Meet Dr Sangita Kakati – Assamese Singer who has sung Songs in 30 Different Languages
Singer and teacher Dr Sangita Kakati Baruah was born in Guwahati to Lt. Dr Surendra Narayan Kakati and Anjali Kakati and brought up in Chaygaon where she did her schooling. Sangita was born to a family with rich cultural background. While her father was a social worker, her mother was a writer and a sitar player. Sangita also has two elder sisters, who are both trained in classical music.
Sangita started learning Sattriya and Debodasi at a very young age, but she had to give it up at the age of around 8 years. Then she took up classical music and started her training under Pandit Karuna Shankar Thakuria at the age of 9. She further pursued MA in Music from Akhil Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai for which she got an 8-year long scholarship from the Human Resource Department, Central Government. Sangita went on to complete her musical training from Kalavir Academy under the guidance of Kalyanji Anandji.
After completing her schooling from Chaygaon, Sangita shifted to Guwahati to pursue higher secondary education in Science stream from Cotton College. Finding it difficult to focus on music and science at the same time, she switched to Arts stream and took up English Majors during Graduation from Cotton College. She then went on to pursue MA in English from Pune University and PG Diploma in Mass Communication from Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai. Sangita has also completed her B. Ed, M. Ed, M. Phil (Education) and Ph. D (English Literature).
“English Literature, for me, had always been a very endearing subject. The meanings and symbols associated with poetry reminded me of songs and so I decided to pursue English Major,” told Sangita about changing her stream.
Right after graduation, Sangita released her first album 'Sovansiri', produced by her father and directed by JP Das. During the same time, Sangita got selected by All India Radio and became a radio artist. Her first album gained laurels, and soon, she got a break in Assamese Cinema. In the year 1988, she did playback singing for an Assamese movie for the first time. The film was titled 'Ai Mur Jonome Jonome'. She also won the Best Female Playback Singer Award by EIMPA for 'Sovansiri'.
Since then, there has been no looking back for this renowned artist. She has worked in various movies and albums in Assam as well as in Mumbai. She shifted to Mumbai to pursue her career in music in the year 1991. There, she worked in Studio Beats for the initial years. She went on to recording in some of the biggest recording studios of the country, including Mehboob, Film Centre and Sunny Studio.
Sangita has recorded and sung songs not just in Assamese, but in 30 other languages too. For the 33rd National Games held in Guwahati in 2007, Sangita sang the theme song ‘Rangmon Rangmon’. She also sang the welcome song for each State’s team in the State’s own language. A total of 33 teams participated in the event, speaking 22 different languages. Sangita also sang the Farewell song for the 2016 South Asian Games, which was written in 9 different foreign languages.
The highlight of her career is a very popular music album ‘Niribili Godhuli’ by music director Jitul Sonowal. Sangita sang two songs for this album – one solo and the other with Bollywood singer Udit Narayan. Many other renowned artists were associated with the album, including Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy and Sadhana Sargam. Apart from that, Sangita has also worked with legends in the world of music – Pankaj Udhas, Bappi lahiri, Usha Mangeshkar, Sonu Nigam, Jagjit Singh, Ila Arun and Alka Yagnik to name a few. She has also done playback singing for popular Bollywood movies Agni Prem and Rafoo Chakkar.
Another milestone in her career was recording two duet songs with Sudhakantha Bhupen Hazarika for the album ‘Sira Jugamia Geet’. Describing the experience as the best one, Sangita says, “Dr Bhupen Hazarika was a living legend. Although I have recorded with lots of amazing artists, working with Bhupen Hazarika was an experience of a lifetime. His position in my mind is that of a Mahapurush, a God, and feel honoured to have gotten the chance to sing with him.”
As a lecturer, Sangita has worked at various media institutes of the country, including the Institute of Mass Communication and Media, Guwahati, Regional Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication, Guwahati and KRD College of education, Chaygaon.
Sangita is married to Rajib Prakash Baruah (ACS). She’s associated with various NGOs working in the State and is the Chairperson of UBPs Centre for Alternative Vocation.
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