Sunidhi Chauhan’s name has been synonymous with female playback singing for many years now. She became a household name at a very young age when she was crowned the winner of what could be construed as one of India’s first music reality shows, 'Meri Awaaz Suno'. And since then, there has been no looking back.
“I was 12 when I won that competition. Since it was aired on a national channel I became famous and I began getting offers for films. I got busy with work and would bunk school a lot. My teachers were angry but my friends would help me with notes. I quit studies after the tenth standard. I know education is important but I wanted to focus on music. So I don’t regret my decision,” Sunidhi says.
The singer acknowledges that Western music has had a huge impact in her singing. Sunidhi confesses that she enjoys crooning songs that have a Western flavour in them. She says, “I was a teenager when MTV came to India. I remember hearing some songs and I liked how they sounded. So that’s how I tried practising it myself.”
Sunidhi is also one of the few Indian artistes to have collaborated with an international name like Enrique Iglesias in Heartbeat. Sharing the experience she says, “It was great. Enrique is so popular in India. The track worked well and it was unlike collaborations where it sounds like a forced fusion. The voices and the mood was right, it turned out great.”
Sunidhi entered the industry at a time when the industry was dominated by names like Asha Bhosle and Alka Yagnik. But she says that getting noticed wasn’t too difficult for her. “Ashaji is a goddess and Alkaji is the best singer we have. I think, fortunately, when I entered the industry, people were looking for a new voice to experiment with. So getting work wasn’t a problem,” Sunidhi says.
She goes on to reveal that her family has had a big influence on her life and it is with their support that she has become a success story. She says, “My dad was into theatre and he is a very hardworking man. I was very influenced by him. I got fame at a young age but my family didn’t let that affect me. I knew things and people around me were changing. I was getting recognised but I was too busy to pay too much attention to these things. My sister Suneha, I feel, sings 100 times better than me. She is also my biggest critic. I would love it if she enters the industry but she isn’t interested in professional singing.”
Sunidhi married musician Hitesh Sonik last year. She says, “We were friends for a long time before we decided to tie the knot. He’s a very supportive spouse and though we have know each other so long, I think we are still discovering each other.”