us about your journey of becoming a successful playback singer
was born in Nagarjuna Sagar. My father's hometown is Tanuku and
my mother is from Amalapuram. We shifted to Hyderabad when I was
a kid. Singing has been a passion since my childhood. I used to
look out for local singing competition advertisements in the newspapers
to participate in them. At that time, I used to do it as a hobby
and I had no inkling that I would come into the movie field as
a playback singer.
participated in a Gemini TV program called Navaragam. I
came first in that program and I immediately got a chance to participate
in E TV's Paadutha Teeyaga, which is conducted by Balu
garu. I emerged successful in that as well. Then Balu garu
blessed me that I am capable of playback singing and suggested
me to enter films.
got an offer from Vandemataram garu from Chennai to sing
a song. During that trip, KS Rama Rao garu made me sing
a song for Hello I Love You under the music direction of
Shashi Preetam garu. By that time, I had just finished
my intermediate. Later on, I did not get any offers from music
directors and I did not try hard for playback singing, as I had
to concentrate on my studies too. For 3 years I did not sing for
any film. People used to make indirect fun of me by asking what
happened to my singing career.
then participated in Endaro Mahanubhavulu, a show by Balu
garu for Gemini TV, where they telecast songs sung live
by the singers. Though it's a music related program, new singers
like me got a lot of exposure to various facets. Since the audience
had seen me coming first in Navaragam and Paadutha Teeyaga, people
started recognizing me as Usha. I also participated in a contest
by EL TV, an associate channel of Zee TV.
day, NB Sastry garu called me and informed me that Usha
Kiron Movies is producing a film titled Chitram. He called
up Atluri Rama Rao garu (executive producer of Usha Kiron
Movies) and referred me for an audition. Teja, Kula Sekhar and
RP garu were there at the time of audition. I was very
tensed. Teja garu is really a cool person. He made me feel comfortable
and encouraged me to sing freely. When I sang the pallavi of 'Oohala
Pallakilo' song, they all liked it. I was then asked to sing
the entire song. That was a good song, which is rich in both music
and lyrics. That song gave me confidence that I could dream of
becoming a playback singer.
Chitram was made by Ramoji Rao garu, there used to be a
series of promotional trailers aired on E TV. They often showed
'Oohala Pallakilo' song in those trailers. I was so thrilled
listening to those promos. That song gave me a big break. People
complain that film industry is a vicious place. But, it's a nice
place to be in, if you have a positive outlook. Lot of people,
whom I did not know, traced my phone number and called me to encourage
me. Later on, I sang for a few films like Subha Vela, Budget
Padmanabham, Ramma Chilakamma etc. But those songs did not
second break came with the film Nuvvu
Nenu. Initially, they made me sing one song. They then called
me for a second one. Gradually, they made me sing all the songs
of that album. Teja garu is very straightforward when it
comes to extracting work from us. If he is not satisfied with
the song, he says it on the face and gives us another chance to
make amendments. It's a very good approach.
I saw Nuvvu Nenu
in a theatre, I observed that people were throwing pieces of paper
and whistling when the Nuvvu Nenu title appeared with the background
song . We generally observe the masses doing the same to only
popular heroes when they appear on the screen for the first time.
During the interval, a few girls recognized me and took autographs
from me. I was very happy that time. Another notable aspect of
Nuvvu Nenu songs was the simple lyrics with a lot of depth
in them. The lyrics clicked well, as they are easy to memorize
and simple to hum.
Nuvvu Nenu, I sang for films like Manasanta
Nuvve, Premaku Swagatam, Nuvvu
Leka Nenu Lenu, Takkari
and Hai. I also have
a couple of songs in the forthcoming films like Jayam,
people pass comments that I sing only for RP garu, which
is not true. I sang for almost all the music directors and I do
not have any reservations. People might have got that opinion
because all the albums of RP garu are becoming hits.
there any incidents where you have sung a song and it was redone
by a different singer?
It happened only once. I sang 'Kita
kita Talupula' song of Manasanta Nuvve first. But later
on, they redid it with Chitra garu. The finalization of the song
depends on music director, director and producer. If either of
them is not happy, then the singer will be changed.
people are speculating that you are slowly becoming a replacement
for Chitra. What do you have to say about that?
not! Her talent and range are pretty high. Nobody else is as talented
as she is. Nobody replaces anybody here. Everybody has his/her
own domain and style. I am pretty confident that nobody can replace
Chitra garu. Everybody has his/her own voice, which is drastically
do you take care of your voice? Do you take any precautions?
don't take any diet restrictions. I love ice creams and I love
Pepsi. If I have any stage program in a couple of days, then I
avoid taking anything cold as I may fall sick. I avoid taking
citrus food all the time. I avoid taking lemon juice, as it shows
immediate affect on my voice. I am also a big time chatterbox.
