What do you call a beautiful singer with an enthralling voice? Neha Bhasin, you’d say, if you saw the drop-dead-gorgeous girl and listened to her songs. Neha, who bagged the best female playback singer award at the Star Vijay awards for her first ever song in Tamil (‘Pesugiren’ in ‘Satham Podhathaey’) in 2008 was nominated for the Filmfare awards this year for the song ‘Kuch Khaas Hai’ in ‘Fashion.’ A former member of the all-girls pop band Viva! the singer was in the city recently for a recording.
Excerpts from an interview.
The Viva! Saga
Viva! was formed in 2002. It was the resultant product of ‘Pop Stars’, India’s first ever reality talent hunt on television conducted by Channel V. The album titled ‘VIVA!’ came out the same year and the second and last album ‘Viva! Reloaded’ was released in 2003. Two talk-of-the-nation albums and massive public and media frenzy later, the band split. I realised that the execution of team work is harder than I thought. From then on, I embarked on a solo journey.
My musical journey
The solo journey was tough. I am a a very individualistic person and I loved the freedom I had in my sojourn down music lane. It took me four years though to bounce back with shows in and out of the country. Now I do shows in the country four times a month and abroad four times a year.
When B-town beckoned
My first song in Bollywood was ‘Ek look’ for the film ‘Arya.’ The title track of ‘Hari Puttar’ followed. The Filmfare nomination came for my third song, ‘Kuch Khaas Hai’ in ‘Fashion.’
On the Filmfare nomination
It came as a surprise! I had worked with the musical duo Salim-Suleiman during the making of an album for Viva! It was a wonderful experience and I was happy when they called me to sing in Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Fashion.’ The track is a duet with Mohit Chauhan of ‘Silk Route’ fame.
I debuted in playback singing in Kollywood with the song ‘Pesugiren’ in ‘Satham Podhathaey’ which fetched me the Star Vijay award last year. ‘Sey Edavathu Sey’ in ‘Billa’ followed. I owe the flawless Tamil that you hear me sing in to Yuvan Shankar Raja’s assistant, Vasudevan.
On the cards
In Bollywood, I’ve a mid-tempo slow song ‘Look at the way’ in ‘Daddy Cool.’ Down south, there’s ‘Yogi’ and Muthirai’ with Yuvan Sankar Raja and ‘Ninaivil Ninraval’ with D Imaan. Then there’s ‘Thaniye’ in the album ‘Kavithai Gunder’ in which I’ve collaborated with Malaysian rapper Emcee Jesz. Am working on a solo album as well. I myself have written the lyrics of the album. There are four pop-rock songs and about three performance- oriented songs in the album. An international English album is also in the pipeline.
Am not the Page 3 type
I don’t hang out much. That could be why I don’t make it to the gossip columns of newspapers and magazines. Moreover, I have no time for love!
Being fashion conscious
Am not one who follows fashion trends blindly.
But I love sporting good accessories. As a singer, dancer and performer, it’s important that I groom myself and look appealing.
I’ve got a couple of offers but acting is not on my priority list now. It doesn’t lure me as music does. But if a good script comes my way, you might see the actor in me.
Looking forward to
I am one among the scores of singers who dream of working with the legendary A R Rahman. I’d love to sing for Vishal-Sekhar and Harris Jayaraj and also in Mollywood. Am looking forward to more good music and shows. Yeh dil maange more!
What brings me to Kochi
Am here to sing a song for composer Sunny Viswanath. The song for an eye foundation is a heartwarming number that describes the beauty of eyes. It was an altogether different experience working with Sunny. He is cool to work with.
In fact, I had a relaxed recording after a really long time. It was a welcome change. I’d love to come back to do more and more songs with talented composers like him.
Kerala is lovely
I’ve heard that Kerala is God’s own country. One visit to the state and I’m convinced of the truth of what I’ve heard.
But I didn’t have time to explore the beauty of Kerala. Nevertheless it was nice taking in the clean and fresh air, treating myself to good food and a massage. On my next visit, I’d love to go to the backwaters and Silent Valley.