Shubha Mudgal is a living legend in the field of Indian classical music, but she is also a keen listener to various other forms of music. Shubha Mudgal strives to bring other sounds into her art. Her performances, as always, lift the audience through flights of musical fancy. As a classical singer she has a good enunciation and projects the taar shadaja (upper tonic) very well. Even as a consummate performer she has mastered the art of reaching out to people. Appreciations have come from the audiences, sponsors, music channels and recording companies. Her brand of music which is a fusion of Sufi, pop and classical is one of the best things to have happened to the music scene in a long time.
Personal Life of Shubha Mudgal
Shubha Mudgal was born in Allahabad
, in 1959 in a musically dedicated family, who embraced literature as well as Indian and western music. Famously known as a versatile singer and a popular performer today, Shubha grew up in an artistic atmosphere of variety and innovation. As a child, she received training from some of the finest musicians and musicologists in India. Initially Pandit Ram Ashreya Jha in Allahabad trained her as a Khayal
singer. Later, when she moved on to Delhi
, she received the guidance of Pandit Vinay, Chandra Maudgalya and Pandit Vasant Thakar.
After graduating from University of Delhi, Shubha married to Pt. Mudgalaya`s son Mukul Mudgal who was a talented lawyer by profession. She got divorced from her first husband, and married again to Aneesh Pradhan. She has one son from her previous marriage, Dhawal, who is a member of a Delhi-based music band.
Early Life of Shubha Mudgal
Shubha Mudgal went to Pt. Kumar Gandharva, a musical maestro, to polish her stylistic techniques in singing. Her association with Pt Kumar Gandharva however changed her style of music, as his eclectic approach resounds in Shubha`s performances, especially renditions of Bhakti and Sufi poetry. Her repertoire of medieval mystic bhakti (devotional) and Sufi poetry includes rare texts from the Vaishnava pushti-marg poets as well as the nirguna poetry of Kabir, Namdev, Amir Khusrau, Nath-panthi poets and other Sufiana poetry. Shubha has also received training in thumri
from Guru Smt. Naina Devi and she considered as a part of the new generation of Hindustani musicians.
Life in Music for Shubha Mudgal
Mudgal hit the music circuit in the late 1980s, where she was regarded as one of the promising classical vocalists, where she has fluttered away from Kabir, Tulsi, Meera and Sufi poetry to the rock-and-roll beats of Ab ke Sawan. Thus, her singing in different areas has also created more interest in Indian classical music among younger people. This classically trained musician, Shubha Mudgal, took the "blasphemous" step of straying into pop and now whenever young people do come to her concerts, they appreciate her music all the more. She has thus, innovated herself and made her desire to work with different musical forms, a reality. This is a surprising step from a classical singer, since some of the other classical vocalists have not really ventured into the Indian film world to that extent. Thus, she is first a student of voice rather than a student of only Khayal
or only Thumri
In addition to being a performer, Shubha is also recognized as a composer. It is the ancient poetry she has read throughout her training which did compel her to become a composer. A lot of what she sings is from the texts that she has been studying from childhood. Shubha also enjoys working with artists of all mediums including with some of the leading dancers and filmmakers in the country. She received the award for Best Music Direction at the National Film Festival 1996 for her work in Meera Diwan`s film Amrit Beej. She did the soundtrack for Mira Nair`s film Kamasutra and also gave the score for Rajan Khosa`s Dance of the Wind. She has composed for dancers like Aditi Mangaldas and Sonal Mansingh
and for ballets like Meera and Krishna Katha of the Shri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra
This Hindustani vocalist had also received a thunderous applause for a jugalbandi with the British pianist Nikki Yeoh. But she has also made the teenagers swing to her beats of `Ali more angana`. She also was back in the pop circuit with `Ab Ke Sawan`, where the title song already climbed to the number two slot on MTV. However, the most distinctive aspect of Mudgal`s singing is her voice: metallic, strong, and full-throated and most importantly, always power-packed.
Awards and Recognition by Shubha Mudgal
* She has been awarded the 1996 National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction for `Amrit Beej`.
* The 1998 Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music, at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival, for her music in the film Dance of the Wind (1997).
* Padma Shri in 2000.
* She is also close to progressive movements like ANHAD and SAHMAT