How old were you when you first stepped into a recording studio?
I must have been barely two when dad would carry me to the studio. I recorded my first song when I was about five. (Laughs) I was clueless about what was happening. But this time, dad whispered to me, "You're on your own now.."
Why Ugly aur Pagli?
Why not? It's a chick flick and it's a super cool club song. Just right for a 17-yearold. Earlier, I had sung a few verses for J P Dutta's Umrao Jaan, and some mellow numbers for Tere Sang. But this was more fun.
What has been the feedback?
Terrific. My friends refuse to believe it's my voice. I'm not well versed in Punjabi. In fact, since I've been studying French and Spanish these last few years, I've almost stopped speaking in Hindi. (Laughs) I didn't even know the meaning of talli. But today, when my song is No. 5 on the charts, the effort seems to have paid off. It's not a solo song. I didn't choose it, dad and the film's producer (Rangita Nandy) did. I'm okay about sharing the credits with Ishq Bector and Hard Kaur.
On Talli you sound quite like Sunidhi Chauhan.
Yeah, I've been told that.. maybe the comparisons will stop after a while. Sunidhi and Shreya (Ghoshal) are my seniors. With just one song, I can't be pitched as their competitor.
What happened to Tere Sang?
It should be out by the year-end or early next year. I believe you had a school band. Yeah, and they made me sing Smoke on the water on stage. Before our first stage performance, the drummer locked all the instruments in the car and lost the key. (Laughs) Five minutes before the performance, we were hunting for the key . But it happened.
Don't you want to take part in a reality singing competition?
May be Indian Idol but I can't because dad is a judge.
You've been writing songs too.
I love writing verses in English. Ten years from now, I see myself producing music, writing and composing songs. (Smiles) Then, dad and I together will be complete paisa vasool.
Is it goodbye to studies then?
No way. I want to go abroad for higher education. I'm studying business management. Dad wants a back-up of degrees.
How do you look at your father's career lulls?
Dad's career graph has dipped low.. 97 per cent of the time. There were months when he would be sitting at home. We had a tiny two-bedroom flat.. dad would dream about moving to a palatial bungalow.
Dad, mum, my sister Ada and I have been through a lot. My blood would boil when I would read the bad reviews. I felt so bad when he didn't win an award for Border, one of his best works.
What do you remember of your grandfather Sardar Mallik?
He was an extremely gifted composer. Dada would have been so happy to hear me sing, I'm the first girl from the family to enter the industry.
So, is it a boon or a bane to be a composer's daughter?
Definitely a boon. If I wasn't Anu Malik's daughter, would you be talking to me now?