From romantic film songs to cabaret to ghazals – the legendary Asha Bhosle has sung them all in her six-decade long career and says she has now minimised her presence in film music because she has had enough of playback singing.
“People retire at the age of 50, but I’m still singing and have sung so much. Singing 13,000 songs is not an easy task. I’ve sung so many songs with great singers, great music directors. Now I’m tired,” Asha, 77, said in an interview.
“Now whenever I get offered something very special then I will definitely sing, but otherwise I’ve sung enough. I’ve left no genre. Today you pick any song and you won’t be able to say that Asha has not sung a song like this,” she added.
It’s not that the crooner has stopped singing and she now concentrates on world concerts.
“I still sing and will keep doing that till I can. I do shows. I like it when I sing in English or Spanish or in any other language. I feel good,” said Asha.
The Padma Vibhushan awardee, who is the younger sister of veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar, is known for her versatility and inimitable style and stresses on the fact that every singer should possess that.
“Everyone should form one’s own style because when you copy someone then it’s not your own style. Lata didi is a great singer, but I never copied her style because I didn’t want to become like her.
“I never wanted people to say that Asha sings like Lata. Asha and Lata are different and I like it that way,” said the singer, whose work profile includes film music, pop, ghazals and bhajans to traditional Indian Classical music, folk songs, qawwalis and Rabindra Sangeet.
The singer has recently been named the goodwill ambassador of the Chevrolet Global Indian Music Awards (GIMA).
“I really like the concept of these awards and I have a lot of responsibility on my head as goodwill ambassador of this initiative. New singers and good music that is lost will come out with these awards,” she said.
“It’s very important to get good music in the forefront; otherwise the music of India is getting finished,” she added.
Asha, known for songs like “Dum maro dum”, “Mehbooba mehbooba”, “Mera kuch saaman”, “Piya tu ab to aaja” and “Chura liya hai tum ne” and her masterpieces in “Umrao Jaan”, including “Dil cheez kya hai”, believes that today’s singers don’t get their due.
“Me and other singers of my time were lucky to get a chance to sing film as well as non-film music. But today’s singers face many problems. Even though they sing well, they don’t get a chance. They don’t get recognition and that’s very sad.
“People don’t even come to know who the singer is or who has written a song. Only composers get the credit. No one else gets credit,” she said the singer who has sung in over 18 languages including Assamese, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, English, Russian, Czech, Nepali, Malay and Malayalam.