At one time she had wanted to be an engineer and a playback singer till Prajakta Shukre had to make a choice between the two. She opted for music over science and even skipped her Standard 12th board exams to sing at the grand finale of the Indian Idol contest.
The girl from Jabalpur was the only female contestant to reach the top five of Indian Idol that season, ending her stint on the television reality show at No. 4.
There has been no looking back since for Prajakta, who from singing in competitions from the age of four, has now graduated to films. From Jaan-E-Mann and Tees Maar Khan, she has now become Kangana Ranaut’s voice. After “Dankila” in Manikarnika—The Queen of Jhansi, she has now sung for the actress in her upcoming film, Thalaivii.
“Tere Aankhon Mein” (“Unthan Kangalil Ennadiyo” and “Nee Kannullo Emunnado” in the South languages) is picturized on Kangana and Arvind Swamy who play Jayalalithaa and MGR respectively. To recreate the golden years of South Indian cinema when the duo ruled, the makers have recreated four iconic songs from the sixties— “Kannae Kaniyae” and “Enna Porutham” from Rasiya Police 115 (1968), “Ninathathai Nadathiyae” from Nam Naadu (1969), Ninathen Vanthai from Kaavalkaaran (1967).
The Prajakta-Armaan Malik duet is composed by GV Prakash Kumar and penned by Irshad Kamil.
Interestingly, Prajakta was the lead vocalist in Irshad Kamil’s Ink Band. “Irshad sir has always loved my voice and it was he who referred my name for this song for which I’m really grateful,” she shares.
The singer had no idea which film “Tere Aankhon Mein” was for. “I was simply told that I was doing the Hindi version of a Tamil love song from an era gone by. I was excited because the lyrics were by Irshad sir and I was getting to sing his words in a film,” she reminisces.
When she later learnt that the song was Thalaivii, she was super excited to sing for Kananga again after Manikarnika. “I have met her only once, very briefly at the music release of Manikarnika. I wouldn’t even call it a meeting because we just made eye contact on stage. I hope one day soon I get to really meet her, speak to her. Till then, I am happy singing for her. Kangana is amazing and I really admire her as an actor,” asserts Prajakta.
Directed by Vijay, Thalaivii, will be released worldwide in theatres on September 10. The film which traces Jayalalitha’s journey from a sixteen-year-old debutante to a reigning superstar and then the much-loved politician, Amma, is in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
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