She started her Bollywood career with the critically acclaimed Dhobi Ghat (2011), but Monica Dogra didn’t do any film post that. Founder of the Mumbai-based electro-rock band Shaa’ir + Func, she prefers being identified as an 'artiste' and not a Bollywood actor. We caught up with her before her performance at The Lee 125 Years Celebration gig, to know more about her journey in the industry so far.
Why didn’t you do more films post Dhobi Ghat?
My goal was never to be in Bollywood. My objective was to be an artiste, and that’s exactly who I am. When I think of an artiste, I think of someone who has a desire to create and to communicate with people. It’s not necessarily performance. I feel satisfied with my journey and my career. I am becoming a better artiste every day.
Is your band coming out with something new?
We are about to release our fifth studio album. There is also a new music video that will be coming out soon.
Also read:Monica Dogra wants to transform what is mainstream
Tell us about the solo projects you are working on.
Very soon I will be releasing my first solo album and have two music videos that are ready for release. I am touring with my solo project to music festivals. I am working on a documentary concept and I just got it funded. I also have my line of clothing.
Any plans of creating Bollywood music?
I’m not the type of artiste who wants fame. But it has come completely on my own terms and in my own way. So, it’s not that I don’t want to sing Bollywood music. It’s just that if they want me to sing for them, then I will, only if I can be ‘me’. Having my own identity is the most important thing for me. I cannot try to be somebody I am not.
Don’t you want to work in commercial films and be a more mainstream actor?
I’m an actor, but I’m not an item girl. I would love to be part of commercially successful films because that means a great amount of people approve of what I do. But if becoming commercially successful means eliminating my own identity and doing a sort of plastic surgery, I don’t subscribe to that.