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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Usha Uthup’s genius closes Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival with a bang

The second day of Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival 2017 witnessed power-packed performance by pop, jazz and playback singer Usha Uthup

entertainment Updated: Apr 17, 2017 15:07 IST
Oindrila Mukherjee
Oindrila Mukherjee
Hindustan Times, Kasauli
Singer Usha Uthup performing during the 2nd day of Kasauli Rhythm & Blues music festival at Kasauli on Saturday.
Singer Usha Uthup performing during the 2nd day of Kasauli Rhythm & Blues music festival at Kasauli on Saturday.(Ravi Kumar/HT)

A legend never fails to disappoint when you hear the festival headliner Usha Uthup bring the house down with a scintillating act that is groovy as well as surprising. A true musician moves ahead with time and Uthup proved it as she sang her version of the French electronic duo Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’.

The track, from the duo’s fourth studio album ‘Random Access Memories’ was released in 2013, fits well with Uthup’s brand of music. The album was a tribute to American music of late 1970s and early 1980s.

“The younger generation is fabulous and sky is the limit for our music industry,” says Uthup, who is one of the pioneers of the original gig culture patronised by nightclubs of late ’60s in cities like Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Indian music industry has opened up more than ever. Young talent is getting due recognition and film stars are taking to singing. Music directors such as AR Rahman, Vishal Dadlani, and Amit Trivedi are pushing the boundaries wider, to include genuine creativity.

“I love the fact that some film stars are singing their own songs now. The concept of playback is Indian to the core. There is no such concept in the West. As for young talent, we didn’t get the kind of opportunities that they have now. But I’m glad that I have lived to tell the tale that it all started with me,” she laughs.

The multilingual singer, all of 69, has marched to the beat of her own drum - be it her famous baritone, her style or how she embraces the outside world. Uthup’s signature silk sari and big bindi, with the letter ‘K’ from the Bangla alphabet, never fails to impress.

“I’m still the same person inside. I come from a middleclass South Indian family, where I didn’t know anything more than a sari,” she says, adding that her only advice to the younger generation is to “discover yourself, and remain original.”

“Don’t be sad. The good always stays and the bad goes out. I’m optimistic and grateful to my audience for all the love,” she signs off.