Srinagar — Prominent Bollywood playback singer, Richa Sharma, says that Kashmir gets immersed in one’s professional work as it has a deep sufi-connect.
In an exclusive interview with Greater Kashmir, Sharma, who was recently here to shoot her upcoming songs, says that she was excited to sing in Kashmiri as it was a unique language and the place was having deep Sufi-connect.
The songs Sharma has sung are produced by Rani Hazarika of AR Music International. “Coming back to Kashmir after a gap of over two-decades made me cry. I recollect all my memories here.”
“Everything looked fresh. I was in Kashmir to recollect all my old memories, create new ones and go back with a long lasting impression about this place,” she says.
“This place (Kashmir) has something divine. We have witnessed so much destruction due to COVID in the last two years and this left everyone and each one of us deeply affected. But thankfully I am feeling fresh and rejoiced here now,” she says.
Recollecting her earlier visit, she says back in 2000 when she and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan were performing during the launch of DD Kashir channel, she couldn’t go out and meet people.
“It was a brief trip and we had to wind up our trip soon after the launching ceremony.” “I am thankful to AR Music and their team for persuading me to come back to Kashmir to do a few songs here.”
“A lot is said in the mainstream media about Kashmir and Kashmiris but this place is a perfect solace to every visitor.” Sharma, besides shooting for AR Music, is also recording the locales for her upcoming song ‘Dil Janiya’ which she says was a part of singing career.
“Dil Janiya is a song which is deeply close to my heart. This is the song that I would sing in auditions when I landed in Mumbai a few decades ago. This is my own composition and I never hesitated to present it before the legendary music directors when everyone wanted to hear singers sing songs of Lata ji, Asha ji and others.” “Everything has a destiny and so has this song. Everything fell into place from dates, shooting and even coming to this place. I feel so blessed and happy.”
From singing devotional songs to becoming a popular playback singer in Bollywood, Richa Sharma says music is her soul irrespective of any genre."
“Be it bhajans or ghazals of Bollywood peppy songs, I don't sing songs on the basis of its form. I love singing all types of songs. I can't differentiate between the two forms. For me, music is everything. It is my soul."
The famous singer, who is also known as ‘India’s Abida Parveen’, says that Kashmir and Kashmiri were close to her heart. “I was 13-year-old when my family and I got in touch with a guy (Gaga) from Kashmir. He was into handicrafts business in Bangalore. I made him my (raakhi Bhai) and that is how I was introduced to Kashmir and Kashmiri.” “However, we lost touch with him and we tried our best to reconnect. This time when I am in Kashmir, I wish I could just bump into Bhai.”
The prominent singer says she'd like to return to the Valley again and do more work here: "The people are very gentle, well mannered, beautiful and simple. I enjoy my stay here."
Richa Sharma, who has sung Bollywood's longest track, the bidaai song, in film Baabul in 2006, says that she was excited to sing in Kashmiri language too.
The prominent singer says that art sans boundaries and there are a lot of things to be evolved in the spheres of art.
Prominent actor and theatre director, Ayash Arif says “Such initiatives are really overwhelming and more voices should come over the scene and promote Kashmiri language." "Art has a great connection and it transcends all boundaries."
Mumbai based music director, Jaan Nisar Lone, says "We are planning to rope in a few legendary artists of Indian music industry to lift Kashmiri music to the next level.”
Lone, who has given Kashmir many popular songs, says that artists in Kashmir have witnessed an indifferent approach the society at large and government too hasn’t done any good in this regard.
“The struggle of every musician in Kashmir is commendable. However, shutting doors on the artists by the prominent government-run bodies is really worrying. I am doing my bit to preserve and promote the Kashmiri music and take it to the next level.” He says, “If you look back, you would get to hear Asha Bhonsle, Ila Arun and many other legendary singers, who have recorded in Kashmiri language and suddenly, the repository of Kashmiri music has gone. We are trying to build it up and get more fresh voices to sing Kashmiri.”
While many preparations with regard to films and other projects are on, singer Richa Sharma is all excited to sing in Kashmiri language. “I am told a lot of stories and rich sufi poetry of Kashmir. I am really excited to record in Kashmiri language,” she says.