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Interview with SMITA by Jeevi

Date: 2nd September 2001 Venue: Tulips, Green Park, Hyderabad
Other Interviews
Shyam (Producer)
Karunakaran (Director)
Sri (Music Director)
Gudipoodi Srihari(Film Critic)
SJ Surya(Director)
AM Ratnam(Producer)
Tammareddy Bharadwaja(Producer n Director)
Jayant C Paranji(Director)
Kodi Rama Krishna(Director)
Chakri (JD Chakravarthy)(Hero)
Ramana Gogula(Music Director)
Naga Babu(Producer n Actor)


Smita ... She is the latest teen pop sensation in Telugu. This bubbly belle chatted with over a cup of coffee and expressed her ambitions and aspirations. ..... her struggles .... her success. Here are the excerpts of the interview of confident, yet humble, Smita

Tell us about your background?

I am from Vijayawada. Singing has been my hobby since childhood. My passion lies in singing and dancing. I used to participate in numerous singing competitions and did win prizes. Over a period of time, I realized that I had the potential of becoming a professional singer. I contacted several music directors and landed up playback singing in the film industry. My first song was done for a Kannada film. Sri was the music director. Later on, it came across in my mind that I should make an album in Hindi so that I can be recognized across the nation. Click here to listen

What made you believe that you can become a singer?

'Paadutha Teeyaga' is the one that made my life take a big turn. I got a call from Paadutha Teeyaga, one year after sending my cassette for that competition. I was invited to participate in the preliminaries. I was in a casual mood at that time, as I did not believe in my singing talent. I would like to thank Sri SP Bala Subramanyam and E TV for giving me such an opportunity. Winning preliminaries made me more confident. I concentrated more on it and made it to the mega finale. I lost the competition in the final. I took it as a challenge and worked hard to show people that I am capable of becoming a professional singer. Click here to listen

Why did you venture into pop singing?

I have a voice that is suitable for pop music. That's the prime reason why I have launched a pop album. I had a lot of support from my family. My strength are my parents. They did everything they could do to make me realize my goal of becoming a singer. Professional singing is a very competitive field and there bound to be many failures and setbacks. I too have witnessed lots of disappointments. My parents gave me the strength to come out of them. Click here to listen

Can you tell me one incident where you had a big setback?

In the beginning of my career, it was Sri who introduced me to the playback singing in films. He was instrumental in giving support for my career. Not all music directors are like Sri, who encouraged me to the hilt.

It happened with a music director around 2 and half years back. I went to Chennai to sing a Telugu song. That song was a pretty high-pitched one. I tried my level best and completed singing the song. There was some conflict in the way a few English words were pronounced. After the recording is completed, an assistant informed me that some other singer would sing the song. I was utterly disappointed as it was my first setback in my career. I came back to Vijayawada. I did not sleep that night and was crying throughout.

At that time, the audio recording of 'Hai Rabba' album was completed. Video of the song was not completed. We were in two minds whether to do the video on our own or wait for sponsors. Immediately after this incident, my mom told me that she is going to start her own music company and release the 'Hai Rabba' album. She also told that she would shoot the video 'Hai Rabba'. I have come from a family where I was comfortably brought up. I never struggled for anything in life. This was the first incident where I was put down for the first time. My mom wanted to show the world that Smita is capable of being a professional singer. She wanted the music directors to approach me after realizing my ability to sing. The decision taken by Mom at that particular time was the turning point in my life.

There were also lots of incidents where I sang for films and I was replaced later with another singer. I think its natural in this film industry where there are lots of politics. All these setbacks made me much stronger. Click here to listen

What languages are you comfortable with?

To be frank, I am comfortable with Telugu and English. I am not really comfortable in Hindi. I do manage to express myself in Hindi a little. Click here to listen

How did you pick-up Hindi for your pop albums?

My mom was a student from New Delhi (Venky's). She is fluent in Hindi. She helped me in getting the lyrics right. Mehaboob was the lyricist (of Rangeela fame) for 'Hai Rabba' album. He helped me in getting the pronunciation of the Hindi words right. Click here to listen

What is the first Telugu film song done by you?

My first Telugu song was done for 'Naa Hridayamlo Nidurinche Cheli' (NHNC). Sri garu was the music director. The director of that film was Aadi Narayana.

I would like to tell you about a strange incident that happened. I was supposed to be singing for another song at that time. I did rehearsals for that song for five days. At that time, Aadinarayana saw me and asked me to sing the track for Sri's music for his film NHNC. That song was similar to 'Ayo Ayo' of Diana King. I sang track for that peppy number. Aadi was impressed and told that he will keep that song for the final release. When I went to the studios to sing the song, which I was supposed to sing, I saw a playback singer from Bangalore coming and doing it instead of me. The music director told me that he would give me a chance if he finds any tunes that suit my voice in the future. He did not even tried to listen to my voice.

I don't have regrets for the setbacks I had faced. I think the people who disappointed me in the beginning are the main contributors of my success of albums like 'Hai Rama' and 'Hai Rabba'. If they had not put me down, I would not have ventured into pop singing. Click here to listen

Tell us about your education background and schools you have studied?

I studied in Vijayawada till my 6th standard. Then I was put in a boarding school in Bangalore (Bishop Cotton) for a couple of years. I was homesick. So I came back home. I joined Saint Mathews School, Vijayawada. Later on, I completed my Intermediate and B.Com in Maris Stella College, Vijayawada. Click here to listen

Was there any conflict between the studies and the hobby of singing?

