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Sydney-based singer was given her Bollywood break by musician whose death has saddened the industry at large.
“I’ve lost my mentor, and the first person that believed in me and my talent,” Priyanka (Pri Pri) Bhanushali told Indian Link.
The Sydney-based singer-songwriter was given her break in India’s entertainment industry three years ago by music composer and singer Aadesh Shrivastava, who passed away in Mumbai on Saturday 5 September.
He had been battling cancer. He was 51.
Shrivastava breathed his last at 12.30am on 5 Sept, a day after he turned 51, on what was being marked as Krishna Janmashtami (the birth of Krishna), nationwide.
It’s an auspicious day to start a journey to the heavens, a philosophical Pri Pri noted in her post on Facebook.
Priyanka Bhanushali met her mentor in hospital two days before he passed away. “He was in no state to talk,” she said gently, but revealed that as she paid her respects, he recognised and acknowledged her.
No doubt that last meeting will stick on in young Priyanka’s mind, as she builds on her singing career that Aadesh helped launch. She’s currently in India working on a movie in which she acts as well as sings.
“His great soul will always look upon me and will always be a part of my journey in music,” reads her post.
Priyanka, who sings in Hindi and Punjabi just as well as English, got her first break with Aadeshji when she was but 19.
As a young singer on a trip to India to test the waters, a family member introduced her to the music director, who was well known for his work in projects such as Chalte Chalte, Baabul, Baghban, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Raajneeti.
After listening to samples of Pripri’s work, the acclaimed director is said to have noted in typical Mumbai style, “Ye ladki fahd dalegi!’ (She is going to crack it!)”
He called her in, and hours later, they has recorded a Hindi club track verse.
“That was unusual for me, as I had never sung my own Hindi song before!”
There was no stopping her after that. Aadesh signed her on for his own label Raaga Studios.
She recorded an album for Aadesh, alongside Shaan who also sang a few numbers.
Of her work with Aadesh, Priyanka admits that she loves her track Raata Milaya the most. “It was a challenging number and had a Punjabi classical touch to it,” she says.
Bringing it to Indian Link Radio in 2012, she had then described the grind that had gone into the making of the song.
“Aadeshji pushed hard, and I was reduced to tears on many an occasion! I slogged over that number. But when Aadeshji played it for singers Shaan and Sunidhi, and they were all praise, I reckoned it was all worth it!”
Aadesh was never one to mince words, Priyanka recalls.
“His frankness has led to misunderstandings on various occasions, but for me, I think it was exactly this quality of his that made me find my true potential. No one believed in me like he did.”
The musician is survived by wife Vijeta Pandit, an actor and singer, and two young sons.