Neha Bhasin, the 34-year-old singer claimed to fame during the time of Viva!, an all girl’s band for MTV in 2002. She impressed listeners with her dusky voice and chartbuster songs for several years. Neha recently won the Stardust Award For Best Playback Singer (Female) for song ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ from Salman Khan starrer ‘Sultan’ too.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Neha opened up about her struggle, rediscovery and what lies ahead for her.
“I am happy I won the award, but if it wasn’t for my mum, I wouldn’t have attended the award night. I always used to think these awards don’t recognise talent and are very political, but my mum coaxed me into attending this time since she had a feeling that I would win. So I dedicate this award to her.” Said Bhasin. When we asked her what it feels like to win her first award, she said that she hates it when people casually state that she is a great discovery in the industry, because, “I have been around for fifteen years, since Viva happened. I was too popular too soon!”
She also said, “Many people in the industry thought I sounded like a man, and then some people think I am an outsider, a newbie. Maybe that is because I am part rebellious and like to live my life on my own terms, and I don’t massage people’s ego. I haven’t faced any of this on my face though, but I have experienced it. People start quietly shunning you just because you don’t play by their rules! But I have finally managed to find the people I like working with, people who like working with me, and it has been a great experience. I think it is a big part of my learning.”
We also asked Neha how has the industry changed from the time she was a part of ‘Viva!’ to today. She said, “Oh! The industry has changed quite a bit. I was into pop music, and pop had died in between, and now it is coming back in its own way. Bollywood definitely rules, and now different kind of voices are being accepted a lot more than they were being back then. However, there are too many voices coming up, initially at least there was a kind of quality control. But having said that, I would also say that now people are getting accepted and different talents are being recognised and accepted. The way I sang ‘Jag Ghoomiya’ would never have been accepted ten years back! Different kinds of voices are being accepted, Richa Sharma, Sunidhi Chauhan brought this much-needed change in the industry”
Talking about her future plans, she said, “I have finished recording and shooting for my next single for MTV, it is a Punjabi song and should release in January. And I am continuing to work on folk, since it gives me immense pleasure. Bollywood is something that comes along the way, I never specifically planned on it or ask for it. There is too much Bollywood dance music, but I love soulful music where the song, the voice and the lyrics kind of chimes. I would love to pioneer that kind of Bollywood music. I am here for a long time this time!” ‘Jag Ghoomiya’ from ‘Sultan’ was a pleasant rediscovery of Neha Bhasin and has brought her back on the map, and we wish her a great year and success ahead in Bollywood.