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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Suneeta Rao revisits her iconic track ‘Paree Hoon Main’ after 30 years: ‘Good art lives forever’

Suneeta Rao speaks about her music, her journey and the iconic 90s track, Paree Hoon Main.

Written by A. Kameshwari | New Delhi |
June 16, 2021 8:20:42 am
Suneeta RaoSuneeta Rao's "Paree Hoon Main" released in 1991. (Photo: PR Handout)

Singer Suneeta Rao, who treated her fans to timeless tracks like “Paree Hoon Main”, “Kesariya” and “Ab Ke Baras” in the 90s, has returned with “Vaada Karo” on her YouTube channel. It may be her first song in more than a decade but she doesn’t want to use the word ‘comeback’. “The term feels like someone had disappeared from the face of the earth and returned, but that is not the case with me. I have been active off-screen. Always stayed connected to music,” she told indianexpress.com.

Suneeta walked down the memory lane and spoke about making music in the 90s as well as her new song. In her words, ‘Vaada Karo’ is an anthem that reminds listeners to be aware of the drastic effects their actions can have on the environment. It motivates everyone to become bearers of change and play an active role in building a sustainable, greener and cleaner world.

Talking about her journey in the music industry and the independent music of the 90s, Suneeta said, “That time was beautiful. I had the opportunity to work with some of the best music composers of that time.”

While the singer feels ‘collaborations are easy now’, she misses ‘being in the same room with people, feeding off their energy’. Reflecting on India’s tryst with indie-pop, Suneeta says, “We (indie-pop artists) were lucky that we were able to have a career in the Indie pop space. It was unusual, nothing that was seen before. Singing, writing, performing, dancing on the stage. What makes me happy is that there are young artists who are keeping independent music alive and trying to create a music industry. I hope eventually India has a music industry that stands separate yet at par with Bollywood.”

Asked about the current situation of independent music, Suneeta believes not much has changed. “Even back then, one’s success was measured by the number of the film you were part of. But that was never my ambition because I wanted to express myself via my music. Independent music artist will always struggle because of the mindset of people. It is difficult for India to produce someone like Michael Jackson or Zenzile Miriam Makeba because people here do not give a chance.”

Suneeta did try singing for Hindi films, but could not connect to those songs as an artist.

“I took everything that came to me. I never had inhibition with being called a playback singer. I have worked with several Bollywood music composers and had fun doing so. But a lot of those songs did not speak to me, and I was not in my comfort zone. I had ease in doing my own thing, my own tracks.”

However, she finds a positive change in the way Bollywood works now. “People are open to experimenting with voices, with themes.” So, is she open to Bollywood now? “I never said no even then. I won’t say no even now. My doors are always open. I will be overjoyed if I am offered to playback but I want to do it on my terms.”

On a concluding note, we spoke to her about her most popular song “Paree Hoon Main”, which released in 1991, and how it continues to be relevant.

“When ‘Paree Hoon Main’ released, the whole country wanted a song like that as it made them feel good inside. There were a lot of factors that contributed to what the song became. But let me tell you, one can never know how the art will turn out to be. The biggest lesson I have learnt from my career is that when you do something creative, you just let it go. It was all destiny. Also, you cannot make a song from the perspective of making it a hit. Let me tell you, Dhua was the album name and “Pari Hoon Main” was the third song on side A of the cassette. I thought the title song will be the hit. It got overshadowed. The reach of Pari was organic and much-wider. It had its journey. It proves a good song is a good song and no one will ever forget it,” Suneeta said as she signed off.

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