A powerful solo can hold a song entirely on its own. For this week’s Playlist, singer Madhura Dhara Talluri, the voice behind ‘Unakaaga’ in ‘Bigil’, lists her favourite tracks that ride on the female singer’s musical prowess

Aaja Ri Nindiya (Do Bigha Zamin)

This is not your average lullaby by Lata Mangeshkar. The video has a mother singing to her child, and how the household help misses her own. Across the world, people can relate to it. When I first tried to sing this, it brought out so many emotions. Thinking of the strong visual helped me deliver it. Even now, when I speak about this Salil Chowdhary-composed track, I choke.

Chupke Se (Saathiya)

This is the Hindi version of the popular Tamil track ‘Snehitane’; the lyric and melody go hand in hand here. There are two contrasting melodies inside this, yet they gel well. Lyricist Gulzar’s vivid yet relatable imagery drew me to this song. There’s a mystical setting to this AR Rahman-composed song that has been sung beautifully by Sadhana Sargam.

Manasuna Mallela (Malliswari)

The background music is negligible in this classic Telugu song; it’s just the singer and the shruti playing in the background. This plays out in an intimate sequence, and the song talks about how the leading lady is at peace… singer-actor Bhanumathi whispers the word ‘hai’ which brings out the intimacy in her voice. The gamakas Bhanumathi brings out are unique. I would recommend singers to try reproducing her phrases in this song.

Voice of the stars: Singer Madhura picks her favourite female solo tracks

Vaan Varuvaan (Katru Veliyidai)

I was not too fluent in Tamil when this song released, but still I understood what it was trying to convey. The melody did that so beautifully. Later, when I understood the meaning of the words, it just made it more wholesome. There’s a pristine quality to both the audio and video of this track sung by Shashaa Tirupati.

Agar Tum Saath Ho (Tamasha)

This song generates a feeling of helplessness. The word ‘Agar’ (if) is so important in this track, but beyond the pain, there is sense of comfort. What I adore about this track by Alka Yagnik is its nature to protect and comfort you as well as well as throw you into the reality of the situation, which is all about loneliness. The contrasting emotion this song generates really hits you.

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