Saturday, November 15, 2008

Roopa vs Gayathri

Like what happened last year with Roopa of SSG I am hunting down video after video and comments of Gayathri on Idea Star Singer 2008 and I must say I am blown away. Jaya's prophecy saying I would be jumping to another singer is almost coming true but not quite.

To me Roopa is a benchmark when it comes to judging singers of these singing-talent shows but then can somebody beat her?

Here are two of the fine videos I found of Gayathri's performances and I must admit she is a talent to reckon with.

This first video is of the song "Sharike" performed by Gayathri. It is followed by Roopa's video and so you can compare the two. My comments follow the two videos.

and Roopa's

With Roopa I found her hand, body and facial expressions dominating her performance. More energy seemed to be spent in those activities. Her singing looked strained when compared to the literally effortless way Gayathri sang the same song. And because Gayathri is more composed and with a great posture most of her energy was diverted to her song. She also seemed lost in the song and the singing as compared to Roopa who was very connected to the audience, judges and Stephen on the keyboard. I must say I found Gayathri's performance much better. It was pleasant for the ears too. I didn't find the relaxed feeling I had with Gayathri's performance in Roopa's.

Here's another song of Gayathri, "Sharapole", which the judges have lauded so eloquently you will have to watch it to believe.

There's another contender for Gayathri on the show and she is Sonia. I have seen some of her performances and they are good. I don't know if I will have the time to check her out too.


Anonymous said...


According to some postings in ISS 2008 forum, Roopa is mentoring Gayathri. One blog even says that Gayathri has improved greatly because of that. Another blog says that Roopa helped Gayathri prepare a Medley but it was rejected by Asianet, and so Gayathri prepared a 2nd one that she sang the other day.

Just like everyone's vocals create different frequencies, our ears are attuned to different style of singing and frequencies, and whole thing is further complicated by the varying conditions of the throat and ear.

So whoose voice and rendering one likes depends on condition of singer's throat and listener's ears at that particular moment. The visuals and it closeness to our taste, and how others (especially judges) perceive it also plays a role in this process.

I have regularly watched both Roopa and Gayathri. Both have their good and bad days. It is difficult to compare them unless they are singing side by side on a day when both are feeling great. Yet, based on my ears, at present, Roopa's singing is more soothing to my soul than Gayathri's.


Subash S L said...

Hello Hari,

Thanks for the comment. Nice observations. Didn't know Roopa was mentoring Gayathri. I'll check on that too.

In my opinion Roopa will always be the best or one of the best singers there ever was in singing competitions as these but the comparison I made was for the subtle feeling of ease and relaxation with which the two singers sang and how they could produce that enjoyable sensation when you listen to them.

Roopa sure is a perfectionist. But sometimes trying to become perfect compromises on the relaxed way to sing. When you sing with joy and relaxation it immediately conveys that same feeling to the audience. Given her age and her experience Roopa is of course a more talented singer. But you cannot have the same emotion for every song, happy, sad, serious etc. Sharike is a melodious number and literally effortless was Gayathri's performance. It is obvious from the two videos I posted of Sharike. While Roopa is smiling, waving her hands, trying to look at the audience and motioning to Stephen and even engaging them while trying to sing perfectly a sense of stress is involved. Gayathri on the other hand is in her world of her own, swaying gently from side to side, lost in the joy of her song. You can see this in the two videos posted here. Gayathri has a clear advantage in breathing and Roopa does sound more breathier in her performance. Gayathri is also moss bassier as compared to Roopa's more high frequency sharp sound which makes a song like Sharike a little more upbeat than mellow.

Try and listen without watching and you'll find the difference even more. There is a softness in Gayathri's song compared to the sharp and stressed voice of Roopa's. Gayathri had another advantage in that that she sung slower than Roopa making the song even mellower. Roopa's was sung quicker.

To compare some important sangathis. Just listen to the first line alone....Sharike.....En..Sharike..The sangathi in the "En" sounds like a shiver when Roopa sings. Roopa also sounds more nasal. It is not so in Gayathri's performance. Gayathri breathes perfectly during this time and this helps her sing that slightly tricky portion more clearer and better. Gayathri's voice could have been a little more strong in the early parts of the song but it was good enough.

