Antara Mitra, who has sung Gerua, Manma emotion and Janam janam in Dilwale, talks about her journey and mentor Pritam Chakraborty
Music is in my genes… my father is a music teacher, my mom sings too. When dad used to take classes at home, I used to listen and learn really quickly. But it was tough to make me sit down and learn from him. So he decided to send me to Shovona Mukerjee for classical training. I learnt from her for almost 11 years. I stayed and studied in a small district near Kolkata called Maslandapur. Being Bengali, music was in the air for me.
On her struggle
When I was 18 years old, I shifted to Mumbai. I started with stage shows, and because I was a reality show singer, I got those shows easily. The real struggle started when I decided to meet the right people in the industry. That’s how Pritamda listened to a few of my songs. I guess every artiste goes through this process before getting the right break.
Little did I know that I would be singing for Kajol. Pritamda told me, one day, that I had to record a few songs for Dilwale. I was taken aback. The fact that the film featured SRK and Kajol was enough as a brief for me. Dada had composed these songs so beautifully that they would sound great anyway. I did three songs for the film, so it was the perfect break for me.
On the songs
It was an interesting melody. For (Gerua), a love song, Pritamda asked me to be true to myself. That was the only brief I was given for that song. Manma, on the other hand, is a peppy number, but one of my favourites is Janam janam.
Pritamda is my mentor and is one of the most versatile musicians the industry has. His sound, his compositions, his thoughts surprise me every single time. There is so much to learn from him.