An actor who sings

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 28.05.08
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Actor Saheb Chatterjee prefers to call himself a singer first, even though he has many films and mega serials to his credit.

And why not? After all, Saheb has been learning the saat sur since childhood. “I was only seven years old when I started singing. I took Rabindrasangeet classes for 13 years at Dakshini, a school in south Calcutta. I tried a little bit of classical and Nazrulgeeti at home sometimes, but Rabindrasangeet is my passion,” says Saheb who recently launched his second solo album Amar E Path, a compilation of 10 Tagore songs.

His first was Moner Madhuri, two years ago. “I would have liked to release more albums, but my commitments to films and television don’t leave me with much time. Plus, I’m also very lazy and don’t do riyaaz regularly. I always do some last-minute rehearsal before a show or recording. Or maybe I don’t shoot for a couple of days before recording,” he reveals.

But Saheb does manage to find time to lend his voice to films and serials. “Not many know that I first did the playback for Sandip Ray’s Gupi Bagha Phire Elo. It was a very sweet number, Kemon banshi bajaye. I am extremely proud of that because I came close to Satyajit Ray too. Then there was no stopping me. I sang a number for my debut serial, Aleya, on Doordarshan. I have also sung for Zee Bangla’s Khela. Then I got a call from Tarun Majumdar to sing a Rabindrasangeet for his last release Chander Bari. I also sang three tracks for Ashok Viswanathan’s Andhakarer Sabdo, which is doing the rounds of festivals.”

The latest feather in Saheb’s cap is Mon Amour— Shesher Kabita Revisited, in which he sings two Tagore songs and plays a major role opposite Rituparna Sengupta.

Saheb would not give up one for the other. “I enjoy both acting and singing and can juggle both easily. I want to be remembered as an actor who was a good singer too,” he smiles.