Gone are the days when a single female playback singer ruled the charts. Thanks to changing times, music directors today are much more open to experimentation. Bollywood albums today boast of newer, more refreshing female voices, each different from the other. Female playback singers today are unconventional and yet brilliantly unique in their own ways. Here’s presenting to you a list of 21 female voices from recent times that we absolutely love, in no particular ranking. Go on, find your favourite!
1. Kanika Kapoor
From ‘Baby Doll’ (Ragini MMS 2) to ‘Lovely’ (Happy New Year) to ‘Chittiyan Kalaiyaan’ (Roy), Kanika Kapoor seems to be the new sure shot formula for a song’s success. The peppiness in her voice makes her a top favourite amongst the audiences. And with the much recent, badass track ‘Chhill Gaye Naina’, there’s no doubting her versatility either.
2. Neha Bhasin
The natural sensuality in her voice, the heaviness, the expression – there can be nothing sexier than Neha Bhasin singing. Be it the intimacy in ‘Kuchh Khaas Hai’ (Fashion) or the rebellion in ‘Dhunki’ (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan) or the irresistible seduction in ‘Assalam-e-ishqum’ (Gunday), Neha Bhasin surely knows how to play with moods. The last one is definitely one of her most underrated songs. Listen to it now, if you already haven’t!
3. Shefali Alvares
You may have not heard her name as much as some of the others on this list, but we bet her tracks have always topped your party playlists. The wacky spunk in her voice is simply infectious, especially in songs like ‘Tera Naam Japdi Phiran’ (Cocktail), ‘Party On My Mind’ (Race 2), ‘Subah Hone Na De’ (Desi Boyz) and ‘Badtameez Dil’ (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani). And if you still doubt her potential, go listen to ‘O Gujariya’ from Queen!
4. Monica Dogra
She’s super hot, we all know. But what’s hotter is that alluring voice of hers. Just one ‘Dooriyan Bhi Hai Zaroori’ (Break Ke Baad) was enough to sweep us off our feet. How we wish she sung for Bollywood more often!
5. Sneha Khanwalkar
The young woman behind the brilliant background score in ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ who can give most successful music directors in the industry a run for their money, Sneha Khanwalkar is an even better singer. If there was one word that could describe her work as a singer, it would be wacky! From ‘Kaala Rey’ to ‘Teri Keh Ke Lunga’ to ‘I Can’t Hold It Any Longer’, Sneha Khanwalkar never ceases to surprise us with her knack for the craziest, most bizarre songs ever. For her originality and uniqueness, MensXP applauds Sneha Khanwalkar!
6. Neha Kakkar
Neha Kakkar – the voice behind the insanely popular ‘Sunny Sunny’ and the song the whole nation is tripping on ‘Manali Trance’. And, the best part is, apart from a feisty singer, she’s one hell of an entertainer as well. Don’t believe us? Watch her selfie videos on Facebook!
7. Shalmali Kholgade
The more you say about this powerhouse of talent, the less it is. Sexy yet chic, Shalmali is a rare combination of sophistication and flamboyance. She’s probably the only singer today who gives a peppy edge to even the soppiest romantic songs. From the seductive ‘Lat Lag Gayi’ to the celebratory ‘Balam Pichkari’ to the mischievous ‘Daru Desi’, this girl never fails to surprise us.
8. Sona Mohapatra
Strong yet delicately feminine, deep yet resonant, urban yet ethnic, words alone cannot describe Sona Mohapatra’s impeccable voice. There’s a raw appeal to every note she strikes that holds your attention throughout, be it songs like ‘Naina’ (Khoobsurat) and Ambarsariya (Fukrey) or ‘masala’ numbers like ‘Bedardi Raja’ (Delhi Belly) and ‘Daav Laga’. And, that’s not even her best work! Listen to her albums and you’ll be a fan for life. Also, to remind you, that super catchy jingle for Close Up, ‘Paas Aao’, was also sung by none other than Sona.
