Musician Neeti Mohan provides a glimpse into the tracks of Shamshera
One is a love song titled Fitoor that was released just a few days back, while the unreleased one is a dance number
Neeti Mohan dons the crown of versatility with pride when it comes to setting the mood of a song with her vocals. Her voice flows swiftly through the high notes of a song like Tune Maari Entriyaan from Gunday (2013), while simultaneously being capable of evoking layers of emotions through Nainowaale Ne from Padmaavat (2018). The lady who spun magic this year with Gangubai Kathiawadi’s most talked about song Meri Jaan was recently in the city. We spent an afternoon speaking about navigating through Bollywood, genres she wishes to explore more and her undying love for Churmur and Mishti Doi. The eldest of the Mohan sisters has hummed two tracks from Ranbir Kapoor’s upcoming movie Shamshera.
Has it been challenging for you to navigate through Bollywood without a godparent?
It is true that Bollywood is perceived as a scary place from a distance, and that is the exact reason why I never expressed my long harboured wish to become an artist while growing up. There were inhibitions about people laughing at my dreams and deeming it as an impossible thing to achieve. However, my parents saw the passion and discipline I hold towards music and didn’t just encourage me but my sisters Shakti, Mukti and Kriti as well to pursue what we really want to do. People did give our parents a doubtful glance when they pushed us to pursue our dreams on our own, but it was the faith they bestowed upon us that made us confident. It isn’t just Bollywood that has a mixed bag of good and bad, every field consists of all kinds of people. It is important where you put your focus.
What helps you stay versatile with your vocal feel and texture? Is there any genre that you wish to explore more?
It is important to acknowledge what the music director has on his mind. I try to have a clear picture of the sort of character I am lending my voice to, take notes from the film and music makers and then cook it in my head. I take my voice as a tool of creation, and try to use it differently each time for each project. Putting in the same vocal texture and psyche for every character doesn’t work as each of them has a different persona. I love the process.
I used to sing a lot of folk songs as a kid, but yet to explore folk music when it comes to being a professional musician.
You have sung two songs for Shamshera. Can you share glimpses into the movie’s soundscape?
One is a love song titled Fitoor that was released just a few days back, while the unreleased one is a dance number. These were recorded long back but got delayed due to the pandemic. Shamshera will see me work with Mithoon for the first time, and I have always been awestruck by his melodies. I can assure the sort of soundtracks Mithoon has composed for Shamshera is going to take many by surprise as he has surpassed himself in this movie. It all adds up as my sister Shakti has choreographed the dance sequences.
What keeps bringing you back to Kolkata?
It has to be Churmur, Jhaal Muri, Mishti Doi and my maternal roots in the city. My mother’s side of the family still resides in Bhowanipore and we used to frequent the city of joy as kids. I am also extremely fond of Lyangra mangoes. Me and Kriti are so fond of Kolkata street food that we have found a guy who makes Jhaal Muri in Mumbai as well. We also get dry Pani Puris at times and make Churmur out of them.
Any upcoming singles?
I have a few devotional and romantic singles coming up but I will be able to talk about it only when they are ready for release.
Which yester-year star would like to lend your voice to?
It has to be Madhubala
Any international star who you would like to collaborate with?
If you were not a singer, what would you be?
I would definitely pursue a career in the Indian army.