Asha Bhosle talks about her musical experiences
DECCAN CHRONICLE | natasha coutinho
Mumbai: She’s known as much for her voice and style as she is for her indefatigable energy. So it’s hardly surprising that at an age when her contemporaries may have bowed out of the spotlight, the grand doyenne of Hindi film music, Asha Bhosle, is seeking out newer projects. The latest among these is her appearance as a special mentor on Zee’s singing show for children, Sa Re Ga Ma Li’l Champs.
Speaking with us just before she began her shoot for the show, Asha Bhosle seemed to be in a reflective mood. Interacting with all the young contestants prompted her to revisit her childhood memories.
"I was reminded of my childhood days when Lata didi had just begun to go to school and I would hold onto her long plaits and tag along with her to school. One day, the schoolmaster noticed this and asked her to drop me back home. Both of us went back home crying and Lata didi promised to never return to that school. After that, my father decided to tutor us at home. It was because of me that Lata didi stopped going to school We were so close that we would stand by each other through thick and thin," she said.
Coming back to the present, the singer also said that the li’l champs she is mentoring are as old as her great-grandchildren, and she’s constantly amazed by their confidence and stage presence. "I am amazed to hear all they know about old songs from my times!" she admitted. "I’m thrilled to be part of this show. After hearing rap and the new age music that’s being aped by most teenagers, it’s an absolute delight that these children understand music in its truest sense I’m thankful to them for changing my perspective about today’s kids."
As their mentor, she has advised the parents of all the young contestants to ensure they are trained in different genres of music. "Only versatile singers have a long run in the industry," she pointed out, adding, "What matters in the end is that they need to have a distinct style of singing and should not copy."
It isn’t just the young contestants on the show that she shares a special rapport with. Shaan, Alka Yagnik and Aditya Narayan, who’re part of Li’l Champs, have all worked with the legendary singer at some point of time. "I had recorded the title track of Rangeela when Aditya was hardly six and he had rapped his entire portion in one take!" Asha said, remembering the recording session fondly. "As for Shaan, I met him when he was just a toddler! His father, Manas Mukherjee, had a studio where I would go to record my songs and Shaan would often be around, playingI love listening to Shaan’s songs because they all have an essence of the yesteryear."
Commenting on the current music scene, the singer said, "Audiences are no longer willing to buy music CDs they download songs instead! (That) really defeats the purpose, so I’m happy doing live concerts. Hopefully, I will perform with some of these talented young champs!"