Pure gold

Singer Sona Mohapatra, the Bolo Na girl, speaks a language of music lost to many ears, writes Sarika Sharma.

music Updated: Feb 13, 2009 14:25 IST
Sarika Sharma
Sarika Sharma
Hindustan Times

For five years she kept her songs to herself. She was happy playing to friends at home rather than bringing it down to the choices of music companies by making them sound ‘sexy’ or ‘fit to be played at mehndi or discos’. In Chandigarh to perform at the finals of Punjab Gold Cup Hockey tournament at the Sector 42 stadium recently, singer Sona Mohapatra speaks her music and her mind.

“I’m not from films, nor from the mainstream. I want to carve an identity not through films, but my music,” says Sona, tall at 5 feet, 8 inches. Naturally, she isn’t encumbered by public demand. “Music should be subliminal, contextual. It should give you space, personal, individual. I’m not here to follow trends or the market. I travel all over the world, soak in local flavours of music. I believe in music from the heart and that’s what connects. And even if it doesn’t connect with everybody, I will be glad that the 10-15 who liked it, understood it,” she says.

That’s why those who’ve heard Sona know her music and have been looking forward to her since Sona, her debut album in 2006. This summer, she comes out with Raat Din. The songs of this album too, like the previous one, have been penned by Chandigarh’s very own poet-lyricist Munna Dhiman. “It’ll have songs of day and night, a story woven around the theme,” she tells, of which you’ve all had a peep into with Paas aao, the jingle for Close-Up toothpaste that has been taken across 17 countries! “It’s the best way our song could be heard,” she says. The jingle has been produced by The Mint, Sona and her husband, Ram Sampath’s music production house.

Sona has never felt cowered by choices too. “People have told me ‘why don’t you become a model’, ‘why don’t you act’. Then I felt I’d be deflected from singing. But today, when my dream is in place, I can take to other things. And it is a great time to do so. Singers are acting, actors are singing. And artistes are celebrated for what they sing,” she says. Soon, you may see Sona acting too and that won’t come as a surprise, keeping in mind her good looks and her thinking personality. As of now, talks are on.

This has been a dream year for Sona. “I got to sing at Lincoln Centre in New York, which is any artiste’s dream”. Next on her wishlist was to sing at a stadium and it came true as she sang to 20,000 plus audience at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium. Chandigarh visit is also special as her lyricist, Munna, hails from here. “I’d like to keep him out of Bombay to uphold the magic and freshness of his perspective,” she says. Everything feels gold-dusted.

First Published: Feb 13, 2009 14:20 IST