Neha Bhasin: Sunidhi Chauhan Has Changed The Face Of Indian Music

In a freewheeling chat, Neha Bhasin talks about actively working on independent music, her Bollywood journey and single Mera Laung Gawacha

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Neha Bhasin: Sunidhi Chauhan Has Changed The Face Of Indian Music

Neha Bhasin, who shot to fame as one of band members of the all-girl band VIVA in 2002 has come a long way. After the band split in 2008 and the girls went their separate ways, Neha went on to croon a number of popular Bollywood film tracks such as Kuch Khaas Hai (Fashion, 2008) Dhunki (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, 2011) and the latest hit song Jag Ghoomeya from Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer Sultan. She also recently released her single Mera Laung Gawacha, which is the cover version of the old folk song. Excerpts from an interview with the singer.

Tell us about your latest single Mera Laung Gawacha
I had sung a 30-second advertisement for Cannon and people liked the version of Laung Gawacha; so much so that they wanted me to sing the full version. So, I came up with this single and I am happy with the response I received. The original song has a lot of instrumentation replete with dhols. This time, we have mixed the song in such a way that it has a loungish feel where the instruments take a backseat and the vocals are highlighted.

Artist Neha Bhasin.jpg
Image Source: hdimages

You have been actively working on independent music, but have limited projects in Bollywood. Do you prefer indie over Bollywood?
There is no preference as such. I love singing whether it’s Bollywood or independent music. This is a very different process, because I am involved in the entire making of the song. Right from conceptualising the video to the time video is uploaded, I have got the freedom to do things my way. 

When the labels make millions,why are singers being paid so less- Neha Bhasin.jpg
Image Source: cineforest

Amit Trivedi had once said that Bollywood music will not evolve until the independent music scene doesn't get better. How far do you agree with this statement?
I do agree with the statement. Of course Bollywood gives you great exposure, but if you have to evolve as an artist, independent music is the path to take. It also helps you to be relevant in today's time. The shelf life of a singer has gone down, so indie music not only helps you be relevant but is also creatively satisfying.

Are you a part of the current trend where composers make a number of singers sing one song and then choose what suits them best?
Neither do I fit into the trend, nor do I endorse it, probably why I don't get enough work. I feel it’s okay to try out a singer or two because there are times that the voice of a particular singer does not go with the actor's voice, but trying out 10 singers and selecting one is really unfair. The most unfair part is when a song gets re-dubbed and the singer who didn’t get finalised does not get paid for it. Thankfully, my voice had never been re-dubbed. When the labels make millions, why are singers being paid so less? There are some singers who are doing really well, but let’s think about the ones, who are struggling. Why does it kill the label to pay the singers 30,000-40,000? This attitude of the music companies that they are doing a big favour by giving us (singers) a song needs to stop.

For Jag Ghoomeya, I had sung a couple of versions but Adi (Aditya Chopra) didn’t like them.jpg
Image Source: in & youtube/T-Series

So you don't get calls from the composers to sing scratches?
No. I have been the first and the last one to dub most of the songs that I have sung. Very few people try 10 singers for a song. There are times that  I have gone ahead and given a demo of a song just because I have a great rapport with the singer. For Jag Ghoomeya, I had sung a couple of versions but Adi (Aditya Chopra) didn’t like them. That’s fine by me since it’s a collaboration and the team still wanted my voice.

Do you think remaking a song really helps an artist?
Yeah, it does help. Laung Gawacha is really a popular song, however, Bajre Da Sitta is a forgotten melody because folk music is not heard by too many people. The trend of redoing old songs is very popular in Hollywood. Personally, I was against the trend, but now I feel that if you are not taking away the soul of the song, it’s fine. In a way it’s beneficial. Some time ago, I heard Aansoon Bhari Hai Jeevan Ki Rahe, in Lataji's voice and got to know that Mukesh had sung the song in 1940s.

We already have Sunidhi and we don’t need another- Neha Bhasin.jpg
Image Source: xossip

You are often compared to Sunidhi Chauhan. How do you react to it?
It is a compliment but when people compare you to the best, you automatically become the second best. I would get pissed initially because people used to say that you are trying to sound like her. Sunidhi changed the patterns of hearing music in the industry. Prior to that we only heard singers with thin voices. But we already have Sunidhi and we don’t need another. Now when people compare me to her I just say thank you and walk away.

Thumbnail Image Source: bharatstudent 

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