9. Shilpa Rao
Listening to her croon to beautiful compositions like ‘Manmarziyan’ (Lootera), ‘Khuda Jaane’ (Bachna Ae Haseeno), and ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ (Anjaana Anjaani) is literally therapeutic. And then, there’s of course a whole new side to her personality that gets unleashed in songs like ‘Ishq Shava’ (Jab Tak Hai Jaan) and ‘Malang’ (Dhoom 3) making you wonder if it is really the same singer!
10. Neeti Mohan
Don’t go by those cute looks, Neeti Mohan’s voice has a totally different personality of its own. The endearing flirtatiousness in her voice, the powerful throw, and the spunky attitude is hard to escape, be it the playful ‘Tune Mari Entriyan’ (Gunday), the girly ‘Jiya re’ (Jab Tak Hai Jaan), the loud and upfront ‘Galat Baat’ (Main Tera Hero) or the spunky ‘Bang Bang’ (Bang Bang).
11. Anushka Manchanda
Anushka is full of life and her voice emits that energy. The sexy voiceovers in ‘Dance Basanti’ (Ungli) and chartbusters like ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ (Dum Maaro Dum) aren’t enough; she displays a whole new peppy side to her personality in the title track of ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’. Her voice always brightens up the mood!
12. Aditi Singh Sharma
It took a while for her to set her foot in Bollywood but man, she’s become a rage! Ever since she sang ‘Chhoomantar’ (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan), all her songs like ‘Offo’ (2 States), ‘Dhoom Machale’ (Dhoom 3) and the much recent ‘Sooraj Dooba Hai’ (Roy) have been super hits!
13. Rekha Bhardwaj
In an industry ruled by the likes of conventionally girly-voiced Alka Yagnik and Shreya Ghoshal, Rekha made her own mark. Her slightly nasal tone teases you into an unusual rustic seduction that you cannot fight. The maturity in her voice adds to the charm. There’s a distinct identity to all of her songs like ‘Judai’ (Badlapur), ‘Phir Le Aaya Dil’ (Barfi), ‘Kabira’ (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and ‘Darling’ (7 Khoon Maaf).
14. Monali Thakur
In an industry where it takes nothing to get typecast, Monali Thakur carved a niche for herself as a versatile young talent. She proved she can pull off a ‘Sawar Loon’ (Lootera) with as much finesse as the sensual ‘Zara Zara Touch Me’ (Race). And, of course, we cannot possibly forget the super raunchy ‘Aga Bai’ (Aiyyaa).
15. Aastha Gill
Unabashed, bold and super sassy – all it took was one ‘Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai’ for Aastha Gill to win our hearts! Now that she’s had a promising start, we hope she has more chart busters lined up!
16. Bhoomi Trivedi
To match up to Priyanka Chopra’s sex appeal is no child’s play but Bhoomi Trivedi did a superb job with ‘Ram Chahe Leela’. And we’re sure PC would agree too! If her debut was this kickass, we just cannot wait for more!
17. Jasmine Sandlas
While most female singers stick to the coy, feminine tone, this badass went all out there and stole Honey Singh’s limelight with some loud and unabashed singing in ‘Yaar Na Miley’ (Kick), and that’s a huge feat. Hate her or love her, you just cannot ignore her.
18. Shweta Mohan
The fact that A.R. Rahman signed her on for a few tracks in ‘Guru’ and ‘Raavan’ speaks volumes about her talent. There was an unignorable sensuality in her melodious voice in ‘Yun Hi Re’ (David). It is sad that such a great song largely went unnoticed.
19. Samira Koppikar
Singing alongside Arijit Singh and making your presence felt is no piece of cake. But with that unconventional yet stunning voice, Samira Koppikar not only matched up to Arijit’s charm, she took the seduction to a whole new level in ‘Aaj Phir Tumpe’!
20. Aditi Paul
Aditi Paul became the voice behind Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s steamiest moments in Goliyo Ki Ras Leela Ram Leela with the song ‘Ang Laga De’ and proved that a woman can be sweet and sexy at the same time.
21. Akriti Kakkar
She has finally struck the right chord with the audiences with the young and peppy ‘Saturday Saturday’ (Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania) and we hope there’s no looking back anymore.
Do you know of any other fabulous female voices in Bollywood we may have missed? Tell us in the comment box below.