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Theatre artists you didn’t know had a knack for music

Theatre artists you didn't know had a knack for music

On World Music Day, meet  stars like Shweta Basu Prasad,  Hina Khan, Saurabh Shukla, and many more who are blessed with musical talent

We have seen these stars bring diverse characters to life on the big and small screen but they also have hidden musical depths that many of us are not aware of. On World Music Day, we find out more about some of these multifaceted artists.

Shweta Basu Prasad

As a promising child star, she played the twins  Chunni and Munni in Vishal Bhardwaj’s  2002 film ‘Makdee’, and the protective younger sister Khadija in  Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal (2005). Today, as an accomplished actor,  Shweta Basu Prasad is wowing audiences in films and in Zee Theatre’s teleplays like ‘Gunehgaar’,  ‘Gudiya ki Shaadi’, and ‘Kusum Manohar Lele’. However, there are many more facets to her creativity. She is well-versed in the history of classical music, plays the sitar effortlessly, and also directed the acclaimed documentary, ‘Roots’, featuring legendary musicians like Shubha Mudgal, A R Rahman, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Vishal Bhardwaj, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

Saurabh Shukla

This National Award-winning actor, screenwriter,  film, and theatre veteran is mostly known for his iconic roles in cult hits like ‘Satya’, ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’, ‘Jolly LLB’ and  ‘PK’. Ardent theatre fans will also remember him portraying a pivotal role in Vijay Tendulkar’s    play ‘Khamosh Adalat Jaari Hai.’  However, a little-known fact about him is that he was born into a family of musicians. His mother Jogamaya Shukla was arguably the first female tabla player of India and his father Shatrughan Shukla, is a vocalist from the Agra Gharana. Saurabh himself can hold a tune and in a recent interview, he even vocalized the Sargam very effortlessly.

Hina Khan

This charismatic star who has sparkled in reality shows, and daily soaps like ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’, is deeply invested in music.  In fact, she started her career in 2008 as an aspiring singer in the reality show ‘Indian Idol’ where she managed to be in the top 30. Even though she is busy with multiple projects and recently made her theatrical debut with Zee Theatre’s teleplay ‘Shadyantra’, she still remains deeply invested in music.  She continues to love music passionately and can be heard crooning many of her favorite songs on her social media profiles.

Taaruk Raina

Did you know that Taaruk Raina worked in the live-action Indian adaptation of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’, where he sang and performed live? Or that he has been singing since the age of six and was part of the school choir? Fans who follow his YouTube channel ‘Jumbo Jutts’,  are well aware of his musical talent as he often posts fun adaptations of songs by artists like Ed Sheeran and Adele.  He has an eclectic musical taste and loves rock, rap, heavy metal, and ghazals and his first solo single, ‘Narazi’ has been well-received.   As an actor he is very busy as well and was recently seen in the web show ‘Mismatched 2 ‘and in Zee Theatre’s teleplays ‘Kaand’ and ‘Dhumrapaan’.

Suchitra Pillai

Suchitra Pillai is a well-known face in cinema, television, theatre, and OTT shows. Be it films like ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, ‘Page 3’ and ‘Fashion’, web shows like ‘Made in Heaven’ or teleplays like  ‘Dance Like a Man’ and ‘Womanly Voices’, she always leaves an impact. Surprisingly, however, she started her career in show business as a singer in the 2001 album ‘Mere Liye’. She also demonstrated her grasp over the Indi-pop and rock genre with a 2011 album ‘Such is Life.’  Her singing can be sampled on the YouTube channel ‘ArtistAloud’ and she is also a trained Carnatic vocalist.

Piyush Mishra

Veteran film and theatre actor, singer, lyricist, and screenwriter Piyush Mishra memorably played a corrupt music magnet in Imtiaz Ali’s film ‘Rockstar’ but this National School of Drama alumnus is an idealistic exponent of all things lyrical in real life.  In the 80s, at NSD, he composed his first musical score for a student play, ‘Mashreeki Hoor’ and is known today not just for his lyrics in hits like ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Aaja Nach Le’  but also for his playback singing in films like ‘Gulaal.’ This year his music project  ‘Ballimaaraan’ will tour multiple cities in India.