She comes from a musical background, is married into an artistic family and she is leading her life in the musical world advancing towards becoming a playback singer in the Indian film industry. Today, she’s achieved a milestone where she can proudly say that with her innate talent she’s become a winner but the journey to this stage was not easy at all and she had to face lots of hurdles on her way. She did not give up and kept on walking along the path she chose. I am going to tell you this interesting story of Gautami Hede (Bambolkar), from the small town of Ponda and how she fulfilled her dreams.
Gautami tells how her parents loved music a lot but they could not make a career out of it which is what managed to do. “Today I am doing this because of them and they are supporting me on my journey,” said Gautami, recollecting that when she was very young, she went to learn dance. “My parents encouraged me to learn dancing, but soon I realised that it was not my cup of tea. I used to always think ‘why I am not succeeding in dance’ and later on I came to know that singing was my hidden talent and I was made for that. When I was in 6th Standard, one of my class teachers spotted the singing talent in me and she called my parents and told them to put me into a singing class instead.”
In the case of Gautami, it was her teacher who saw her hidden talent in her and she suggested to her parents enrol her on vocal classical training. “She also introduced me to my Guru, Pandit Ramrao Nayak Ji. At the age of ten I started learning Indian Classical music from him,” said Gautami, adding that from there her musical journey started.
Gautami started participating in various competitions in Goa. “When I was 12, I had an opportunity to participate in a singing competition where I got third place but it was quite an opportunity for me that in my first attempt I managed to win a prize,” said Gautami adding that it gave her the boost that she needed. “It was a turning point and in the next competition I managed to secure first place for the Goan Idol title in the year 2010 and after that, there was no looking back: I achieved first prize in every competition.”
Gautami says that classical training is the foundation of every singer and it is very important. “Once you are trained classically, you can sing in any form. For me, it helped in polishing my voice and I learned all the technics under the guidance of my Guru. He taught me how to sing and how to feel the music,” said Gautami adding that she is still learning classical music. “I have just completed my ‘Visharada,’ which means a degree in Music, and now I am doing my Alankar, which means post-graduation in music.”
The Musical Journey
Gautami is a trained classical singer and whilst she does not perform with orchestras, she does opt for private programs such as ‘Baithaks’ which means performing in front of selected people of society. “The Baithaks are based on semi-classical songs or Marathi Sugam Sangeet,” she said adding that she is not into commercial singing. “ I perform for the people who like to listen to me, for me, this is more like a passion than a profession.”
After securing the first prize at Goan Idol, a new musical journey started for Gautami. “After my victory at Goan Idol, I had an opportunity and I was introduced to the film industry in Goa,” said Gautami adding that there is a very interesting story about how she got her first break in a Goan film. “There was a competition called ‘Singing Legend’ and the chief guest of this program was the producer of the film, Mr Nilesh Nivalkar, and he made an announcement that the winners of that competition will get the chance to sing in his film. I won that competition and got my first break of singing in his upcoming movie called “Gunaji”. Gautami was the only female singer in that movie and sang one song that was specially composed for her. “My song was nominated for the awards n 2015 at the 7th Goa state film festival organised by the Department of Information and Publicity & Entertainment Society of Goa,” she added.
Following the success of her first movie, Gautami started getting offers from other producers. “I sang in two more films, namely, ‘Sooring’ and ‘Mogan Tujya’ I also got the opportunity to sing in many Konkani and Marathi albums. To date, I think I have done playback singing for more than 10 albums. Bhakti Sargam, 2009, Baki prem, 2011, Shanni Masti, Sparsh tuza, (Marathi) 2012, Rang Jineche, 2013, Moga Mhajya, 2014, Hajar Zaita, 2015, Dosti, (Hindi) 2014, Damodar Tujo Damodar Mhajo, 2016, Re Damodara, 2017, 16 Janera,” said Gautami.
Gautami was also selected among the top 10 contestants among 2 lakhs of participants across India for Benadryl Big Golden Voice by 92.7 Big FM by Sonu Nigam. “It all started with sending an audio clip on WhatsApp and I was really lucky to get selected amongst top 10 in India. I was the only participant from Goa. Here I had an opportunity to meet Sonu Nigam and sing with him. It was like a dream come true for me,” said Gautami.
“I lived in a nuclear family with my parents and after marriage, I went into a joint family,” said Gautami adding that she always wanted to live in a joint family. “I love people around me, and my in-laws are very supportive, they always encourage me, they attend my programmes and my husband is always there with me everywhere I go for the various programmes.
Dream to Become a Playback Singer
Gautami has a dream to become a playback singer. “I know that the journey is not easy, there are lots of hurdles to reach there but I have a dream of becoming the playback singer one day,” said Gautami adding, that she had participated in many reality shows, but due to some reason, she did not get selected. “It’s not that I did not do well, in fact, I have done better than some of the participants, but still I did not get a chance to enter into the competition for some reason that I do not know.”
Gautami is a very determined person and she did not get discouraged when she was rejected by reality shows for whatever reasons. “I have decided to start my Youtube channel and I am getting a very good response from my audience and followers. One of my songs on Lord Damodar has become very popular in Goa and across the country. There is a very interesting story behind this: when the song went viral on various WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms, people were not aware of the name of the singer, everybody was eager to know who sung this song and one day it came to me and someone was enquiring on the group ‘Who is the singer?’ When I downloaded the song, I realised that it was my song. There are many people who have it as a ringtone for which I feel immense pride.”
Gautami has a good fan following and it’s like a small family for her. “They are like my ‘Rasik Prekshak’ (fan followers) who wait for my new release of songs and that gives me a lot of joy and a sense of achievement,” she said adding that she is now having a plan to post at least one new song every week on the various social media platforms. This journey will continue until she achieves her dream to become a playback singer.