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Little nightingale croons her way to hearts
- 11-year-old Barnali Hota from capital impresses judges at talent hunt contest

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 8: Barnali Hota, the 11-year-old singing sensation from the capital, is making the state proud with her powerful renditions at a musical talent hunt on national television.

From the poignant Lata Mangeshkar number, Megha chaaye adhi raat, to Asha Bhosle’s sensuous Aao na, gale lagalo na, to the catchy Munni badnaam hui, Barnali performs each and every song with utmost confidence, with not a streak of worry on her face.

The young singer’s versatility and soulful voice has mesmerised the four judges of the contest. “Her voice has all the ingredients of a successful playback singer. She definitely has a very bright future,” said musician Adnan Sami, one of the judges, after listening to her soul-stirring performances.

Many votes have been pouring in for the upcoming new talent who has smoothly secured a place among the top nine contestants. Since the age of three, Barnali has shown an inclination and love for music. Without any guidance or tutelage, she hummed intricate songs with utmost ease.

“We have no professional singers in our family, we all are bathroom singers. So, it was surprising when we heard her sing a difficult song with such ease at the age of three. We knew she had the talent and immediately enrolled her for singing classes,” said Suryanarayan Hota, the proud father.

Barnali made her debut stage performance at the age of four. Since then, she has been taking part in about 60 shows every year across Orissa.

Barnali, a student of BJEM School in the capital, has always shown immense dedication and devotion towards this art form. Everyday, without fail, she wakes up in the wee hours and sits for her two-hour riyaaz. Even before going to bed at night, an hour’s riyaaz is a must for this dedicated singer. She has a strong base in Odissi vocals as well as Hindustani classical. She gripped the attention of the judges in the audition round by singing one of her favourite thumri classical, Kahaan bairan hui basuri.

The budding talent soon won over the hearts of millions in India and abroad with her ever smiling face and performance of an array of songs like Tere ishq mein, Haaye rama yeh kya hua, Badi dheere jali, Binati karat hoon, Ajnabi mod hai.

Barnali has performed and participated in various music contests in Orissa such as Akshaya Sangeet Pratijogita, Pranab Pranam, Prafulla Kar Sangeet Pratijogita and emerged winner in these contests a number of times. However, this talent hunt on national television happens to be the biggest exposure for her. She gets the opportunity to train and nurture her voice under gurus such as Adnan Sami and singers Kailash Kher, Javed Ali and Alka Yagnik.

“It feels like a dream come true for me to be mentored and judged by such eminent musicians and singers,” said Barnali. “Here, in Mumbai, all the participants are being given extensive training that includes riyaaz, yoga, diction and dance classes. It may appear hectic but I’m enjoying every bit of this experience,” said the singing prodigy.

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