I am the kind of girl who studies a week before the final examinations. Hence, there was no problem at all. With the attendance, I used to have problem. But, I knew how to manage it.Click here to listen

Do you take any precautions to maintain your voice?

I am told that I should not eat or drink cold things. Right now I have left the cautions to the wind. I guess, I would follow the precautions in the future. Click here to listen

Where have you done stage shows so far?

I have done a stage show abroad for TANA last year. All other my stage shows so far were confined to AP. I am hoping to do stage shows outside Andhra, once 'Hai Rama!' album released.Click here to listen

Who are your favorite singers?

I like Asha Bhonsleji a lot. She is capable of singing for any generation though she is pretty old. In Telugu, it's pretty hard to single of any voice. But, I feel, the voices of Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan and Chitra are the most fascinating ones. Click here to listen

Tell us about your favorite Telugu films?

'Aswini', by Usha Kiron movies, was the film that inspired me the most. I was in Bangalore at that time and I started playing sports after seeing that film. I have a few all-time favorite films, which I can watch any number of times at any point of time. They are Padamati Sandhya Ragam, Ninne Pelladatha, Swarna Kamalam and Annamayya. Click here to listen

Who are your favorite heroes?

Nagarjuna is my all time favorite hero in Telugu. In Hindi, it changes according to trends. Aamir is my favorite hero in the present time. But Nagarjuna would remain to be my favorite Telugu hero forever. Click here to listen

What is your future plan?

I want to get in to full-time stage performance. I have shot one video for Hai Rama so far. We would be shooting a couple more numbers for Hai rama in the coming months. We would also be releasing 'Hai Rama' in Telugu and Tamil soon. I want to perform all over the world. My ultimate goal is to make an international album. Click here to listen

Where are you put up now? Hyderabad or Vijayawada?

I have shifted to Hyderabad a couple of months back, as I have finished my B.Com in Vijayawada. Now I am placed in Hyderabad. I am hoping to join one-year course in Fashion Designing at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), Hyderabad. NIFT would keep me busy academically. Click here to listen

Are you not interested in shifting to Mumbai and join Bollywood?

I love Hyderabad and I love the people here. I don't want to go some other place and do my job. Lots of people are asking me to do an independent Telugu album. Hindi albums have bigger market and better reach compared to Telugu private albums. It's easy to get popular in Hindi field. That's the reason why I am starting my career as pop singer in Hindi.

The album 'Hai Rama' is branded as a complete South product. Sri, the music director is a Telugu guy. The lyricist Sayyed Rizvi (of Maine Pyar Kiya fame) is also from Hyderabad. Director Aadi Narayana is a Telugu person. Chota K Naidu, our cameraman, is a Telugu cinematographer. Choreographer, Raju Sundaram, is from Chennai. Rajiv Vargis, my co-artist, is from Hyderabad. He was the winner of Gladrags Manhunt for the year 1999. This album is recorded and shot in Hyderabad and Chennai. Click here to listen

Where are you put up now? Hyderabad or Vijayawada?

I have shifted to Hyderabad a couple of months back, as I have finished my B.Com in Vijayawada. Now I am placed in Hyderabad. I am hoping to join one-year course in Fashion Designing at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), Hyderabad. NIFT would keep me busy academically. Click here to listen

How many albums were sold for 'Hai Rabba'?

The Hindi album was released by Archie's music. Telugu album was released by Power music. Around 1 lakhs albums were sold in Andhra (both Telugu and Hindi). Outside Andhra, 2.5 lakhs of 'Hai Rabba' albums were sold. The sales of 'Hai Rabba' encouraged us to come up with 'Hai Rama'. Click here to listen

How is your album 'Hai Rama' placed in Music TV Channels?

These channels broadcast the songs on rotation basis in the beginning. If a song gets more popular with the channel surfers, it would be aired more frequently. MTV started broadcasting Hai Rama on Friday. Other channels would do it from Monday. I have got pretty good airplay on MTV. It is being aired more than 10 times a day. Click here to listen

Being a pop singer, who also performs on video, you have become quite a familiar figure. Do people notice you in public? Does that embarrass you?

I enjoy talking with people who like me. So, that's not a problem. Some girls may have problems talking to the public. But I do not have any problems.

Let me put it the other way around. Do you observe people in public, if they are noticing you or not?

My family or friends who are around me do that surveillance. If someone recognizes me and says my name then I look back. Otherwise, I don't really bother if somebody is noticing me or not. Click here to listen

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring singers, who visit

Please set you goal and be confident. Don't get bogged down by setbacks. This is the lesson I have learnt from my experiences.

I do also request the parents to encourage their kids to get into offbeat professions like singing. Everybody can become a doctor or engineer if we put effort. But a creative art like singing is a God's gift. I request all the parents to help their children to reach their goal. Click here to listen

Do you want to convey anything to the visitors?

I would like to thank all the visitors for asking for my interview. Thanks a lot for the support I am getting from all of you. It was really nice performing for you (USA folks) at TANA.

I have a web site called You can email me at [email protected]. Please visit my web site and keep sending mails. Click here to listen

Other Smita related links

-> Wall Papers
-> Profile
-> Photo Gallery

Interviewed by Jeevi
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