Caralisa Monteiro is an Indian singer, music composer, and activist. She is known for working as a playback singer predominantly in the Hindi film industry. She has also sung jingles for many advertisements. Her breakthrough song was ‘Phir Dekhiye’ from the 2008 musical drama Bollywood film ‘Rock On!!.’
Caralisa Monteiro was born in 1978 (age 44 years; as of 2022) in Mumbai, India. She studied economics and English literature at Sophia College, the University of Mumbai in Mumbai. When she was studying in college, she used to take part and sing in college competitions and festivals.
A childhood image of Caralisa Monteiro
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Hair Colour: Medium golden brown (dyed)
Eye Colour: Black
Caralisa Monteiro belongs to a Christian family in Mumbai, India.
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Neville Monteiro, was an opera singer and an accountant at Mahindra and Mahindra Limited; he passed away after battling cancer in 2006. Her mother, Emeline Monteiro, was a school teacher at Don Bosco High School, Matunga, Mumbai. When Caralisa was 11 years old, her mother passed away in 1986 after battling lymph glands cancer.
A childhood image of Caralisa Monteiro with her mother
She had an older sister named Giselle, a social worker and music director, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 26 after battling breast cancer.
On 11 May 2013, she got married to Ryan D’Souza, a banker.
A wedding day image of Caralisa Monteiro and Ryan D’Souza
In an interview, she revealed that she met her husband through the song ‘Phir Dekhiye’ from the 2008 Bollywood film ‘Rock On!!.’ He loved the song so much that he contacted her and recommended her to sing more Bollywood songs. Later, he proposed to her and they got married.
Caralisa Monteiro with Ryan D’Souza
Caralisa Monteiro follows Christianity.
In 1999, Caralisa Monteiro began singing jingles for advertisements and TV commercials. After singing at her college events, she got a chance to sing a jingle for a coffee brand with music directors Loy Mendonsa and Ehsaan Noorani. She was paid 3000 rupees for singing her first jingle. A friend of hers informed her about auditions conducted by Indian composer Leslie Lewis, and she got the job of singing another jingle. Later, Leslie Lewis began calling her often to sing jingles for more advertisement films. For more than two years, she exclusively worked with Leslie Lewis and did more than 500 jingles with him. She has sung more than 7000 jingles and has also written lyrics for and composed many jingles. She sang the jingle for the advertisement of Limca.
In 2002, Caralisa Monteiro debuted with the song ‘Jaane Kyu’ from the Bollywood film ‘Dil Chahta Hai.’
Poster of the 2002 film ‘Dil Chahta Hai’
In 2005, she lent her voice to the title track of the Bollywood film ‘Salaam Namaste.’ In 2006, she sang the song ‘Mitwa’ from the Bollywood film ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.’ She recorded the song ‘Dard-E-Disco’ from the 2007 romantic drama film ‘Om Shanti Om.’ In 2008, she sang the song ‘Phir Dekhiye’ from the Bollywood film ‘Rock On!!.’
Poster of the 2008 film ‘Rock On!!’
In 2010, she lent her voice to the song ‘Tumse Hi Tumse’ from the Bollywood film ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ in the English language. In 2012, she sang and composed the ballad song ‘All Alone’ from the Hindi horror film ‘Rise of the Zombie.’ She recorded the song ‘Sha Sha Sha Mi Mi Mi’ from the 2015 film ‘Shamitabh.’ In 2016, she wrote the lyrics to and sang the song ‘Ranga Re’ from the romantic drama film ‘Fitoor.’ In the same year, she wrote the French lyrics and sang the song ‘Nashe Si Chadh Gayi’ from the Bollywood film ‘Befikre.’ In 2022, she lent her voice to the song ‘Besharam Rang’ from the Bollywood film ‘Pathaan.’
Poster of the 2022 film ‘Pathaan’
In 2007, she sang the song ‘You Have To Love Me’ from the English-language Indian film ‘The Great Indian Butterfly.’
In 2006, she sang the song ‘Maaricham’ from the film ‘Sillunu Oru Kaadhal.’
Poster of the 2006 Tamil film ‘Sillunu Oru Kaadhal’
In 2010, she lent her voice to the song ‘Yaaro Ivan Yaaro’ from the film ‘Porkkalam’ in the Italian language.
In 2015, she released her debut album in the English language titled ‘Illusions.’ The album consisted of 6 tracks and featured artists like Vishal Dadlani and Siddharth Basrur.
