Bollywood playback singer NEETI MOHAN contemplated joining the army but her decision to participate in the reality show Coke [V] Popstars took her life in a completely different direction. Following her winning the reality show, she became a member of the now disbanded pop band Aasma. Ten years on, Neeti made her debut with the playback singing for the song Ishq Wala Love from Karan Johar’s Student of the Year and thus began her foray into Bollywood in 2012. A talented singer, she has shared the stage with music maestro A.R. Rahman on several occasions. Neeti Mohan talks about her Bollywood projects, independent albums and her love for silver jewellery.
You started your singing career in 2003 with Channel V’s Popstars, and made your Bollywood debut with the song Ishq Wala Love. Tell us about your journey to success.
It has been an incredible journey for me. I started my career with winning a reality show and being a part of a pop band Aasma. After that, I slowly graduated to Bollywood playback singing. It has been phenomenal. I have met some of the finest musicians on my way to making it here and I have learnt a lot. The best part is that I found my mentor A.R. Rahman and have had the chance to perform with him on many occasions. He has inspired me immensely. Touring with him, singing for him in the studio and being associated with
him for the last couple of years has changed me as a person and as a musician. It has made me think differently about life. I owe a lot to him. I would say that I am and I will always be on a musical journey and I would never say that I have arrived. There is a lot more to explore as a singer, as a performer and as a vocalist.
From all the songs that you have sung, which one is your personal favourite and why?
I feel connected to all the songs that I have sung. There is a part of me that reflects in all the songs that I have sung. However, if I had to choose, my personal favourites would be ‘Jiya Re’ and ‘Ishq Wala Love’ because they are my first two experiences in Bollywood playback singing. They will always be very special to me.
BY ALIYA LADHABHOY
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am singing for more films as well as working on some independent music albums. I can’t reveal more details at the moment.
If you weren’t a singer what would you have been?
When I was in college, I was very confused about my choice of career. I was very good at extracurricular activities like sports, dramatics, singing, dancing, and even NCC for that matter. At one point, I thought of joining the armed forces. It was very fascinating for me to visualise a girl in uniform being part of the Indian army. If I had not taken part in the reality show, I would have ended up in the army.
What is your personal style statement?
For me, it is important to wear something that is comfortable. Also, one can carry off anything with confidence.
Have you inherited your jewellery aesthetics from your mother? And were you enamoured by your mother’s jewellery as a kid?
I was totally enamoured by my mother’s jewellery as a kid. She has some amazing ethnic silver jewellery which she inherited from my grandmother – tagdi (waist chain), anklets, borla (maang tika) and more. I have always loved traditional jewellery and I have categorically told my mother that I want to own all of it.
When did you purchase your first jewellery piece?
When I completed my 10th standard, my mother gave me a gold pendant with my name written on it. It is really special to me and I treasure it. My first purchase was a big diamond solitaire. It was my way of affirming my independence as a working woman.
Do you have a favourite jewellery designer/brand?
I love the kind of diamond jewellery that Tiffany & Co. has. I love the princess cut in diamonds; it looks very simple but a closer look reveals a lot of facets and the diamond reflects light from all over and sparkles like the stars.
One piece of jewellery that you will never part with…
I don’t know if you count a wristwatch as a piece of jewellery, but I would say my Tag Heuer watch. Also, my diamond solitaire earrings!
A jewellery brand that is on your wish list.
I think Cartier, Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston. I just saw some Harry Winston jewellery on my recent travels and they are exquisite.