Birthday: October 25
Place of birth: Olney, Maryland, USA
First break: I released my first record with Shaa’ir + Func through Blue Frog Records and Sony Music. Later, I got my big break in Bollywood with Dhobi Ghat (2011)
Sun sign: Scorpio
Hometown: Hunt Valley, Maryland, USA
School/college: New York University, USA
Low point of your life: Probably my penniless days in New York
High point of your life: Releasing my third album and consequently winning awards for it; getting nominated for the ‘best debut – female’ last year.
Currently doing: Writing my fourth album with Shaa’ir + Func; my next film, David, is just out.
Singing, dancing, acting, what is your first love?
My first love is the Bharata Natya Shastra. You cannot choose a favourite thread on the same tapestry.
Have you ever felt insecure about your body?
Oh God, all the time! The journey towards self-love is an excruciatingly long one, particularly in this industry where scrutiny is constant. The toughest thing about moving to India from the US? Being far away from all my friends and family.
Have you ever choked on stage?
When I was in college, I used to get debilitating stage fright. Acting classes really helped me get over it.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done for you?
A fan once proposed to me while I was on stage. He slipped me a note and stood in the front row waiting for my response. It was sweet and I’ll never forget it.
A gadget you can’t do without?
I cannot do without my Apogee ONE. I take it on the road to record song ideas. It has its own beautiful in-built condenser microphone.
Your biggest critic?
What do you do right before you step on stage?
I stretch, do pranayam and recite the Gayatri Mantra. I also say hello to my grandmother in my head. When she was alive, she really believed in me and made me feel like a princess.
Three things we would find on your bedside table.
My book of poetry that’s handmade and leather bound, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude, and probably my laptop.
Your best memory from David?
It has to be the night we all went out partying in Belfast. I learned that Bejoy [Nambiar] and Milind Soman really know how to bust a move or two.
The last thing you bought for under Rs 10?
Your dream concert venue?
You have five minutes to pack for a trip. You would take...
Underwear, a swimsuit, shawl, two T-shirts, Lululemon pants, TOMS, a toothbrush... wait, is this too practical? Also, I pack in five minutes all the time.
The quality you most admire in a man?
Humility and a gentle nature.
One thing that shocked you about Bollywood.
How much it is actually.
Changing for the better!
If you woke up one day, and lost your voice... It happens all the time. I just go back to sleep until it comes back again.
The workout routine that scares you?
Weight lifting. I’ll never do it.
Songs that lift your mood
Ornette’s Crazy 311’s, Amber Goodie Mob’s Beautiful Skin
The weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
From HT Brunch, February 3
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch