Usha Uthup discusses her biography ‘The Queen of Indian Pop’

Usha Uthup talks about her biography The Queen of Indian Pop, and why she likes to name herself a ‘individuals’s singer’

Usha Uthup talks about her biography The Queen of Indian Popand why she likes to name herself a ‘individuals’s singer’

Indian pop icon Usha Uthup is 74 and she or he has been singing for 53 years. She can sing jazz, people, pop, rock and in Bangla, Assamese, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam, and in a complete variety of 17 Indian languages ​​and eight international languages. “It’s not just for the records. I am regularly singing in all these languages,” says the singer.

Usha says her biography The Queen of Indian Pop: The Authorized Biography of Usha Uthup by Vikas Kumar Jha, translated by Srishti Jha (Penguin) celebrates life and music. “When people ask me my genre of music, I realize that I truly am a people’s singer. It’s quite amazing, especially when you are singing in so many different languages. For example, while performing western music and when I notice a Tamil person in the audience, then I change to singing ‘Bampara kannaale kaadhal sangathi sonnale’, There is an instant connect. None of this is planned, I built on it from show to show.”

Similarly, her legendary bindi-saree-gajrae look occurred due to her South Indian center class upbringing the place ladies wore sarees with jasmine flower to adorn their lengthy braids. “It was not a conscious marketing decision to position my image. I’ve been wearing bangles from ever since I can remember. Even when I am taking an early morning flight, the security girls at airport ask me poo engey,” she laughs, including, “I cannot grumble about it.”

Her first memoir was penned by journalist Vikas Kumar Jha in Hindi known as Ullas ki Naav. “It by no means struck me that I ought to write an autobiography. When Mr. Jha approached me, I by no means imagined a western or pop music singer being written about in Hindi. He bought my belief and stated ‘yeh jeevni hogi’ and that is how it began.

Srishti Jha in Coimbatore

Srishti Jha in Coimbatore | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

For translator Srishti Jha, the ebook is particular as she was getting a peek into the Indian pop queen’s life, but in addition sharing area together with her father on the identical ebook cowl. Though a few of her evergreen classics embody ‘Hari Om’, ‘Rambha ho ho’, ‘Darling’ and ‘Jeete hai shaan se’, Srishti picks ‘Darling’ as her favourite. “Her energy is amazing. And her voice has been relevant across five generations. A 15-year-old would break into dancing when he hears ‘Rambha ho’. I look at her as a youth icon. Usha ji has always said that she is an ordinary woman but she’s lived an extraordinary life,” provides Srishti.

Her biography covers her childhood days in Mumbai to her rise as a pop icon in India in addition to her philanthropic work. “I’d climb a tree, sit with a pillow and read a book,” she says, bursting into fun including that sure chapters moved her just like the time “when I couldn’t walk because of the after effects of polio, but I overcame it”.

“I don’t talk much about my problems. I don’t make a sensational copy, which is why you haven’t heard me talk about many things for so many years except the things that are known about me.”

Though she wished that she realized sight-reading or notation that may have helped her profession, regrets does not pull her down. “Technicalities overrule magic of the stage and magic of the moment. Because of my limitations, I don’t even begin to try and sing like S Janaki, Chitra or Lata Mangeshkar. Why would I want to sing like KJ Yesudas? Just sing like yourself. People from North India may not be familiar with all Tamil or Malayalam songs, but they might just like the melody, presentation, and listening to a ‘Ottagaththa Kattiko’… Being able to communicate is important. A song is a song and always bigger than the singer.”

Recently, Usha Uthup played Akshara Haasan’s grandmother in Acham Madam Naanam Payirppu that released on Amazon Prime. People still remember Maggie Aunty of 7 Khoon Maaf and the Malayalam film Pothan Vava where she played actor Mammootty’s mother. “I’d love to do a film where I am a bartender or selling some stuff on the road or may be a table cleaner in a restaurant, but provided I hold the secrets of people visiting my place. Even if it’s a cameo, it has to be a powerful role.”

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