By B B Nagpal
Versatile singer Asha Bhosle, who is 87 years young and has a career spanning over seven decades with over 1000 Hindi films apart from several private albums, is now coming out with her show titled ‘Asha Ki Asha’ to unearth new talent.
The show is the singer’s musical tribute to the world that gave her the adoration and adulation that she very much deserves. And in this age and era of nepotism and musical shows that thrive on drama more than talent, she says “My only interest is in the singers’ musical talent. It is not a show that will highlight his/her life.”
Even at this age, the youthful effervescence of her voice is mind-blowing and her enthusiasm is contagious. She is a Guinness Book world record holder as the most recorded artist in music history.
Padma Vibhushan Asha Bhosle also has an amazing repertoire of versatility ranging from Hindi film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical music, folk songs, qawalis and Rabindra Sangeet in over 20 Indian and foreign languages.
After launching her YouTube channel recently, Asha said: “I’ve always referred young talents to composers, but it is not always that they achieved their dreams.”
But lockdown brought with it the big idea. “One day, when I saw my granddaughter singing online with friends and having a blast, it struck me that I could unearth real talent through my YouTube and social media. Hence, I invite aspiring singers to send me two-minute musical videos so that I can review and give a platform to the best.”
Asha Bhosle is very clear that musical talent is all that she seeks. “I am looking for unique voices. The right pitch and rhythm sense are a must. Looks, dancing talent, age, gender, nationality – nothing matters. But those under 18 need parental consent.” Also, what’s more, is that the chosen one will be blessed by Asha Bhosle with Rs 100,000.
Asha Bhosle suggested that the song be recorded in a place with minimum external sound interference before he/she uploads it on www.ashabhosle.com. The song has to be either in English or Hindi, and the best talent will receive a certificate signed by the ageless diva herself.
Considering that Asha Bhosle faced the microphone for the first time as a 10-year-old. Now at 87, she is looking forward to guiding talented youngsters to tread on the same path that she did and let the world hear their voice. “The set was very hot and I was singing for the first time, and to add to that, I was acting as well. The temperature and the bright reflectors were so disturbing and exhausting that I fainted.” But she got up and finished the song. “This is not a look test. Focus on the song, the pitch, the rhythm and the voice. Sing from your heart. Trust me, the future is yours!”, she says.
BB Nagpal is a reputed Journalist, Visiting Professor (Media, PR and Cinema Studies), Film Critic for the past 51 years. He retired as Chief of Bureau of United News of India (UNI) after more than 36 years of service in November 2005 and was founder Chief Editor of the Lok Sabha TV channel.