Many music directors have proved their mettle in the Indian film industry but the question of the day is why not a lot of female music directors have tried their luck in it. Even those who did, except
of Bollywood, didn’t carry it forward as a profession. Well, now take a look at some of the female music directors of the Indian film industry.
Even before Jaddan Bai, who is generally assumed to be the first music director of Bollywood, it was Ishrat Sultana who proved her mettle as the first female music director of Bollywood. Adl-e-Jahangir is the first movie that she composed music for, and it was released in 1934. Other than this film, Bibbo, as she is fondly called, also composed music for Qazzak Ki Ladki. This hit the screens in 1937.
Jaddan Bai was a multi-faceted personality, and she proved her mettle as a music director in the male-dominated film industry. She was not only an actress but also a singer, filmmaker and music director. Some may not know that she is the mother of the legendary actress Nargis. The 1935 movie Talashe haq is a notable film in her career as a music director.
Another lady to adorn the department of music is Saraswati Devi, who had worked as a music director for around 34 films. The 1936 movies Achut Kanya and Jeevan Nayya were jewels in her crown. This talented lady was active as a music composer till 1961.
She has been credited with being the first music director of Kollywood. In fact, she is a multi-talented actress. Chakrapani and Ippadiyum Oru Penn are a couple of films for which she composed music.
Many think that Usha Khanna is the first music director of Indian cinema, owing to her popularity. Dil Dekho Dekho of 1959 was her first endeavor, and she became an instant hit among the masses. She was a successful music director during her time and was married to Sawan Kumar. Sawan Kumar was a producer as well as a director, and this duo had offered the superhit 1983 film Souten, with lyricist Sawan Kumar. Usha Khanna pursued music composition for over sixty movies, indeed a commendable feat for a woman in the male-dominated composition industry. Some of her songs are still fondly remembered.
Bhavatharini is the daughter of maestro Ilayaraja. We all know that she is a talented singer, but the point of interest is that she is also a music director. She composed music for the Revathi directorial venture Mitr, My Friend. Later she worked as a music director for the Telugu film Avunaa.
(with Revathi again) and Vellachi are the other projects for which she composed music.
'A. R. Reihana'
Reihana, being the sister of Isai Puyal A R Rahman, composed music for Machi. But after that, she was not successful as a music composer. However, she proved her mettle in singing.
Shivi R Kashyap
Music is in the blood for this efficient lady who is a professional singer as well as music director. She has composed music for films including
Tere Mere Phere
Well, we all know this gorgeous girl for her singing and acting prowess. But do you know that she also composed music for her father’s film Unnaipol Oruvan? However, for reasons better known to her, Shruti didn’t pursue a career in music composition. Perhaps she felt that it would require more concentration.
Well, we expect a lot more women directors in the Indian cine field in the near future!