Popstar-turned-Bollywood singer Neeti Mohan has had a long musical journey. From being a singing reality show winner and a part of pop band Aasma, to grabbing the attention of AR Rahman and eventually joining his troupe, Neeti has managed to make a place for herself in the industry.
The eldest of four sisters – Shakti, Mukti and Kriti, Neeti has crooned for various Bollywood movies like Student of the Year, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Raanjhanaa, Kick, Bang Bang, Happy New Year, Bombay Velvet, OK Jaanu, Padmaavat, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Kalank.
In an exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com, Neeti Mohan opened up about her latest project T-Series’ MixTape season 2, life post marriage and working with the biggest names in the business.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. You just got married and you are back to work. What is it about music that pulled you back?
My first love is music. My parents have always known that and my husband also knows it now. That’s something that I am committed to and will be so until my last breath. At the same time, I am in the best phase of my life right now, where I am married and have a life partner who is so amazing and actively involved in what I am doing. My life is actually beginning now, I feel. I am super excited about finishing my work and rushing home to spend time with him.
Q. Do you think balancing work will get more challenging post marriage to Nihaar Pandya?
It could get challenging, (that’s what people say) if you don’t balance it well. So, now out of 7 days, I work 4 days and the remaining days, I spend time with my family.
Q. Millennials remember you as the Aasma girl. But you went on to have a remarkable journey. How do you look at this journey?
I am extremely grateful to the journey I have had. It is unbelievable that a girl from Delhi who stood in a line to compete in a reality show is here today and is actually judging a show now. It makes me feel like life has come full circle. It also makes me believe in my dreams. Everyone should dream because they come true.
Q. How difficult is it for a reality show winner to make a name?
It is difficult. But if you love your job, it will not look like a difficult path. It will look like every day you are growing, every day you are interacting with like-minded people and any opportunity coming your way should be respected and (you should) give it your best. Only then will you see every day as growth and not as a struggle.
Q. You have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. How have they contributed to your singing?
Whoever I have worked with or listened to, I have always learnt from them and that’s what being a musician is all about. You are always constantly working on yourself. You are work in progress. I feel that has made me more versatile, made me sing in different languages and different genres of music as well, be it love songs, folk songs or classical.
Q. Has there been a song that you had to sing just because of commitment, but you did not like it personally?
There have been instances in the past when I may have not connected to the songs and have instantly communicated that to the composer. I do share that with the composer that I may not be the best voice for the song. Then if the music director still wants me to sing it, I take it as a responsibility. I think that let me do my job so well that he is happy. I sing with that intention.
Q. How has MixTape added to your experience?
This is the second season that I am a part of and I am happy to return. The kind of music we get to do, the mashups and collaborations we got to do in season 1 was a grand success. We never thought people would like it so much. My episode last season got around 25 million views. It’s not just about the viewership but people have loved it so much and watched it on repeat. And that makes us believe that if you are trying a new collaboration/music, people are open to that. It gives us more faith to try something out of the box.
I am performing with Vishal Dadlani on songs “Chand Chupa” and “Tumhe Apna Banane”. The song “Chand Chupa” from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam will make you reminisce your old days and this is an iconic song we have grown up listening to. The tracks have turned out brilliant and credit must be given to music director Abhijit Vaghani who was able to put together so many songs.
— Neeti Mohan (@neetimohan18) April 8, 2019
Q. What has been your personal favourite collaboration?
I recently did a song with Kurt – “A Sky Full Of Stars” and a mashup of an original song we created. Three artistes came together and did it. That was something new that I tried.
Q. Do you support the recreation of old classics?
I see it as just another song. I don’t see it as a recreation. In fact, I try to forget what the original song is so that you bring your own colour to the song.