Abu Dhabi: If you close your eyes and listen to her sing, you would think Lata Mangeshkar is on the vocals.
Indian expat Prabha Subhadra sounds so uncannily like the legendary Indian singer that she has even been dubbed the Lata Mangeshkar of Abu Dhabi. She claims to know more than 50 songs of Lata’s by heart.
Their [supporter's] prayers will get me into Bollywood.”
- Prabha Subhadra, Abu Dhabi-based singer
Subhadra has wowed audiences all over the UAE with stage programs like Sur Sangam, Style Diva’s Got Talent, Music India Dubai and at the Global Village. Now she has two wishes — to meet her idol in person and to get a chance as a playback singer in Bollywood.
Hailing from a family of singers in Andhra Pradesh, Subhadra started training in Carnatic music at the age of five. She learned most of Lata’s songs from her mother Prabha Lakshmi. People noticed the resemblance to Lata’s voice early on, and she even won many awards and accolades in school and college. She also worked for All India Radio as a singer for five years.
Never considering singing as a career, she went on to pursue a course in Business Studies from Amity University in north India and worked as an Assistant Professor there. The move to Abu Dhabi happened 10 years ago and she took up a teaching job at Gems United Indian School.
“I was singing a group song for Sur Sangam in Abu Dhabi last October, when the organisers made me sing a solo. I didn’t think I still had it in me. I am thankful to Leena Naresh Vatnani (CEO of Vatnani Events based in Dubai) for helping hone my talent. She has helped me get into bigger platforms and radio shows.”
Subhadra who practices every day for one hour, said, “I am sure the prayers of all my supporters will get me into Bollywood soon,” she said.