acting in films came just like a miracle in her life. In her very first film Malabadal (2000) directed by Raj Mukherjee, Janiva performed playback songs and acted simultaneously, perhaps the only Bengali actress and singer after Gita Dutt and Kanan Devi to be able do so. Janiva describes in the interview how she was astounded when she read the script - it was almost like the film was totally based on her own life. A triangular love story, the film featured Sumitra Mitra as her mother, and her aunt was also a lead actress in the film. Her hero was Prosenjit Chatterjee (WBRi Interview and another interview) and it is in this film that she recorded her first song with the famous Kumar Sanu (WBRi interview). The songs of Malabadal were massive hits, along with the movie itself.

Janiva is playing the lead role in her Bengali film "E Sudhu Amar Gaan" (2012) directed by veteran film-maker Sankar Roy. The story of "E Shudhu Amar Gaan" is written by Janiva, as well as she also sings the eight beautiful songs in the film. In E Shudhu Amar Gan Janiva plays a very successful singer Rani Sen who loses her voice after an accident. Soon after, Rani realizes she had made a mistake in understanding the true nature of her lover, who pretty much deserts her as soon as she loses her singing ability, thus making it apparent he was more interested in capitalizing on Janiva's financial success than true romance. Surprisingly, another person who Rani did not have a very high opinion about previously steps in to support and encourage her - but this person remains tries to remain anonymous while standing by her. This person - the 2nd hero of the film - is the son of an ultra-rich business tycoon who is known to be a heavy drinker and a huge fan of Rani Sen. Eventually Rani gets her voice back and also comes to know of her well-wisher's identity, and things sort out for a happy ending.

Watch Indian Kolkata Bangla Movie "E Sudhu Amar Gaan" (2012) Trailer Online

E Shudhu Amar Gaan also stars Santu Mukherjee, Biswajit Chakroborty, Dwijen Banerjee, Debdoot Ghosh and more. Screenplay and dialogue are by Amal Chakroborty and music is directed by Sandipan Ganguly. The film is produced by Amirul Islam and Susanta Chatterjee, and presented by Rima Unique Production.

Janiva is also a versatile multi-lingual singer equally adept in various languages like Santhali, Bhojpuri, Oriya and more, but her first love remains Ghazal. During her conversation with us, she sings a mesmerizing excerpt from a lovely Ghazal song from her recent album. She learnt Urdu for two long years so that she can perform Ghazals in a more authentic way and her first Urdu album was Arsh which was also a massive hit.

Having performed in Russia, Singapore, Bangkok, Dhaka, Mauritius, Hong Kong and Dubai - the latter an astounding nine times so far - Janiva is very much appreciative of people abroad who are huge fans of Ghazal songs. She is the one of the very few internationally renowned female Ghazal singers, and is warmly welcomed everywhere for her sweet voice. Incidentally, Janiva is also the first Ghazal performer to pay tributes to Jagjit Singh and Mehdi Hassan in Kolkata.

In the little free time Janiva has, she loves to listen to Ghazals and some instrumental music - mainly those on violin, piano and saxophone. She herself plays the Harmonium and Tanpura, but she is in love with instrumental music. She also loves to paint during her leisure hours and is a foodie.

Another hit Ghazal album Ehsas pyaar ka was a mega hit and was inaugurated by Susmita Sen herself. Janiva fondly recalls Susmita had hugged her in front of the whole audience after becoming overcome with Janiva's songs. Another of her hit Ghazal albums is Sochte Sochte which she launched as a tribute to Mehdi Hassan.

When asked about new singers, Janiva indicates an increasing challenge in continuing with Ghazals in the evolving world of music.She also encourages aspiring singers to concentrate on developing good singing careers and being passionate about songs. She has mixed feelings about reality competition TV shows which she finds difficult to support although she still loves to see the arrival of new stars in singing world.

Sayantanee DuttAn ardent recitation and elocution enthusiast, RJ Sayantanee Dutt lives in Fremont, CA and writes and anchors Pashchimi's popular Bangla radio show "Robibarer Ashor" on Radio Zindagi 1550 AM broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay area. Some of her wonderful recitation recordings have been featured on WBRi available on-demand in this post.

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