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Way to go Sopheee

Sophia is rocking again as a singer

AN ECONOMICS graduate, a singer, a VJ, an artiste and an entertainer - that's Sophia in a nutshell. Singing and acting have always been her passions. Sophia's foot tapping remixes has topped charts right from the time of their release. The latest being the peppy `Ek pardesi mera dil le gaya' from her album `Baby Love.' Her music is different because she re-creates rather than just re-mix, and therefore they come as a whiff of fresh air.

All-girl band

She came to Mumbai as part of the all-girl band `Sansara'. Remember tracks like `Yeh Dil Sun Raha Hai,' `Habibi'... the band did not go the extra mile but Sophia definitely did. The Loveline show on MTV, which she co-anchors with VJ Cyrus, is equally popular. She has also teamed up with the UK-based pop act `Right Said Fred' and has sung for their album. Her flair for languages goes like French, Urdu, Hindi, English and Italian, and she sings in Arabic, Spanish and Punjabi apart from Hindi.

This first-class graduate in European Politics and French from the London School of Economics (LSE) is indeed a trendsetter. During her recent visit to participate in Confluence 2005, an inter-collegiate management meet organised by GRD School of Commerce and International Business, in Coimbatore, Sophia took some time off to talk about life and music.

"Indian music is becoming global and am happy to be part of it. Indipop has really caught on and there is a need to promote Indian film music too. Bhangra has attracted a lot of attention in U.K. Punjabi music managed to make the crossover, because it has a lot of hip hop, the kind of music NRIs are familiar with. I am looking at some international collaboration to promote different kinds of music abroad," Sophia says.

She continues: "Music has given me a wider reach. Even people in smaller towns, who do not have access to MTV, identify me now."

Sophia is a performer. In a stage show, she jumps into the crowd. "As an artiste I want to sing, dance and involve the crowd."

What does she feel about the pop scene? "Bad. Singers should start performing in the videos to bring about a change. People here cannot associate a singer with someone who can be good-looking and can also perform. Just a handful of us like Shaan, Adnan Sami and Lucky Ali sing and perform."

Album

The success formula of her album: "Everything fell in place... my music director, the songs, the video, the publicity and my kismet (good luck). Any product, when it is good, becomes a success."

Will VJ Sophia rule the singer Sophia? " Life is all about balance. Music has been my first love and will always remain so. As a singer, I have a good knowledge of music, which is essential for a VJ. I am also working on my new album, which I plan to release by Diwali."

Is Bollywood her next stop? " Right now, I am busy with music, stage shows and VJing . Films have changed a lot and gone are the Sridevi and Madhuri days. I am very much open to the idea of working in films. But, I want roles that give me a scope for performance - like Karishma's role in `Dil To Pagal Hai.''

Her kind of music includes ghazals, melodies, romantic songs, bhangras, blues, western classical, fast and slow Hindi numbers too. "I also listen to regional music whenever I visit those places. I like Tamil and Telugu songs. I find an A.R.Rahman touch in them and have a good mix of East and West."

Among singers, she considers Asha Bhosle as her inspiration. " Touching 70, her voice rocks." Apart from music, her passion is travel. "I love travelling. I like places such as Paris and India has never ceased to amaze me. From one end to the other, we are an artistically rich country. I also love to splurge on shopping and enjoy eating good food." "I always believe in my conviction and will continue to chase my passion. Life is short, make the best use of it," she sums up.

K. JESHI

Photo: K. Ananthan

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