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Singer Vaishali Made talks about her association with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, much before he signed her on for Pinga in Bajirao Mastani


I come from a very small village in Amravati, where you have to walk 2 km to get a drink of water. We had no facilities or infrastructure in the village, at least till I grew up. But I managed to complete my education. Singing was always in my blood as everyone in my family is attached to music. So I too learnt music although it was not a formal musical education.

Mumbai Calling

In 2008, I participated in Zee TV’s reality series, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge,Marathi, which I won. During that competition, my life changed and I saw a whole new world. I learnt so much more about music. After that, I participated in the Hindi Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, which I also won. My life changed irrevocably and I started getting offers and doing shows. The offers were from the Marathi industry.

One call that changed my life

Once I finished Sa Re Ga…. I received a call from a man who introduced himself as Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He told me he had heard me singing in the Marathi competition and that he really liked my voice. For a few minutes, I thought someone was playing a prank on me. But after talking to him for a few minutes, I realised it was actually Sanjay sir. I was in shock! This was before Ram Leela released and was still in the making. After that, whenever he composed a song, he would always call me to his studio and ask me to sing it for him. So I’ve known him for many years now.

On being offered Pinga

So, phone calls from him were a regular occurrence but one day, I received a call from his office and they said he wanted me to come over to meet him. He asked me whether I knew about Pinga. I told him Pinga was a part of Marathi folk culture, where during a festival, the women in the house used to move around and that pose was called Pinga. He asked me to sing a few lines, which I did. He said, ‘When I composed the song, I didn’t like it, but now that you’re singing it I really like it.’ The song was then in its initial stages. Then we sang the antara, and after a few days I recorded the song.

On recording her first song

I struggled very hard to make my mark from 2009 to 2015. Despite winning two reality shows, I didn’t have much work or the kind of songs I wanted to sing at that time. Then, I could finally see my first break in Hindi cinema happening but I was still not sure till I saw the song on the screen. You see, many a time, a singer records a song but, when the song releases, you realise someone else’s voice was eventually used. So once the song released, I knew that my first break had finally happened.

On the response

The response has been overwhelming. While the promotions for Bajirao Mastani were underway, I met the star cast and crew of the film for the first time in Delhi, where I performed with Shreya Ghoshal for the first time. We had recorded the song separately in the studio, so I had not met her earlier.

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