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Asha on the magic of Pancham

Women of her age like to be nestled in comfort, but Asha Bhosle shows no signs of slowing down.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 02:54 IST
Malvika Nanda
Malvika Nanda

Women of her age like to be nestled in comfort, but Asha Bhosle shows no signs of slowing down. A Grammy nomination, several foreign collaborations and a brand new album, Asha Reveals The Real RD, bear testimony to her unflagging energy.

“So many old songs have been forgotten despite their potential,” she says about The Real RD, her answer to “be-dhang” remix albums. “Now people are working with them, but they haven’t been given the right treatment technically and visually. I’ve made an effort to revive the magic of Pancham’s style. We’ve worked with Latin American and Caribbean sounds that he really liked. Even my granddaughter can’t stop dancing to old hits like 1, 2 cha cha cha, so I thought this will work.”

Asha’s versatility is legion — the singer, who has recently recorded two songs for a Bhojpuri film, Nehiya Sanehiya, was also one of the first Indian singers to collaborate with foreign artists. She is now set to perform with Grammy winner Kronos Quartet. “It’s incredible to see the kind of respect they give to Pancham — they call him Mozart! They want to know how he lived, what he ate and more. But then, RD has that effect on everybody.”

Asha now has one dream: working with Carlos Santana. “I have spoken to him about my idea,” she says. “I want to sing in Hindi and have him play in his Spanish style.”

She wants to do something for artists’ rights, too. “Nowadays, whenever a cover version or remixed song comes on TV, everything but the original singer’s name is mentioned. It’s not fair,” she says.

Future plans? “I want to cut an album that inspires the youth to take up classical music.” Knowing Asha’s determination, she would get that album out.

First Published: Mar 12, 2006 02:54 IST