Alisha Chinai, A Feisty Singer With An Angelic Voice, Fearless Of Controversies

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The velvety texture of her voice has never failed to mesmerize us. Queen of Indipop and the heartthrob of many, singer Alisha Chinai has contributed some of the best pop songs in the Bollywood industry. She has left her voice indelible in the hearts of all music lovers throughout the 1980s until the late 2000s. Her soulful melodious voice compels to listen to her repeatedly. Since the beginning of her career, Alisha Chinai’s life journey has been full of diverse experiences. She has always been a rebellious soul. And as a result, Alisha Chinai’s career is chock-full of successes, whether it is her solo albums or the songs she has featured in films, but it also carries some controversy. Alisha recently spoke candidly about her personal and professional life on Jay-Ho! The Jay Kumar Show, wearing her heart on her sleeve.

Alisha Chinai commenced the conversation by outlining her upbringing and family history. It’s intriguing to learn that Alisha hails from a musically supportive household. She adds of her family, “My dad was a classical singer, so there was a lot of music at home. My mother loved to sing and had a lovely voice. I therefore had a complete blend of western and classical influences. She was raised in South Africa where she was born and raised. She was influenced by the west and listened to a lot of western music. In light of this, my entire fusion is western in nature, as is my entire sense of style. That is how I found my niche, then. My years were largely devoted to theatre and scholastic competitions. I always took the prize. When I finally started singing, I sang the jaw-dropping song “Another Suitcase” in a different hall. I received a lot of praise for that, and at the time, I signed a contract with HMV. That was terrific, and it served as the start.

How Can You Keep Your Musical Appetite Sated After Three Decades Of So Many Hits?

Alisha: I’ve consistently maintained the analogy between my solo albums and playback singing. For me, it actually worked. Speaking about my love for music, I will always select good music over anything else because a wonderful melody never fails to inspire. Particularly with regard to my own solo endeavours, where I have a choice, as opposed to playback singing, where you must do the song exactly as directed by the director and producers. And as I already mentioned, I constantly emerge and vanish like a magician, occasionally pulling off my hat trick, so I never go famished.

Which Do You Prefer: Solo Albums Or Playback Singing? And How Are They Balanced?

Alisha: I have always maintained a parallel career. Jadoo, Aah…Alisha, Baby Doll, Madonna, and later Made in India, which made history, have all been my solo albums. It was a pop anthem and continues to be sold in the millions worldwide. When MTV first arrived and there was no television, it changed mainstream singing at the time. The music scene was drastically altered by it. A large number of pop performers emerged during that time.

But I always continued in conjunction with my solo album and playback singing. I performed my first song with Bappi Da (Bappi Lahiri) Tarzan, and it was quite a hit. After that, I performed other dance tracks. Then comes the timeless heartfelt ballad Tinka Tinka, followed by the Bollywood anthem Kajra Re. Thus, I believe I have anthems for each decade. Thankfully.

You Stated Last Year That The Indian Music Industry Required A Herculean Shakeup. With So Many Changes Already Taking Place On Music Streaming Services. Do You Still Believe It To Be True, And If So, Why?

Alisha: I do believe that the music industry requires reform. I really believe that we need to strengthen our workplace ethics because they are now insufficient. Playback singing is relegated to the background, singers receive poor pay, and solo performers are really not given the flexibility they need to flourish. However, things are shifting, and the music business is going through some changes. And new work ethics will undoubtedly aid in this, ensuring that everyone receives their fair share of royalties and revenues.

There Are Comparatively Few Well-Known Female Pop Singers In India Compared To The West Where Many Emerge To Fame Each Year. What Do You Suppose The Cause Of This Is?

Alisha: India’s culture is still quite traditional and conservative. Pop artists are not treated seriously, therefore I believe it is somewhat inhabited. Pop style is more like freedom, and there were restrictions on how women could express themselves, unlike in the west. But I was very ahead of time and a little risqué. And a good deal of it generated controversy, but I dealt with it that way.

The Majority Of Your Songs Defied Accepted Guidelines For Songwriting, Singing, And Music. What Motivated You To Select These Songs Given That You Were Acting Like A Rebel?

Alisha: I did a lot of things that were a little daring and startling, but that’s just me. I had a somewhat rebellious outlook at the time. I needed that outlet to express myself since I’m an artist. Many of the songs that I was exposed to at the time also influenced the contentious environment. Every magazine’s front page featured sexy sexy. It sparked a significant debate. And if a simple statement caused any noise, that’s fine. I don’t feel guilty.

Do You Still Believe That Something Is Lacking Despite All Of Your Accomplishments?

Alisha: I would assert that I am not scratching a bite in order to progress. I like how things are right now. I prefer to work at my own pace. I don’t yearn for fame. I have experienced both. I just want to do what makes me happy at the end of the day. Of course, I would like for my music to be heard all over the world, to reach a larger audience, and to work with a lot more international musicians since music has the power to trade freely. And the world becomes so much more lovely and personal, bringing people closer together. Therefore, I believe that is something I want to do.

You Are Working With Furkat Azamov On Your New Album. What Brought The Two Of You Together, And How Are Your Personal And Professional Lives Going?

Aisha: My manager told me that Furkat Azamov observed me during a Facebook interview and is interested in working with you. When I did hear his actual music, I was pleasantly impressed. The moment I noticed how melodic his voice was, I gave it some more thought. Then we started communicating online, and the chemistry became electric.

Furkat is really special to me, she said. He has infused goodness and positivity into my life. Of course, music has also brought our souls together. He has a nice timbre voice, and working with him is wonderful. He has me as his Hindi coach.

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