The Year’s Last Loveliest Smile


There are these times when you listen to a particular voice and it sounds like an autumn morning. It is sweet, it is earnest, and it is a true-blue. Sanjeeta’s song Menos es Mas reminds me of an autumn morning.


Let me tell you, she laughs quite a great deal. When I asked her to say something about herself, the girl laughed and said, “Where do I begin?”. Daughter of well known painter Sanjay Bhattacharya, Sanjeeta was into Kathak ( taught by Pt. Birju Maharaj) and Hindustani Classical (taught by Smt. Sunanda Sharma)  until she finished school. She had to choose between music and dance and as it went, she chose music. I did not ask her why. She went to Berkley College of Music, Boston for her graduation-“you spell Berklee as ‘lee’…(laughs)”. Back in college she was exposed to Balkan music, which would later be the core genre to form her crew known as Voicestra.  However, she decided to come back as she believed that one must give back something to his/her own land, “If you are slightly good at something, you should give it back to where you are from.” And ever since her return last October she has been playing, gigging, composing and travelling quite a lot. It was during one of her gigs in Calcutta that she had come across Friday Night Originals where she was accompanied by Achyuth Jaigopal to record her original number, Menos es Mas.


Sanjay Bhattacharya, known most for his surrealistic approach in colors, gives his viewer a realistic image of the world surrounding us. I would say so; I might differ from many more. When I asked Sanjeeta what it was like to be the daughter of one of the most wonderful artists of our times, she gladly claimed that it was, “Perfect”. She told me that an artist can understand another artist, and hence, the father and the daughter would go on various trips and exhibitions together. “He is one of the most talented people I know, ever…and I look up to him.”


Sanjeeta is a singer who did not confine herself to a single style. Jazz, RnB, Hindustani Classical, Pop, she sings it all. “In every genre, you have so much to learn.” However, she does say that Jazz and RnB are the two genres which are “extremely difficult and extremely fun to sing and play.” She considers Latin Jazz to be the ‘best of all worlds’, “you dance, you sing…”.


Sanjeeta is one of the most humble people I have spoken. The pastel faced girl with the lilting voice believes in remaining humble, “You tend to drift from your roots…you gotta be humble and continue learning…you never stop learning, you never stop growing, and you’re never perfect.” She is not a person of multiple plans, “I love focusing my attention at one thing at a time.” She does not like planning things ahead, “because you meet with disappointments.”


I am eagerly waiting for her EP release. It is one voice I would possibly listen to on a loop.


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