“I was briefed about the situation in the biopic Neerja and I made sure that I saw only the end scene and not the entire film, because I wanted to see the film in theatre. That one scene was also enough to evoke emotions,” shares the singer, having rendered hits like Iktara from Wake Up Sid, Mora Piya from Raajneeti and Murabbba from Bombay Talkies. She adds, “Of all the songs close to my heart, Jeete Hain Chal remains quite special. Even though Iktara and More Piya are most requested by the audience,” before asking ‘have you heard it? did you like it too?’
A lyrical journey
Music happened much before the shift to Mumbai in 2005. “Everyone at home was fond of music but I was fixated. Always wanted to make a name or do something in the field of music. It was Satish Kaushik who first heard me during a performance and offered my first ever song Zindagi Ko Swaar from the film Vaada,” shares the singer born in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.
Sufi—a way of life
Even as a sufi singer, she doesn’t rue the fact that the tag ‘sufi’ has become fashionable to the extent of diluting things. “A lot of people call their music or singing sufi because it is quite cool to do so these days. Personally I feel, sufi stands for certain ideals which must be fulfilled as a person before being fulfilled as a singer. To be a sufi one must lead a simple, truthful life committed in the service of humanity. Sufi ideals are very difficult to follow.” She adds, “Sufism is essentially a message of love. First you connect with yourself and then you sing.”
Inspired by Amrita Pritam
Coming up is an album inspired by Amrita Pritam’s poetry. “The album will have seven to eight songs and should be out within a couple of months,” shares the singer who personally, loves listening to sufi music, ghazals, classical music and Rumi’s poetry.