A shooting star

Debarati Palit Singh
Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Priyanka Negi, who has made a shift from sports to music, says that in spite of participating in Indian Idol, it was difficult to get a break in Bollywood

Former Indian Idol contestant Priyanka Negi is in a happy space now. The singer recently received the Live Performer award at Spotlight Awards and her playback debut song Titri from the movie Phamous is being appreciated a lot by listeners. 
Congratulate her on receiving the award and she replies, “It feels good to receive an award after spending so many years in the live event industry and getting appreciated for your efforts. It keeps you motivated in life.” 

Throwing light on how she bagged Titri, Priyanka says, “I got a call from a very talented music producer Pankaj Bora to sing something with a rustic feel and on the lines of a folk song. I told him, ‘I will give it a try’. I heard the demo track and loved the lyrics and composition.” 

Priyanka says that she had to prepare a lot before going to the recording studio. “I heard a lot of folk singers because the producer wanted that feel. I listened to the songs of Rekhaji (Bharadwaj), Sapna Awasthi, Ila Arun and many other singers so that I could give my best. I entered the studio and finished my recording in one and half hours, which was very surprising for music director Sandeep Goswami too. Along with the director and producer, he also loved the track.”

Having started her career in Bollywood, the talented singer says that she doesn’t want to stick to any particular genre. “I want to do all kinds of music — I have been singing romantic, sad, semi-classical numbers. I have performed at live shows, dubbed in the studios and even jammed with other musicians. I want to give my 100 per cent in whatever I do,” she says. 
Is recording in the studio more exciting than live performances and reality shows, we ask her. “They are different worlds. 
When you are on the stage, you are there for the public but when you are in the studio, you are singing for yourself. You can take as many retakes as you want. On stage, there are no retakes. Having said that, I like to take up challenges and enjoy singing both on stage and in the studio.”

Several participants from Indian Idol are making their mark in the music and film industry. Priyanka, who participated in Indian Idol 4, says that she is living her dream and it couldn’t have been better. “After Indian Idol 4, my life has drastically changed. I never thought that I would be a professional singer in the future. I was pursuing my graduation and after completing it, I came back to Mumbai,” she says. 

She adds that after coming back to Mumbai, she had to work hard to mark her presence felt in Bollywood and live music industry. “I have been doing live shows for six years and loving every bit of it,” she adds. 

Making your presence felt in the industry isn’t an easy job because of the competition. Everyday several talented singers make their way to Mumbai to try their luck. Does she think that despite being part of such a popular reality show, it was hard to get a break? “There is no denying that there is cut throat competition in our industry. In spite of being part of such a popular show, it was difficult to get a break. But I believe that you need to keep on working towards your dream constantly. You cannot give up; you need lot of patience. You need to keep working harder and harder,” she observes. 

Not many know that Priyanka is also a state level air pistol shooter and is related to Jaspal Rana, who has won medals for our country in many shooting competitions including Doha International Shooting Championship. So how did the shift from sports to music happen? “It was a beautiful transformation. It’s not that I did not want to continue with sports. I was doing my graduation when I watched Indian Idol season 1. Till then, I used to sing casually at events and family parties but I was not a trained singer. I thought, I should also go and give auditions as so many people were doing that. I participated in Indian Idol 3 and reached top 40 without any training. That’s when I realised that I should choose music. I went back, took proper training and came back for the fourth season and became one of the finalists,” says the singer who has several projects in the pipeline. 

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