onita Gandhi: It’s crazy to see the power of Bollywood music – The first-ever Bollywood Music Festival in Saudi Arabia saw a headlining act by Jonita Gandhi, who wowed the audience with a medley of popular film dance songs, Tamil and Punjabi tracks on special demand, and even a few English numbers. The Indo-Canadian songstress, who started her playback career with Chennai Express, tells us more about her experience…
How was your experience headlining the first ever Bollywood Music Festival in Saudi Arabia?
A lot of fun! I was initially a little apprehensive about going there but that only lasted till the time we reached there. We bought our abayas and integrated ourselves in the culture. I realised that there is so much love for Bollywood music there — the crowd reaction was insane. I think that they were just waiting for something like this. I’m just glad that they thought of me to be part of it. As for the set, it was a mix of a lot of languages. I sang songs in Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati, Hindi and English.
How’s your experience been travelling to other countries and performing there?
What I do, especially when it’s a place I’ve never been to before, I try and spend at least half a day and explore a little bit. So, a lot of good experiences come from that. I love travelling and meeting people and feel so lucky that I get to go to all these places for free! (Laughs) I had never been to Doha and Qatar before and suddenly, I have gone there four times in the last two months. It’s so crazy to see the power of Bollywod music. I like going to places like Toronto and places where the audience has people from all different parts of the world. I feel people are blinded by their love for music and I love that.
You continue doing covers on your YouTube channel…
I try my best (smiles). It’s harder now because I travel so much and I’m involved in a lot of things. I released a cover few days ago. I do this thing called Sunday Singstagram every Sunday where I post live videos and fans leave comments on them. There were a lot of comments asking me to sing in Tamil, so, I decided to finally do it. It’s the song Zara Zara from Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein and I have done the Tamil version of it, titled Vaseegara. There are just a couple of Hindi lines in it. It’s a fun outlet for me and I enjoy the creative freedom it gives me.