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After being introduced to singer Aneela in the Bluffmaster OST hit Say Na, The Record meets the Denmark-born, London-educated singer and finds that she’s lost her heart to India on her first trip here. Her enthusiasm is infectious and we find ourselves engaged in a long chat about making music, girl power, the future of India and what it’s like to wield a machine gun while staying upright in high heeled boots!

The Record: Welcome to India, how has your trip been so far?
Aneela: It’s been great! This is my first visit and I had no idea Say Na was so big here. I knew it was a strong track but coming here and seeing for myself how people react to it is just great. I performed it live and people went crazy! They were standing on chairs and dancing, doing the bhangra on one leg... [laughs] I felt so good watching them ~ they gave me so much energy and I could give that back. I love it!

TR: People know you from Say Na… how would you introduce the rest of your album to them?
Aneela: I think with the album, it shines through that my initial introduction to Asian music was through folk music because even though I’ll have a dance beat in a song, I’ll always have my folk music touch. Like the chorus in Say Na is very Punjabi even though the lyrics are in English and the verse is in Urdu-Hindi… the folk music touch shines through. And that’s the case with most of the songs on the album.
The fact that I was born in Denmark, I studied in England, I’ve got friends of all nationalities and religions and the music saw collaborations with producers of different musical backgrounds and ethnicities, and I think that is why I loved making this album. I took two years to make it but we only worked when we were inspired. And you know we never went into the studio and thought, ‘Okay, today let’s make a Punjabi track.’ It was always, ‘Okay today I feel happy so let’s make an uptempo track.’ So we would put down some initial beats and then I would just let my mind travel and sing over it. That’s how we made the songs.

TR: Sounds like it all came together quite naturally…
Aneela: Yeah, I’m a free spirit and sometimes people ask ‘Why don’t you write romantic ballads,’ and you know I’m just not a lovey dovey, mushy person. [Laughs] I have a very tomboyish, active outlook on life. I’ve never been a ‘hold hands and sit at a candlelight table’ kind of person. I like to go play paintball, or pool, or just go out and be active. Today’s girl is not this quiet thing that needs guys to open jars for her or something!

TR: Yeah, you have to have more than that…
Aneela: Absolutely, [laughs] you know, we say, ‘Inspire me, make me think, challenge me’. In a deeper way, make me want to be better, inspire me to follow my dreams and let me do the same for you. I don’t need a Superman to save me every time, and that’s the kind of attitude I think I have in my songs. In particular I think of the song Doli. I know Say Na was a big wedding song this year and on Doli I wanted to do something different and I call it ‘the alternative wedding song’ because the attitude is different. She says ‘bring the doli [wedding procession] over but when it suits me and how it suits me’ [laughs]. It’s just a lot of fun!

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Aneela in the January 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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