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Quirks & Queries: Sanjeeta Bhattacharya

When and how did you decide to become a musician?

I’ve been into music since as long as I can remember because my parents put me into classical music and dance lessons but I think the decision to pursue it as a career came only after graduating school when I read the
acceptance letter for Berklee College Music. I was about to choose this path over dance, photography and studying history and I did!

Tell us about your musical learning through your journey

Cliche as it may sound, I believe it is an endless journey; musical learning comes through interactions with your friends, things you do to keep yourself occupied through the day and the reason why you choose to make music, which is a question I haven’t quite found the right answer for yet. Of course I gave my hours of practice, getting the technicalities right, learning different styles etc but now my focus is on movement, breath,
enunciation and intention, both while writing and delivering.

Who have you been inspired by?

My teachers, Siddharth Das and Annette Philip, my friends- Kelly and Bhaanu and my brothers, who’s music libraries I used to dig into when I was little.

Which has been your best gig so far and why?

Allow me to list a few because its very hard to choose. Magnetic Fields 2016 when the entire dungeon grooved with us, High Spirits, Pune when the venue lived up to its name 100%, The piano man jazz club, when we added breaks in a song just to yell “did you lie, b*tch?” and the AR Rahman tribute in college when I danced my butt off hahaha.

What according to you is your style of singing?

My style of singing is still evolving. It has inflections of Indian classical as well as the airy texture of RnB. At the moment I am trying to achieve an intimate style which is closer to my speaking voice.

How do you prepare yourself before a gig?

I like to tell myself to ‘Be honest and mean it, don’t take yourself too seriously and have a good time’. Apart from this, ofcourse, rehearse and work on having a good chemistry with whom I am playing.

Could you tell us three vocal health tips you follow

Avoid over the counter meds as much as possible. For sore throat, drink a concoction of honey, tulsi, turmeric, pepper and hot water. Know that singing high notes/ doing runs is not equal to singing well. Practice technique before belting so it doesn't sound like yelling. Get as much rest as possible, don't take sleep for granted and keep yourself hydrated.

Best stage you’ve performed at- Boston Symphony Hall
If not music, what would you have been doing? Travel Photography or Kathak
An artist you would love to collaborate with- Juan Luis Guerra / Magda Giannikou

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