As the Dubai Shopping Festival draws to a close, a treat awaits Bollywood music fans. Saving the best for last, two of Bollywood's most popular singers, KK and Shreya Ghoshal, will descend upon Dubai on Friday and treat their fans to a night of pop music with a concert - U, Me Aur Hum.
In an e-mail interview with tabloid!, Ghoshal - who made her singing debut with the acclaimed period drama Devdas - speaks of her phenomenal debut, the lull in her career and the upcoming concert.
You made a singing debut in Devdas in 2000, where you sang songs that were lip synced by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. How has the journey been?
I have enjoyed every minute of my success. It is true I had a dream debut. I was 16 when I was given the opportunity to sing for Paro [Bachchan is character] in a movie made by a director of such high calibre like Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Devdas may have brought me many awards, but surprisingly there was a lull in my career following Devdas.
I was not flooded with offers despite sweeping many prestigious awards. I think many started classifying me as an Indian classical singer and thought that my voice did not suit the regular Bollywood pop songs.
Fortunately, the lull did not last long. A phenomenal thing happened - I got a call from Kreem (M.M.Keerawani) from Chennai and was offered the chance of singing Jadu Hai and Chalo Tumko Lekar for the film Jism. These songs were a milestone in my career and helped me establish myself as a worthy singer.
From that point on, there has been no looking back. And the best part is I have not limited myself to Hindi songs. I have tried my hand at Bengali, Tamil and Kannada. The variety in singing offers is also splendid. Now, for every classical song like Mere Dholna (Bhool Bhulaiya) there is a poppy Latto (Ghajini).
What is the best part about performing in Dubai?
I have performed in Dubai twice before and I love the crowd. It's like performing in India. They love good music and there is nothing more satisfying than performing in front of an audience who are keen to enjoy some great music.
What can Dubai expect this time around?
I am not a singer who believes in planning every minute detail before a concert. I play it by ear, but you can surely expect to leave the venue satisfied.
You are one of the few singers to have won as many as eight awards in a year, including a national award for Best Singer for Devdas.
To me, awards are like getting a bonus. And to be honest, I never sing with expectations. Whether I win awards for a song or not, the question is whether I enjoyed singing the song. The real satisfaction is about getting a good song right.
What was your most memorable moment in your singing career?
Getting a telephone call from Sanjayji [director Sanjay Leela Bhansali].
If there is one song that you wish you had sung, which one would it be and why?
Oh, the list is endless. But if I were to pick, then I would have loved to sing the classics of Madan Mohan. His songs are close to my heart.
Which has been your most challenging project?
To be honest, every song is a challenge to me. Every time I record a song or perform in a concert, there is a series of question marks at the end of it.
Did you always want to be a singer?
Yes, I have always dreamt of becoming a singer. But to tell you the truth, I have always harboured another fantasy - being an astronaut who could fly to the moon and peer at the planet below.
Shreya Ghoshal will appear at the Global Village Amphitheatre at 8pm on February 13. Tickets vary in price from Dh100 to Dh295. For more information go to www.boxofficeme.com.