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YouTube sensation in Bollywood to act, sing

Canadian singer Natalie Di Luccio, who’s rendition of Tu Jaane Na... garnered a million views on the site, wants to pursue a career in Hindi music.

music Updated: Mar 14, 2011 16:05 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani

Twenty-one-year-old singer Natalie Di Luccio was studying Western classical singing at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, when an Indian composer showed interest in her work on MySpace. She agreed to collaborate with him, and as it turned out, she made her way into Sonu Niigaam’s Maha Ganesha album. But it was the Canadian-Italian singer’s rendition of Tu Jaane Na… from Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani on YouTube that brought Bollywood this close to her.

Launched last year on September 29, the video became the most watched in India on October 3 and hit 1,000,000 (one million) views a few days ago. “I liked the song when I heard it in India last year,” says Luccio. “So I thought I’d try recording a westernised version. I didn’t understand the language and I mostly did it for fun, but within days it received 600,000 views on YouTube.”

Passage to India
It’s after the song’s popularity that Luccio decided to set up camp in India. “I was working on an English-Italian album. My manager would keep asking me to practise a particular song and I’d be watching a Bollywood film instead! It came to a point where I had to decide whether to focus on India or on my work,” says the singer, who is now in talks with music directors such as Pritam and Vishal-Shekhar on upcoming projects.

“Two of my Hindi renditions were played on TV show Dance India Dance last month. I’m also performing at a fashion show hosted by Karan Johar in Delhi on March 26,” says Di Luccio. “I have a Hindi tutor too and I’m surprised at how well I’m learning the language,” she says. “I also want to act in a Bollywood movie and I’ve received positive responses.”

There may even be a movie made on her life courtesy filmmaker Heeraz Marfatia. “Her story is very interesting and makes for a great international film. We’re still working out the details,” he says.