A little girl is playing the piano. She is four years old – too little to reach the piano keys. She sits on her teacher’s laps, and is trying to read the first staff notations laid out before her.Fast forward about ten years. She is playing the piano in front of the British piano examiner, little knowing that within a few months; she will be winning the gold medal from the Royal School of Music, London.Meanwhile, she has been training in vocal music, as well; especially Rabindra Sangeet, and completes a degree course from the Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. She is Neepabithi. Versatile, articulate in the language of music, composing her own songs, singing regularly in concerts, accompanying herself on the piano, strumming her Spanish guitar, and creating her particular brand of music magic.
Neepabithi completed her Masters in English from Jadavpur University, and only then did she turn her attention completely to music. Coming from a conventional Bengali background, where relatives had always excelled in education or professional jobs, she was the exception, who wanted to sing! Thus, the first few years were rather difficult. Completely new to the field of music, her first body of work were mainly jingles, the basic advantage being, that she could sing Hindi, English, Oriya, Assamese versions of the same Bengali song.
Jingles taught her how to control her breath, handle the microphone, and emote a million smiles or tears within a span of ten to thirty seconds. She sang for Horlicks, Colgate, Colgate Bangladesh, Sree Leathers, Britannia, MPS and umpteen number of jingles for apparels, eatables, women’s and children’s products etc.
Her first break came through a mega- serial on Doordarshan Bangle – Rupkatha. The serial title and all the songs within were sung by her, and were lipserved by a teen- ager very like her. These songs became instantly popular with tele- viewers of all ages.
As work started to trickle in, she became a regular voice for many major serials on Zee Bangla and ETV Bangla. She also started hosting a series of popular musical shows, interviewing and featuring celebrities from the field of music. One such program was Amar Gaan on ETV Bangla, where she sat with a grand piano on the sets, singing and hosting a chat show, which incorporated all the major musical personalities of the Bengali musical scenario. This followed with Gaan Live, a morning show on ETV Bangla, where she not only hosted the daily episodes, but was also the director and conceptualizer as well.
With growing recognition of her work and persona, she released her first album, “MEGH DIYECHE DANA” from Atlantis BMG. After this, other discs followed, like “AMAR BARI”, “TUP TUP BRISHTI”, “TOKE CHHARA”, “HRID MAJHARE” and “ACHI OPEKKHAEY”.
Just as these new songs set her trend in modern music, reflects the language and thoughts of this generation, she is equally comfortable singing golden oldies onstage. Keeping in mind the diverse audience who come to listen to her, she sings folk songs in various regional languages, songs from her albums, retro numbers, and of course Rabindra Sangeet, which remains her first love.
This has also led her to collaborate with some of the leading exponents of Tagore, in an album called “ANTARJATIK RABINDRANATH”, where she has sung all the Irish, English and Scottish songs, which were adapted into such popular songs like PURANO SHEI DINER KOTHA or PHULEY PHULEY DHOLEY DHOLEY.
A new milestone for Neepabithi was the Bengali animation series THAKUMA’R JHULI on Zee Bangla. She not only sang the title track for this series, but also lent her voice for various cartoon characters in the serial, ranging from snakes and frogs to princesses and queens! The serial, and specially her songs became such hits with the children, that she was spurred on to come out with a rhymes album in English, “FUNLEARN”, featuring numerous popular nursery rhymes and songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Humpty Dumpty, Old MacDonald, Hickory Dickory Dock etc.
Featuring popular children’s poems by Tagore, to which melody has added a new dimension. ThAnother significant album to her credit is “HAATHI’R HAACHI”, a unique effort of its own kind, e songs thus created include such beloved poems like AMADER CHHOTO NODI, OIKHANEY MA PUKUR PAREY, KHANTO BURI’R DIDI SHASHURI etc.
Neepabithi has made a significant mark with her stage performances as well. She has represented India in tours to Bangladesh and various parts of India, where she has presented songs in different languages. As she continues to tour the country regularly with a full set of musicians, she accompanies herself on the keyboard and guitar, singing folk songs, adhunik, Rabindrasangeet and her album songs regularly. She is a regular feature in the various prestigious clubs in Kolkata, like the Bengal Club, Calcutta Club, Tolly Club, Calcutta South Club, Outram Club etc., where she has not only presented her regular repertoire, but also performed entire English pop retro concerts on special occasions like Christmas and New Year.
Neepabithi loves to experiment with various genres of music, which has inspired her latest production FOLKIRANA, which unites various Bengali songs, from Rabindrasangeet to folk songs with the famous Chhau dance of Purulia, West Bengal.
Making waves with her presentations, Neepabithi knows there is many a mile to go on this musical journey. As she continues with her myriad musical activities, she continues to grow as an artist, slowly but surely carving out her niche as a significant contributor in the field of music