Singer-actor Monica Dogra, one half of the electro-rock band Shaa’ir+Func, and a Bollywood actor, has been keeping pretty busy. “I am working on an acoustic EP out in December. Plus, I have a film coming out,” informs the 31-year-old.
After making her acting debut in a guest appearance in Rock On!, (2008), she played one of the leading roles in filmmaker Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat (2011). Since then, Monica acted in David last year, and is currently working on a a new film project. “I am shooting for a movie with Vivan and Naseeruddin Shah right now. The movie is untitled as of yet.”
Being brought up in USA, Monica has had to work a lot on her accent for Bollywood films. But, interestingly, when she sings a Hindi song, she’s able to let go of her American accent. Her song, Dooriyan Bhi Hai Zaroori, in the Bollywood flick Break Ke Baad, is an example. Explains Monica, “I have been working on it (accent) quite a bit when it comes to acting. But as a singer, I pay attention to sonic sounds. Plus, for the song, Shekhar (one half of music director due Vishal-Shekhar) helped me with the diction.”
Talking about being selective about taking up movie offers, Monica says, “I’m open to offers but my hands are full right now ith a lot of music gigs. But I want to strike a balance.”
Balancing indie music with commercial Bollywood music can’t be easy, and Monica confesses to feeling a little lost sometimes. “I try to balance but yes, often I feel I’m losing my mind. It’s difficult but I try to do everything I love and keep going on, moving on to the next job,” she says.
Talking about the rising trend of exhibitionism in the music world, made even more popular by pop singer Miley Cyrus, Monica says, “Pop culture is a scary little monster. The whole act is manicured by a whole team. More than the voice, the performance is given importance. In the pop world, music often gets diluted. But Miley has achieved a lot and she’s doing very well, you can’t deny that.”