Cover of Caralisa Monteiro’s debut album ‘Illusions’
In 2014, she collaborated with the Indian band Overhung. She featured on the song ‘Waste’ from the band’s EP ‘Extended 4Play.’ She also performed with the band at the finale of Harley Rock Riders: Season 4.
‘Hindu Mukt India’ Tweet
In 2021, many celebrities supported the farmers’ protest against the Central government’s three farm laws in India. To support the farmers, Caralisa Monteiro took to Twitter and allegedly wrote,
Every time a Hindu is killed, I get orgasmic pleasure. Modi might dream Congress Mukt Bharat, but we will get Hindu Mukt India soon. Amen!”
Several netizens criticised her for the tweet and demanded action against her for the alleged tweet that promoted communal hatred. Later, after investigating the matter, it was revealed that the tweet made by her was fake.
A photo of Caralisa Monteiro’s tweet
In 2019, she won the Guest of Honour Award at the Panache Image Awards.
Caralisa Monteiro looking through her Guest of Honour Award
- Singer(s): The Beatles, Whitney Houston, Irene Cara, Ella Fitzgerald, Geeta Dutt
- Reportedly, Caralisa Monteiro is considered the “Jingle Queen.”
- Apart from singing, she is also good at playing various musical instruments including piano and guitar.
- In an interview, while talking about how she was surrounded by music since childhood, she said,
My father was considered the best bass opera singer in Asia. My mother was also a gifted natural singer and was fondly called the nightingale of Dadar. My sister was like Aretha Franklin, a big black mamma with tons of soul. There was always music around me while growing up — in school, at home and in church. There was music from all over the world being played at home, thanks to my father. I never received any training. I loved Whitney Houston growing up and would play her cassettes over and over and sing along at home. We did not have the greatest means back then and singing was one way of staying happy and expressing ourselves.”
- In 2004, she sang an anthem for the Indian multinational information technology company Infosys.
- In 2008, she participated in an Asian talent hunt titled ‘Sutasi’ and was one of the finalists in the competition.
- She has participated in many marathons.
First 21km of the season. pic.twitter.com/55bA1XQsQU
— Caralisa Monteiro (@runcaralisarun) July 31, 2022
- In 2010, she performed at a broadway show titled ‘Let The Music Play’ in Mumbai.
- She is a supporter of the political party AAP.
Caralisa Monteiro in an AAP rally
- In an interview, on being asked if she had ever walked out of a jingle recording, she replied,
No, I have never quit. I don’t believe in quitting. But there are some things I don’t do out of principle, like ads for condoms. Condom advertisements portray women in bad light. Five years ago, I did an African condom advertisement and, unlike the ads which objectify women in low light (sic), this advertisement focused on creating AIDS awareness and hence I did it. I have no problem with ‘sexy’, like, say, the Aam Sutra ad, but I can’t do anything sleazy.”
- In 2014, she performed at an event named ‘Rhythm and Blues Festival,’ which was organised by the Genesis Foundation in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh to raise funds for underprivileged children, supported by Rolling Stone magazine India.
- In 2014, she dedicated the lead single track, ‘Angel in Disguise,’ of her debut album ‘Illusions’ to raise awareness for breast cancer and raise funds for helping patients battling cancer or recovering from the disease.
- She manages an NGO named ‘Angel in Disguise to help cancer patients and abused women and children.
- In an interview, she shared her experience of recording a jingle at 3 am in the morning. She said,
Well, there was one time when I was recording a jingle at 3 am and we were waiting for the film to come in. But the thing is once you’ve come in for the job, you can’t leave until it’s done. Then, I remember being made to give a lot of retakes, especially with Leslie. Sometimes there would be 9 or 10 retakes and the thing is, your voice just loses its feel after maybe two or three. So that would be quite stressful.”
- She is a fitness enthusiast and regularly posts pictures of her working out in the gym on social media.
Lift weights whenever you can. pic.twitter.com/NHeRIIZKgf
— Caralisa Monteiro (@runcaralisarun) November 26, 2022
- She follows a non-vegetarian diet.
If they don’t see you eating it, it’s doesn’t contain any calories ! #holiday #diet pic.twitter.com/GeGFmuW5lV
— Caralisa Monteiro (@runcaralisarun) December 10, 2021
- She consumes alcohol occasionally.
Caralisa Monteiro drinking beer