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Nalini Krishnan - From Boston To Bollywood

Ranjani Saigal

It is not often that one gets to see a professional Bollywood show open with a local talent. When that talent is that of an Indian American young woman it makes it even more special. That is what happened at the fabulous Sunidhi Chauhan show that opened with Nalini Krishnan who has delighted Boston with her singing in the past.

A student from the Berklee College of Music, Nalini went on the “Voice of India” reality show. That show took her to India and she is now in Mumbai seeking a career in Bollywood.   

How did you become part of the Sunidhi Chauhan tour?

Sunidhi mam had heard me in the “Voice of  India” show.  She reached out to me, as they were to tour the US and asked if I would be part of the show. I was delighted. So here I am. It is particularly wonderful to be in Boston, a town that has given me so much love and support. Even though I was born and brought up in Seattle, I am known as the Boston girl in India. 

How did you decide to make music your career? 

Music has always been my passion. It started with my training in Carnatic music and went on to my training in Berklee.  I could never imagine doing anything else.  Bollywood for me brings together a lot of genres and I would love to be a Bollywood composer. 

What was it like to be on “Voice of India”? 

It was absolutely terrific. I strongly believe reality shows give you a great exposure. It also took me to India. I met so many great people at the show and learned so much. I am here because of the show. 

Are the shows as emotional as they seem on TV? 

It does get emotional. I was quite pleased that I did not cry when I was eliminated.  The win or loss is based on the particular performance. So many things can happen and that makes one quite emotional. I was sick that day.  Win or loose it is a fabulous experience. 

Making a career in Bollywood in not easy. How is it going? 

I have moved to Mumbai now. With the reality show I am able to get some connections.  I am able to meet many people. I think it is going good . We shall see how it grows. 

Why do you want to be a composer rather than a singer? 

Personally for me I think being a composer will give me an opportunity to do a wide range of things. 

Do you practice everyday? What does your practice look like? 

I do Riyaz everyday.  The Riyaz includes not just music but Yoga  and physical fitness as well. 

Did your Carnatic training help or hinder your Bollywood singing?

Of course it helped. Every training helps. I do not agree with people who say classical music training comes in the way of Bollywood singing and I encourage training. 

What advice do you have for youngsters who may think of following in your footsteps? 

If it is a passion for you  go for it. I think reality TV shows are great way to get exposure. 

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