Another important Sangathi among several others (that I will not be going into) is the word "Maadalapoo..pooloru". Just move the time bar to the beginning and at the end of the song and see they way the two singers have sung this word. Certainly Roopa is completelly missing a very important, subtle and enjoyable "sangathi". Note when it is sung the "second time" at both the
beginning and the ending of the song. That alone speaks volumes of the way both the singers sang the same song.

And because of her breathlessness Roopa swallows several words, several times in the song. Watch close and you will even see how many times she goes out of tune too on several words. Certainly a performance as this cannot be enjoyable.

To give you an analogy between the two performances. Picture a mother singing a lullaby to put her baby to sleep and picture a nanny doing the same to the same baby. Both are trying to put the baby to sleep but whose lullaby do you think will sound more soothing to the child?

I don't know if you have read about the Alexander Technique which is about using correct poise in your activities. Considering the Alexander Technique, Gayathri is a near perfect example. Such a poise can also only exude good performance. Roopa's on the other hand is not so good and given some physical problems she already has she needs to work on that.

One current ISS singer Rahul who has a good voice certainly needs to work on that as his posture is doing him more damage than good. Soniya too needs to learn from the Alexander Technique.

These are my observations. Certainly music is a matter of taste too.

Anonymous said...


Ok. I had add more varibales now. The orchestra, the sound recording device and sound reproducing device. I don't have a headphone to listern to these songs as carefully as you do. I am hearing them through a normal speaker attached to my computer.

To my ears, Gayu's "Sharapole" was better than "Sharike". Her starting was bit shaky in "Sharike" but later she settled in well. Interestingly, on sangathis, my observations were complete opposite of yours. I thought Roopa's has more clarity than Gayu's.

Further, the comments that you made about Roopa's voice, could be the reason why my ears finds her voice texture absolutely mesmerizing, and so inspite of the mistakes that she made in "Udaya Udaya", it sounds better to me than the original singer Sadana Sargam.

Listern to Roopa's "Yamuna Sangeetham" that she sung in Asianet Plus UTSAV

Again, despite the mistakes in the 2nd half, she sounds absolutely brilliant to my ears.

Don't get me wrong, I like Gayu's singing too. She is just 18, and by 22 she may sing better than 22 year old Roopa. In duets, to me Gayu seems to do better than Roopa. It is a visual/acoustic treat to watch/listen to her in duets, but the last performance with Jins was a disappointment. Though they both scored the same marks, Jins sounded better than Gayu.

Gayu's big eyes are a great asset, and she puts them to good use in duets. Take a look at her duet with Prasobh, which I thought is as good as if not better than the one with Vivek


Subash S L said...

Hello Hari,

I am not of the opinion yet that Gayathri can dethrone Roopa as my no.1 singer in these competitions but Gayathri sure is a good singer. I am only comparing one song for now. Roopa is an abode of talent and at 22 a pro. We will have to wait and see what Gayathri can do.

As for sound I have 2.1 speaker set-up that I use although I have a pair of Sony Stereo Headphones too.

Let me check your links and get back to you.

Anonymous said...


As you check those links, please check this one too. This is the best performance that I have seen ever in any reality show...

Just amazing delivery by both sarat and unni in idea star singer 2008!


Subash S L said...

Hello Hari,

You said right. The Sharath & Unni song is incredibly good. Unni was missing out on the rythm but overall a very good performance. Thinking of including it on one of my future posts. Thanks for the same. Meanwhile I will check your other links later.

Subash S L said...


I did go through your links. I am impressed and two of them will be going on a post here. I have seen the Gayathri-Prashob duet earlier. And yes, Gayathri's eyes are her asset besides her voice.

It also looks like you like a sharper voice as Roopa has. Let me guess if I ask you to choose between Latha Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle you would choose Asha right?

How about Sujatha or Swarnalatha? You would go with Sujatha right?

Anonymous said...

what ever buddy roopa chechi is better than her and she is a fine singer...if she hav participated in any other singer's she might hav won tat tooo...