Shalmali Kholgade (Marathi: शाल्मली खोलगडे) is an Indian playback singer, who predominantly sings for the Hindi language films. Apart from singing in the Hindi language films, she also sings for the South Indian films, most notably in the Marathi, Telugu and Bengali languages. Through her successful career, she has received one Filmfare Award and has established herself as one of the leading playback singers of India.
Kholgade began her Bollywood playback singing career with the song "Pareshaan" for the film Ishaqzaade (2012), which earned her wide success and several awards and nominations, including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer. The following year, she garnered a second nomination in the Best Female Playback Singer category at Filmfare for singing the song "Balam Pichkari" from the coming-of-age romance Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) and received praise for the song "Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai" from the sports drama Sultan (2016), both of which rank among one of the highest-grossing Bollywood film. She received critical acclaim for her singing style in a series of hit songs, including "Aga Bai" from Aiyyaa (2012), "Daaru Desi" from Cocktail (2012), "Lat Lag Gayee" from Race 2 (2013), "Chingam Chabake" from Gori Tere Pyaar Mein (2013), "Shanivaar Raati" and "Besharmi Ki Height" from Main Tera Hero (2014), "D Se Dance" from Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014), "Mohobbat Buri Bemari" from Bombay Velvet (2015), "Shakira" from Welcome to Karachi (2015), and "Naach Meri Jaan" from ABCD 2 (2015), all of which topped the charts.
Kholgade's first regional song "Raja Raja" from the 2013 Tamil film Naan Rajavaga Pogiren was a wide success in the Southern part of India, which made her an accomplished singer in the South Indian film Industry. She followed this success with further regional hits, "Kala Koi Geli" for the Bengali film Proloy (2013), "Preminchaa" for the Telugu film Toofan (2013), "Maria" from the Bengali film Herogiri (2015), "Jil Jil Jil" for the Telugu film Jil (2015), "Tu Mila" for the Marathi film Timepass 2 (2015), and "Kangaroo" from the Marathi film Highway (2015). In addition to these, she was also one of the judges of the Sony Entertainment Television's reality show Indian Idol Junior for auditions.
Shalmali began performing at the age of 16 and has had her tutelage in music from the age of 8 years under her mother, Uma Kholgade – an Indian classical singer and theatre personality. She later continued her music education under Shubhada Paradkar and has also recently been accepted by the Los Angeles College of Music for their April semester but decided not to attend, due to her recording commitments.
Shalmali paid a two-hour tribute to one of her favorite singers; Amy Winehouse last year at Blue Frog, Mumbai which was attended widely. She is also a vocalist with Mikey McCleary's popular act 'The Bartender' where she has performed beautiful renditions of vintage Bollywood songs revamping it with a flavour of sensuous, old school jazz, and is featured on their second album, 'B Seventy'. Furthering her versatility as a performer, Shalmali has performed as a soloist with a Latvian troupe in a Cabaret named Bombaloo which toured Moscow, Yerevan and Armenia. She has been singing professionally in Mumbai for several years, and worked as a backing vocalist for Ali Zafar's songs.
Shalmali made her debut as a lead vocalist in Bollywood playback singing in 2012 with the song "Pareshaan" from film Ishaqzaade under the music of Amit Trivedi. The song was a critical and commercial success, topping charts across India. For Pareshaan Kholgade won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer among several other awards. Her other two songs in 2012, "Daaru Desi" from Cocktail, and "Aga Bai" from Aiyyaa, both became hits. In 2013, Kholgade's first track, "Lat Lag Gayee" from the movie Race 2 met with immense commercial appreciation. The song remained on the top of the charts for many weeks and became hugely popular in dance clubs. Kholgade received further critical and commercial success with the track "Balam Pichkari" from the movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. For the song, Kholgade received many nominations including her second Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer nomination. She also sang the title track for Shuddh Desi Romance, "Besharmi Ki Height" and "Shanivar Raati" for Main Tera Hero, "D Se Dance" for Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and " Shayarana" for Daawat-E-Ishq, which got her more critical appreciation.
Apart from singing in Bollywood, she has sung in other Indian regional languages such as "Raja Raja" for the Tamil film Naan Rajavaga Pogiren, "Kala Koi Geli" for the Bengali film Proloy, "Preminchaa" for the Telugu film Toofan and "Tu Mila" for the Marathi film Timepass 2, all of which top the charts.
Shalmali made her film debut with a supporting role in the 2009 Ranjan Singh's East Indian Konkani-Marathi film Tu Maza Jeev, which was released on Maharashtra Day. The film was a moderate successful at the Box Office India and earned mixed reviews, however, she was praised for her performance.