When Canadian-Italian singer Natalie Di Luccio uploaded covers of her favourite Bollywood songs two years ago on YouTube, she didn’t know that her career would soon take a huge turn. Not only did her versions of
Kahin to hogi woh
, sung in an anglicised Hindi accent, go viral on the popular video sharing website, she also had a pleasant surprise waiting for her: she was offered work with an Indian composer whose work had inspired her from the beginning. “I love Bollywood music and I feel that the language doesn’t really matter because the melodies are so beautiful. After my videos became popular on YouTube, one of my friends forwarded my video link to AR Rahman, who had composed Kahin Toh and that’s how I got a chance to perform with him,” says the 22-year-old Toronto-based soprano.
After trying playback singing with songs like
Tenu Tak De
(Bitto Boss), Fatal Attraction (Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, 2011) and
(Band Baaja Baarat (2010), Natalie is now set to surpass linguistic boundaries. She will be singing a Marathi song for Sridevi’s comeback film English Vinglish.
“I love languages and since I’ve been singing in Hindi, Marathi wasn’t that tough. But yes, the ‘d’ and the ‘t’ sounds are the toughest for any foreigner in India,” says Natalie, who trained in western classical music at the age of nine. She went on to study music at McGill University in Montreal. As a soprano, she has performed in musicals such as Les Misérables and Seussical: The Musical.
Natalie will also be singing in Gujarati for an album composed by Gujarat-based composer Rushi Vakil. “I found Gujarati very difficult compared to other languages!” admits the singer, who will also attempt more difficult south Indian languages in a project she is doing with percussionist Sivamani. “I am also working on a single, which will have strong Indian musical elements. Hopefully, I will be collaborating with Rahman, who is such a wonderful and encouraging person,” she says.