Singing is my secret passion: Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra talks to Tushar Joshi about dream collaborations and going in for vocal coaching for her debut music album

Priyanka Chopra can sing. Those who’ve heard her hit those high notes on a Mariah Carey or Beyonce number claim she’s a born songstress. The rest of the world will have to wait till her adebut album is out to form their opinion. The wait won’t be long though, as PC will start working on her first major international pop album soon.

Incorporating flavours of RB and dance music, she plans to bring out a record that has a mix of up-tempo beats and ballads. A big Lady Gaga fan, Piggychops says it’ll be a dream come true to have Gaga sing on her album. Here are some excerpts from a free-wheeling chat about music and all things melodic.

When did you realise you could sing?
I’ve always loved to sing… but I never thought I was any good! Whatever I do, I like to give it my best… I’m very demanding of myself. So if it weren’t for the constant encouragement and support of family, friends, buddies from the music industry and so many other people, I really wouldn’t have thought about pursuing an alternate career in music. Singing is my secret passion… one of the things that makes me happy. I never really thought about it being anything else… until now!

If you weren’t an actress, would you have pursued singing?
I can’t say for sure. Like I said earlier, I love to sing but never really thought about pursuing it. I never actually thought about acting either… it was an opportunity that presented itself after my Miss World win and I just went with the flow. I was all set to become an aeronautical engineer.

They say one is born a singer, that it’s a gift from God. Do you agree?
Yes, I do. I also believe that anyone can sing if they have the right training and dedication.

Who are the singers you look up to? We hear you’d sing Mariah Carey songs back in the day…
That’s a tough question! My list is endless: From Michael Jackson to Mariah Carey and Rihanna to Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan…. I’ve been in awe of so much talent. I did have a very strong Mariah phase a few years ago though… I loved her voice and her music and I would sing her songs at the drop of a hat! It was fun. I’ve gone through many phases since then… same craziness, different artists! (laughs)

What kind of vocal training are you undergoing for your album?
I’ve been working towards strengthening my voice and on my technique. I haven’t really used my singing voice before, so I felt the need to get it “into shape”, so to speak. I’ve been working with a well-known voice coach in the US as well as in India. I’ve now made my vocal sessions a regular part of my routine.

How will you take time off to record the album? Will films take a back seat?
Absolutely not… I believe I can balance both careers. I guess I’m greedy… I want both and it helps that I’m a workaholic! I’ve scheduled my life in such a way that I’m able to give my undivided attention to both. I’ve always been good at multitasking, and I’m enjoying the challenge of bringing great characters to life in the movies. At the same time, I’m uncovering this whole new side in my life. It’s hectic and I don’t have time off from work, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s pretty darn perfect, if you ask me!

Since it’s a pop album, what kind of sounds can we expect from you?
I’m working on a lot of stuff right now, experimenting with different sounds and styles. It will definitely be upbeat. There’ll be a bit of dance, a bit of RB and a few ballads thrown in to appease my romantic side (laughs)!

Do you think music directors will want you for playback singing now?
I’ve actually been approached to do playback in my films many times. I’ve even gone into the studio and recorded a verse or two then backed out. I guess I just wasn’t ready. I’m a die-hard Bollywood girl and playback singing is something that’s been on my list of things to do for a while… so you never know, it just might happen!

Who are your dream collaborators?
My list is endless again! From David Guetta to Lady Gaga and all the incredible Indian talent that I’ve had the good fortune of working with in the movies, including all the wonderful young talent we have in India. My mind is bursting with ideas and I will reveal all when the time is right!

Between Katy Perry, Rihanna, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, who is your favourite singer of the moment?
If I had to chose, it would be Lady Gaga and Rihanna. I love their music and their style… they have an individuality that shines through in their music. They make the kind of music I like!

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