Simantinee Roy was born and raised in Agartala. She stayed in many locations before relocating to San Jose, USA. She is a trained Hindustani Classical Singer and has performed as a Child Artist at All India Radio & Doordarshan.
To know more about her journey, follow: here
To listen to her latest song: Click here
Q) Please tell us something about how it all started. Your background and singing career?
I started performing on stage since I was nine. I was an All India Radio Artist and had regular recordings back then. My music recording journey started with Rabindra Sangeet at a very early age. I started taking formal lessons in Hindustani Classical and Rabindra Sangeet and have attained formal degrees/certifications. My onstage world became more glamourous when I won Miss East India- Miss Photogenic & Miss Tripura. Music played a pivotal role in my life similar to how important education was to me. This powerful combination along with some other personal experiences has shaped me who I am today. By qualification, I am a Civil Engineer, did my Masters in Urban Planning and later did my MBA as a Mom and a full time professional. I am based in the USA and have been performing live here all across North America for the past 13+ years.
Q) Rabindra Sangeet has a vast reach among people, especially Bengalis. How does it feel, when you sing a Rabindra Sangeet? Is there a dilemma that you’re trying something so humongous?
Being a Bengali (although born and brought up in North East India (Agartala, Tripura)) I think Rabindra Sangeet is inbuilt in our DNA no matter which corner of the world you live in. Tagore songs can be sung anywhere and at any time. There are songs written for every season, every emotion, for every Raag, Taal, or Style. The subject of songs could be patriotic, love, ceremonial, nature, there are songs that are based on dance drama– this genre of Bengali music is vast, its huge…rich in our culture and heritage.
There is no dilemma …I feel proud that I still get a chance to sing Rabindra Sangeet whether digitally or in front of an audience and there is still an audience for that… amidst today’s unfortunate musical chaos. It’s true that today’s soundscape of Tagore based songs have changed. Although we experiment, I think mostly all stay true to the authenticity of the music. It’s still melodious and I feel still carefully expresses the emotions and the meaning that it should portray.
Q) What are your genres and language preferences?
I love to learn. So if like a song I will learn it, for me I have no strong preferences. Whether its Tagore song or a ghazal, whether it’s Hindi or an English Pop, folk or Latino I have tried singing everything. There was a time when I used to perform a lot of Bengali Folk songs. As a musician, I feel one should listen to different types of music. You start appreciating all kinds of music and certainly, they train your ears for good music.
Q) These days, rocks and raps are everywhere. They are nice and meaningful sometimes. But their presence in every other song is sometimes monotonous. Do you feel soulful music is disappearing from the industry gradually?
Again, Rock, Rapping is another type of music and there are certain sets of demographics who would listen to those. Not everyone may appreciate rapping as they sometimes have explicit lyrics and are considered offensive.
I do feel, good music, in general, has been declining. I wish we could see an uptick in having more music producers compose a beautiful melody line instead of relying just on the beatmakers or remake per say. Although some of the remakes are good too. But the ones that lack a melody line is often found to be emotionless too. You don’t have to create a soulful song every time, also not all sad songs have rich music either. Gone are the songs created in the ’80s ’90s. The crowd still goes absolutely crazy when legends such as Bappi Lahiri, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik sing those unforgettable songs live in concerts. Those songs still rank the golden hits charts. I have witnessed it during my concerts with them here in North America. You won’t find anyone sitting in the crowd and not singing…. they have those songs memorized so well as if it’s just a casual conversation with the artist in front of them. That is the power of soulful or good music.
Q) Tell us about your next projects?
I am very excited to be working on a lot of independent songs, some of those are either already in the final stages of production or in the pre-release pipeline. Super excited for the next few coming up and one is releasing shortly.
Q) Any suggestions to the young budding singers?
Yes. Along with music never give up on the power of education. This combination of Education and Music is very strong and powerful. Also, more than just being a singer, one needs to be an Artist. Someone who people aspire to be or look up to as their role model. I would start working on that as a wannabe singer/aspiring artist.