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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Dad wanted me to play in India: Norah Jones

Vaishali Bhambri, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 07, 2013
First Published: 17:59 IST(7/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:37 IST(8/2/2013)

Nine-time Grammy winner Norah Jones, 33, is excited about her first performance in India but says that the feeling is “bittersweet”. “I’m excited to come. It’s also bittersweet because my Dad (late music maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar) just passed away. I’ve never played in India, so that’s one reason to do it, and also my dad always wanted me to play here. It’s always just been a matter of timing, and adding on to tours. It’s just never worked out in the past,” she says. 

The American jazz singer-songwriter wants to dedicate her performance to her father. “This time I planned it a while ago, and my Dad was really asking me to do it, and I thought it would be nice for him and nice for me. So it’s very sad that he’s gone now, but I know he was very excited that I was going to be playing in India, so that’s a nice thing,” she says.

Ask her about her rapport with sister musician Anoushka Shankar and she says, “We’re close. We both have busy lives, and sometimes we don’t speak for long periods of time, but we’re definitely close and we talk about stuff, and we email a lot. We’re good emailers!” Jones will perform at Sirifort Auditorium on March 5 and 6. A fan of old Bollywood numbers, she says that her dad and sister are her personal favourites.  “I’m really mostly familiar with my dad and sister. I have a really great old Bollywood soundtrack compilation that I listen to sometimes,” she says. 

According to reports, Norah and Anoushka were supposed to collect their father’s Grammy award at the ceremony in Los Angeles. She clarifies, “Anoushka and I are going to the Lifetime Achievement ceremony the day before. I’m not going to be able to make the Grammy awards, but she’s going to go.”

Since this tour is rushed, is a leisure trip to India also in the offing? “I might try and visit for a week or so after but I’m not sure yet. It’s such a huge place, it’s very overwhelming to plan a trip, actually!” she says.

All set for her ‘double’ performance in Delhi, American jazz singer Norah Jones (right), 33, says that the Grammy Awards are amazing and they don’t measure what an artist does. 

“I think something to realise as an artist is that to put all that pressure on you is not good. Grammy Awards are amazing, and they’re wonderful, but they don’t have to measure what you do as an artist. You can do whatever you want. Most artists I admire do whatever they want. They change and they grow and they have very different kinds of albums. That’s what I aspire to,” she says. 

Known for her stylish choice of clothes, the singer only likes when people she likes tell her how to dress. “I like it when people I like tell me how to dress! Not random people, and not anyone who’s being bossy. Sometimes I need some help from a friend, like any girl!” she says. Ask her which of her album is her favourite and she says, “I think the newest thing is always the favourite — it’s what you’re closest to, and I think that will probably be true for a long time. I think I’ll need another 10 years to reflect and choose a real favourite.”

Talking about her audience from all across the world, she says, “It’s great. Sometimes there will be older people, sometimes there will be college kids, and sometimes there will be people my age. It’s great.” She will kick off her three-city tour with a headlining performance at A Summer’s Day music festival in Mumbai on March 3 followed by concerts in Delhi then in Bangalore on March 8.

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