The torchbearer of an enviable legacy,Srabani Sen is the leading female vocalist of the RabindraSangeet genre at present ,casting her melodic spell on the classes and masses as well.
Daughter of the veteran exponent of Tagore songs,Smt.Sumitra Sen,sibling of the prolific artiste,Indrani Sen,she is an able successor to the gharana, which has contributed immensely to the spread of Tagore’s music across the world.Srabani’s tutelage commenced under her mother’s able guidance followed by her rigorous training at Geetabitan Music Institute from where she came out with flying colours.An academically resplendent Srabani,embarked on her professional career as a journalist in a premier publishing house after her post-graduation in Geography from Calcutta University and went on to become the sub-editor of a popular women’s magazine later on.
Srabani recorded first time in1986,in HMV but unfortunately it was not released., Her debut album, Amar Ekti Katha(1993) won her accolades from senior singers and musicians, it was pretty later that she shot into prominence after her foray into the playback scenario with Rituparno Ghosh’s critically acclaimed film Utsab.Here was a singer, gifted with a resonant,dulcet tonal quality and an unmannered, unique style of rendition that set her apart from her contemporaries.Srabani paved her own path to success and offers started pouring in from eminent filmmakers like Gautam Ghosh (Dekha),Raja Sen (Chakravyuha) Anjan Das (Sanjhbatir Rupkathara),Subrata Sen (Swapner Feriwalla) Urmi Chakraborty(Hemanter Pakhi) and others. Srabani was flooded with offers from premier recording companies and within a short span ,she turned out to be the most commercially viable Rabindrasangeet singer of the present generation .Srabani’s album Bhalobasha Kare Koy(2003) topped the chartbuster racks in leading music retail outlets for over two years.
An indispensable presence at all soirees of Tagore songs across the country ,Srabani was invited to perform at Rabindra Mela,New Jersey,USA in 2003 followed by her phenomenal success at Doha,Qatar as the first singer to have performed RabindraSangeet. She travelled to North Carolina, Connecticut, Florida, and in 2005,she was once again invited by Bangamela, Chicago, USA.Her electrifying performance at LosAngeles, Houston, Dallas, Buffalo and Ann Arbour won her rave reviews.
This year she was invited at Australia,for the programme at Melborne, Sydney and Brisbane,to celebrate Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary. Her programmes were highly appreciated.
Srabani Sen also performed at NABC,Detroit2007,BanglaUtsab,Canada.She had the privelege of sharing the stage with nationally acclaimed singers like Kavita Krishnamurthyand the legendary Asha Bhonsley at Panchakanya,Science City Auditorium in 2009.Her offering released in 2009 Patha Cheye,is a collection of seldom heard Tagore songs and has earned rave reviews . In 2010.she went to Canada by the invitation of Toronto Sanskritik Sanstha, in May,Srabani travelled to Harrow,performed at London in Probash Parbon in September and in November end she performed for the second time at Doha, Qatar.Srabani has over 60 solo albums to her credit now besides a host of assorted collections.She collaborated with German musician Stoppok for the album,Tagore & We which is a runaway hit and has recently cut a fusion album Yatra-2 with eminent classical vocalist Kaushiki Desikan.
She has also received the Bengal’s Film Journalists Award (BFJA) as the best female playback singer award for the year 2001 for UTSAB and the best Rabindra Sangeet album “NISHITHE” from Zee Bangla in 2006. Apart from that, Srabani has sung in CHIRANTAN, a ballet choreographed by noted danseuse Tanusree Shankar, where Amitabh Bachchan given the narration.
Srabani trained Rabindra Sangeet to Bengal’s most popular band BHOOMI for their album on tagore songs ‘NATUN JOUBONERI DOOT’.
She just received best female vocalist (rabindrasangeet),best album of the year-UTTARON, from RADIO MIRCHI and GIMA Award for YATRA- 2.
Srabani has her own institution SPHULINGA ,where she is in a process of making singers of Tagore songs from the new generation.
Srabani Sen completed 25 years of her music career in 2011 and the ocassion was celebrated with grandeur by Bhavna Records at a jampacked Nazrul Mancha auditorium where the hon’ble Chief Minister,Smt.Mamata Banerjee unveiled a double cd pack named,’Saather Saathi’followed by a solo recital by the singer. ‘Badal Sanjhey’an exclusive evening of Tagore’s monsoon songs was presented by Srabani at G.D.Birla Sabhaghar in 2012 and the year saw the release of yet another experimental album,’Sraban Tumi’(HMV).Srabani travelled to Chandigarh as the first invited RabindraSangeet artiste for a solo performance in 2012.Srabani recently travelled to Malaysia and Singapore in 2014 and gave some powerhouse performances.She also travelled to Mumbai recently for conducting a Rabindra Sangeet workshop. The singer now has her own recording company Picasso Entertainments which intends to launch some promising singers of Rabindra Sangeet of this generation.Picasso has recently organised a two day Rabindra Utsab on the theme,Guru-Shishya parampara at ICCR,Kolkata which saw a congregation of all the top notch artistes with their disciples,the first of its kind to be held in Kolkata.Srabani’s tribute to the departed film maker Rituparno Ghosh, Let Me Now Sleep has also been widely acclamied by the critics.She has recently collaborated with music director Raja Narayan Deb for a project Kaaler Yatra released by Asha Audio,apart from her playbacks in Agnidev Chattopadhyay’s Mrs.Sen,Anjan Dutt’s Abar Byomkesh and Reshmi Roy’s Mukti.meanwhile Srabani has also scored the background score for a theatre,Patropatri.The singer is now all set to spread the branches and twigs of her dream choir Sphulingo across West Bengal so that the gharana which was started by her illustrious mother continues unabated.Dujone Dekha Holo(with Bratati Bandyopadhyay) Mohan Banshi andSurer Pratiddhwani are her latest releases from Picasso and Sagarika respectively.Srabani’s latest playbacks include Natoker Moto( Debesh Chattopadhyay),Nirbashito(Churni Ganguly).
Srabani Sen has yet another feather added to her crown since last one year----Srabani Sen Music Academy ,her platform for the performers of tomorrow is already flooding with learners from the age of five to seventy five.Spread across seven branches in and around Kolkata,SSMA has recently celebrated its 1st birthday with over 350 students at a packed to its full capacity Rabindra Sadan—her ablest disciples are supervising the classes with her close monitoring.Srabani’s disciples are also earning fame and glory far and wide---they are performing regularly on mega serials,doing playbacks for films and appearing on almost all leading television channels. A legacy which started under the patronage of Late Shri Anil Kumar Sen (her father) in the early 60-s is flourishing with debutante promises and Srabani is quite optimistic about the scenario of Rabindra Sangeet even in this era when some annihilating experiments are raising some frown foreheads.