So I need to shut my mouth to maintain my voice (giggles).
is the next logical step for singers. Have you done any dubbing?
Are you interested in it?
never dubbed for any artist. I am not interested in it. I think
dubbing my voice for any heroine is not my cup of tea. Heroines
of the films are supposed to have heavenly quality. Even the smile
of the heroine should be heavenly. I have some base in my voice,
which would not suit the heavenliness of heroine's voice. Even
lip-syncing is a big problem. I don't think anybody would approve
of my voice for dubbing. It's good for singing. That is it!
us about your academics?
did my CEC in intermediate. I got national merit scholarship in
it. I did my B Com in St. Francis Degree College, Secunderabad.
Later on, I joined MCS, which I finished a week back.
is your future plan?
would love to continue as a playback singer as long as I can.
Otherwise, I shall pick up a job using my educational qualifications.
But, I will try my level best to stay in this field as a playback
you sing songs that have double entendres in it?
think the quality of Telugu film lyrics has improved a lot because
of the high number of love films being made these days. I never
came across any situation where the lyrics were gross. But I am
a professional singer and I should sing songs however bad the
lyrics are. We are supposed to sing the songs and we will sing
them. If the lyrics are too gross, then I would definitely refrain
from singing those songs. But most of the lyrics that are written
now reflect the tender feelings between two lovers' hearts.
us about your favorite singers?
the Telugu female singers, I like Susheela garu, Janaki garu,
Chitra garu, Sujatha garu, Swarna Latha garu. Among the Hindi
singers I admire, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kavitha Krishna
Murthy and Alka Yagnik.
the male singers, I like Balu garu, Ghantasala garu, Jesudas garu,
Kishore Kumar and Mohd. Rafi. Among the contemporary singers I
like Hari Haran garu, KK, Shaan and Shankar Mahadevan.
us about your favorite music directors?
like all music directors.
are being too diplomatic.
might hurt somebody by telling out a name, which I don't want
to do. For anybody, Ilayaraja is like a God and next comes AR
I like RP gari music a lot. His music is soft and melodious. The
best part about his music is that his music never dominates the
lyrics. I went to a relative's place, where a small girl asked
me to sing 'Ela
Ela' song [from Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu]. I asked her
to try singing it. She sung the entire song with correct lyrical
pronunciation. She is able to hear, memorize and reproduce the
lyrics. That is the one of the plus points of RP gari music.
us about your favorite songs sung by you?
favorites are Oohala Pallakilo (Chitram), title
song (Nuvvu Nenu), Toonega
(Manasanta Nuvve), Ela
Ela (Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu), Hai
Toli Saariga (Santosham), Enduko,
the songs sung by you so far have been love and melodious songs.
But for the first time, you sang a complete folk song 'Raanu
Raanu' in Jayam. Did you try anything different
sing all types of songs, including western and Hindi. But I did
not get opportunity to sing different kind of songs as a playback
singer. I love singing different songs as a professional singer.
I love to have more challenging songs and I am pretty sure that
I can sing them with élan.
kind of encouragement you get from your family members?
get complete support from them. I don't think any other person
could get this kind of support from their family members. Whenever
I am tired or down, my family pampers me. My mother, father, sister
and brothers give me moral support whenever I am in need of it.
are your hobbies other than singing?
watching TV, horoscopes and chatting with friends are some of
What's your date of birth?
May. I am a Gemini.
you have any marriage plans in near future?
am not thinking about marriage at this point of time. I want to
concentrate on my singing career now. People have already started
complaining as to why Usha is singing all the songs in an album.
People have been listening to two or three singers singing in
all the albums for years. Give me some tough songs and I will
prove myself. Recently I sang a song on Hyderabad city. After
listening to the song, nobody feels that I sang it as it has a
contrasting style to it.
frequently do you visit idlebrain.com?
visit idlebrain.com everyday.
do you like and what do you not like in idlebrain.com?
do like everything about idlebrain.com. What I like the most are
the interviews, discussions
and jukebox. I go across
all the articles that are put up under 'latest updates' column.
I would like to tell you about an incident. There was a news item
that RP garu would be scoring music for Manmadhudu. And I came
to know about this news through idlebrain.com, though RP garu
and I met regularly for the songs of Jayam. The pace at which
idlebrain.com updates its articles is very fast. The site is very
fast to download too.
you have any suggestions for wannabe singers?
should have the will power to do anything. If you think you can
do, then you can definitely do that. Where there is a will, there
is a way. This suggestion is not just for singers, but for everyone
whichever field they are in. Hard work makes a lot of difference.
you have any thing to say to the visitors of idlebrain.com?
keep visiting idlebrain.com. Please encourage newcomers. None
of us are perfect human beings. Nobody can prove themselves in
the first attempts. Please give second chances to them.
can mail Usha at [email protected]