She is a blonde from Denmark who can sing in impeccable Punjabi. But our question is, is that enough?” Gry Louise Kolind, a director from the Danish Broadcast Corporation, is talking about Danish singer, Danish, who is already a rage in Punjab after the success of her first Punjabi album, Heer from Denmark.
Kolind, along with cameraman John Johansen, is following Lerche since the past one week in the bylanes of Bollywood, as she goes about trying to make a career for herself in the Hindi film industry.
“We’ve been showing Bollywood films on one of our channels in Denmark on every Saturday night and it’s become very trendy. Since more and more viewers are interested in Bollywood, we thought of doing a documentary around it,” explains Kolind.
For the purpose of the documentary, Kolind is on the lookout for stories of Bollywood aspirants, and people who’ve ‘made it’, so she can paint a picture of Bollywood for the Danish audiences. “And of course, there’s the developing story of Anita and her struggles in Bollywood as well. Since Anita is a well-known name in Denmark, and she’s done well for herself in Punjab, we wanted to see how far she can go,” she continues.
Smiles Lerche, “I’m fascinated by the Indian film industry. I’ve spent one-and-a-half years in Punjab, learning and singing in Punjabi, and I now hope to get into a Bollywood movie as a recording artiste, or with a small role maybe.”
So far, the going’s been good for the duo. Lerche recently performed at an Indian friend’s wedding, and the reaction was encouraging. “There was a big commotion around her at the wedding; everyone wanted to see her and speak to her. We even performed for a musician here and he was quite surprised that she sings so well,” reveals Kolind.
“I even performed for the cast of No Problem at Film City, where Anil Kapoor and Sushmita Sen watched and really appreciated it,” says Lerche. “The producers even asked me to sing a Danish song. It’s very heartening to me that people have, so far, liked my voice.”
The duo admits it has met with a few roadblocks on the way as well. The singer has picked up quite a bit of Punjabi, but is not completely fluent in Hindi, “We’ve met people who say it’s a Hindi industry and are skeptical at first,” says Louise. “But Anita is prepared to learn Hindi, and do whatever it takes to make this work.”
It’s not that I don’t know Hindi – in fact, I have sung a Hindi song dedicated to India during the 2007 Cricket World Cup,” says Lerche. “It’s just that I haven’t cut an album in Hindi. But thankfully, I’ve landed an audition for a music composer here and I’m sure, if I work with the right music composers, I’ll get the right guidance.”
Lerche isn’t afraid to struggle in Bollywood. She knows that her distinctive look can be a disadvantage for her at times, but she’s hopeful. “At least people will notice me,” she laughs. “I’m just hoping I get lucky. I have a theatre background and I’ll give it everything I can.”
I know if I have the passion, and work hard, I have a chance, because I carry a Bollywood dream in my heart. And I know, everything is possible in India!”