Artists, Bollywood, Classical

Kaushiki Chakraborty- Contemporary Classical Indian Vocalist

Life and introduction

Kaushiki Chakraborty is an Internationally acclaimed young classical musician and playback singer. She sang for various Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali films. Kaushiki is the torchbearer of the Patiala Gharana classical music; thus, fusion in music is not in her genre. Kaushiki’s nuanced knowledge of classical music and style owes to her combing at the prestigious Sangeet Research Academy. She has also incorporated contemporary aspects of Indian pop music in her music.

Padma Bhusan jeweled Classical Singer Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty is the father of Kaushiki, and Chandana Chakraborty is her mother. Kaushiki was born in 1980 in Kolkata. Jnan Prakash Gaur, who happens to be Ajoy Chakraborty’s guru, was also Kaushiki’s mentor when she started learning classical music. Kaushiki expertise in Raag, Thumri, Khyals, and South Indian Classical music. Kaushiki formally started learning music at the age of ten though she sang her first song at 7 in Calcutta Rowing Club. She graduated from ITC at the age of twenty in 2004. Academically she has a master’s degree in Philosophy from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. In 2004, Kaushiki got married to a Hindustani classical singer, Parthasarathi Desikan, and has a son, Rishith

Awards, career, and recognitions

Kaushiki has been singing on various prestigious platforms and is recognized as a talented emerging classical Indian singer. She has performed at Dover Lane Music Conference, Kishori Amonkar memorial music program at Pune, National Centre for the Performing Arts, live performances at coke studio, Darbar festival, and ITC Sangeet Sammelan. Moreover, the spring festival of music in California, Sawai Gandharv Bhimsen Sangeet Mahotsav, Parampara programs are some of the platforms on which Kaushiki performed and applauded for her uniqueness and crispness of Classical music. 

Kaushiki is the young recipient of the BBC Award (2005) for her achievements in classical music. She was 25 at that time and was starred as the brightest emerging classical vocal singer. She has been adorned with Ustad Bismillah Khan Puraskar 2010 by Sangeet Natak Academy, Aditya Birla Kalakiran Puraskar (2013), “Shera Bangali Samman 2017” by ABP ANANDA, and Jadu Batta Award (1995) are some of the notable ones. 

Kaushiki’s prominent numbers as a playback singer are in movies as Water (2005), Chaplin (2011), Tirumannam Ennum Nikkah  (2014), Rajkahini (2014), Mirzya (2016), Gulab Gang, Rahoo tere peechey, Kutti Puli, and Aroni Tokhon (2017). 

Darbar Festival (Darbar festival Season 8) 

The UK registered non-profit initiative called Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust has come to the forefront to introduce the melody and heritage of classical Indian dance and music to a global audience in 2005. The festival lasts for about three months in London. It is a platform where budding classical singers get footage. Live performances of the legends as Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Shahid Parvez, Pandit Rajan Mishra, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Ronu Majumdar, Pandit Jasraj, Prabha Atre, and Sudha Raghunathan, and many more can be seen, and that is a life-changing event. 

The soulful performance of classical music by renowned artists regales the audience longing for more. Kaushiki is the leading light of the Patiala Gharana. With the enthralling performance by Kaushiki at the Finale of the festival, the audience was spellbound. The splendid, ingenious, and fiery power-packed performance of Kaushiki stole the event. She explored ragas at midnight along with Talwalkar, and Khan was magical and unique. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London was dripped in the fervor of classical Indian charm.

Coke Studio @ MTV Season 2

Live studio-recorded numbers are recorded and broadcasted on television at a television programmed, Coke Studio @ MTV. Coke studio has an amalgamation of pure Carnatic music, Hindustani Classical music, Indian folk, hip hop, pop, and rock music. Season 2 was premiered on 7th July 2012 on MTV and Doordarshan. Every episode of the show has personal music made by music composers. Kaushiki Chakraborty performed in one of the episodes of Coke Studio @ MTV Season 2. Kaushiki sang the song ‘lagi lagi,’ thus breaking the singing barrier only classical and thumri. The song was received well by the listeners. Her singing style has become a recognition for her after season 2 of Coke Studio @ MTV. The biggies of music were smitten by the voice quality and right notion of the song by Kaushiki. In her interview with Telegraph Online, Kaushiki expressed her initial hesitance in singing the kirtan “lagi lagi” and its success and recognition. 

Musical Group “Sakhi”

It is an initiative to celebrate the essence of womanhood via music and dance. “Sakhi” is an all Indian Woman Classical Band with Mahima Upadhyay, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Nandini Shankar, Debopriya Chatterjee, and Savani Talwalkar, and Bhakti Deshpande as core band members. The effort is made to highlight the folk-music tradition and showcase all aspects of womanhood by highlighting the mythological characters as Ganga, Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Durga, Sita, Radha, Draupadi, Kunti, and Meera. These women characters have considerable contributions to Indian Classical music and dance but are unfortunately buried in the incognito. 

Daughters and disciples of renowned Classical music legends have taken the stage to accomplish the Sakhi initiative. The vocalist’s father, Ajay Chakraborty, alludes that Kaushiki got this inspiration for “Sakhi” from Ustad Zakir Hussain. The unique idea of percussion by females has broken the stereotype and underlined the persona of female artists. 

Kaushiki is the producer of this initiative, and the debut performance was done at Kalamandir in January 2015. A stunning debut performance was done in Jakarta, Indonesia, by Sakhi band with the theme of celebrating the experience of womanhood through classical Indian songs and dance.

Other famous albums 

Kaushiki has been the recipient of BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music in 2005. Some of the albums of Kaushiki are summed in “The Best of Kaushiki Chakroborty.” From 2002 to 2017, twenty-seven albums of Kaushiki have appeared, including A journey begins, Hamaro Pranaam Jhanak, Karvaan, Kadambari, Gaayeja, Parapaar, Boon, Hanuman.com, Shunyo Awnko, Sondhey Naamar Aagey, Hrid Majharey, Manomay are some of the favorite albums of Kaushiki. 

Kaushiki managed to widen her audience base due to liquidity, impromptu performances, and a clear singing style. She is the brightest emerging vocal singer who managed to enthrall International audiences. Her kirtan song “lagi lagi” at MTV coke studio has been a landmark among music lovers. Kaushiki hosts a Bangla Talk Show, “Gaan golpo Gaan,” for her potential audience who adore Indian music. She has initiated a platform for young talented classical singers to make space in the music world.

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