Sydney girl makes Bollywood singing debut


Renowned music director Aadesh Srivastav launches the music career of Priyanka Bhanushali. KOMAL UTSAV JAGAD reports

Indian-Australian singer Priyanka Bhanushali has been flying high in Bollywood recently, but she still wants to fly! Confused? This young lady with a melodious voice will be releasing her debut album in November 2012, but she still aspires to taking flying lessons and becoming a pilot.

However for now, the 19-year-old is already making a mark in Bollywood with her singing abilities, having worked on her debut album with Aadesh Srivastava, the renowned and critically acclaimed music director and composer.

“I am doing the album with Aadeshji; it has eight tracks and will be completed by the end of this year,” says an excited Priyanka. “I have already recorded four solo songs for it and will be doing a duet song each with Aadeshji and Shaan as well.  The album is mix genre and includes raga-based classical Punjabi folk tracks, and a couple of club and dance numbers, among others,” she adds.

So how did Priyanka get her first break with Aadeshji? “It happened quite suddenly during my visit to India. One of my uncles in Mumbai helped get his contact details and I sent him snippets of my pre-recorded songs. When he heard the songs, Aadeshji immediately wanted to meet me and analyse my voice,” recalls Priyanka. “In amchi Mumbai style he said, ‘Ye ladki fahd dalegi!’ (‘She is going to crack it!’) Surprisingly, on very first day we recorded a Hindi club track verse, which was very unusual for me, as I had never sung a Hindi song previously,” she added.

How did Priyanka cope with a language unfamiliar to her? “I believe music is the language of the world. It’s about music, not the language. It was not very difficult as I was lucky to have people around me who support me to make things easier. I nailed the verse in one hour which left Aadeshji so impressed that he wanted to sign me for his own label,” she says.

“The team was very welcoming and now the studio feels more like a second home to me. They explain every song and its meaning, which helps me add emotion into the song to make it soulful,” adds Priyanka.

Of all the tracks, Priyanka admits that she loves Raata Milaya the most. “It was a challenging number and had a Punjabi classical touch to it,” she says. Priyanka spent two weeks in Mumbai recording for the album, and she is due to return there soon, to put finishing touches to the songs.

Priyanka is no stranger to music, as she is currently studying for her Bachelor degree in Music and Sound Engineering from the Australian Institute of Music. Her parents recognised their daughter’s talent at a young age and dad Anand Bhanushali proudly claims that her first guitar was specially customised to suit her six-year-old hands, as she is left handed. Priyanka began by learning the guitar and keyboards, and she has come a long way since then. The young lady began singing only at 14, and it is testimony to her talent that in just five years she is already recording an album with Shaan and Srivastava.

Priyanka spends a whopping three to five hours practicing singing every day, and records songs in her studio at home. She studied music since high school and cleared auditions for several Universities, finally choosing the AIM. This young lady takes keen interest in writing lyrics as well as composing songs. Priyanka is like a complete package – the right attitude, confidence, great looks and of course, great singing.

Priyanka’s family moved to Australia in 2004, and her parents have been ever supportive of her talent and career choice. “My parents have always encouraged me to follow my dream and live my passion,” she says. “Priyanka makes our day brighter,” says proud dad Anand. “Her pure soul is reflected in her heart-warming voice, she is our hope and blessing from the Almighty.”

Naturally, a few established artistes have influenced her singing, like Sunidhi Chauhan, Beyonce, Rihanna, Delta Goodrem and Adele. She also likes western commercial music like R&B, hip-hop and ballads, and has sung with various gigs here in Australia. So what’s next in the pipeline for this talented young singer? “Well, plans are on to record an album of western music in my studio, which will have eight songs and basic melodies. The project started recently, and will be a link between Australia and India, taking the connection one step closer,” says Priyanka who candidly admits that if her singing career hadn’t taken off, she would have made a foray into the modelling world. “I love the entertainment industry and have always followed fashion shows and competitions like Miss Universe and Miss World. If it wasn’t for my singing success, I would have chosen to be a model”.

Priyanka’s singing career seems to be already in mid-flight, and we wish her luck. But with all these exciting plans in the pipeline, will she have time to indulge in her hobby of taking flying lessons and piloting an aircraft? You bet! And guess what? She’ll do it!