In the competitive world of music, one of the biggest challenges is to make a name for yourself. The humble Meghna Mishra has definitely made it big, that too at the age of 17.
Having shot to fame after Secret Superstar, her debut Bollywood film, Mishra gained immense appreciation for work. She sang five songs in the movie and received the 63rd Filmfare Award under the Best Playback Singer category for her song ‘Nachdi Phira’.
In an exclusive interview with Music Plus, Mishra recites the story of how she landed the opportunity to work with the industry bigwigs.
“Secret Superstar wasn’t the first film I had sung for. My first singing opportunity was in a Marathi movie, Vitti Dandu, in 2014. One fine day, music director Santosh Mulekar Sir called up my mom and casually asked about my whereabouts. He then told her that I would receive a call and I would have to send an audio sample. Later, we received a call from Ashish Narula Sir, and I sent my audio sample. He, then, forwarded an address and asked me and my father to be present there on a particular day,” said Mishra.
Building up the suspense, she continued,
“I was asked to sign a few papers and we were called in. Little did I know that it was Amit Trivedi Sir’s office. I was shell-shocked. He then told me that I had just signed up for Secret Superstar and that I will be singing for the protagonist. My joy knew no bounds.”
Meghna and her mother Arti Mishra stayed in Panchgani for 10 days to record the songs. According to Meghna, Amit Trivedi would brief her about the song and the tune, then she would rehearse the whole day and record in the evening.
When asked about her experience working alongside one of the biggest Bollywood music directors, Amit Trivedi, and actor Aamir Khan, she said,
“At first, I was nervous and after I spent more time with them, I became comfortable. They are so friendly and I felt completely at ease working alongside such talented people from the industry. It was a wonderful experience. It was my first time working with such great personalities. But, the best part is that they were so helpful. I could learn so much from Amit Sir, Aamir Sir, Munir Kausar Ma’am (lyricist) and the entire crew and team. I feel more confident now. Aamir Sir would always give me professional advice.”
Having stepped into the spotlight at a young age, Meghna became popular among her peers and her work was lauded by her fans. Young Meghna was initially overwhelmed but she never found it difficult to handle the attention.
“I rather enjoy the fact that people know me by my work. That’s a good thing,” she affirmed.
Swinging between her passion – music and necessity – education, Meghna reveals that it does get difficult. Sometimes, education does take the backseat.
“Right now, I’m in 12th Standard and I need to put in extra hours for my studies. But, I’ve always been more inclined towards music. My school, my teachers, principal – all of them are extremely supportive. They encourage me to pursue music but also help me with my studies.”
Balancing her work and her studies has been tough especially when she has to perform live and requires time to rehearse. Ever since her stint in the movie, Mishra has been performing at a lot of live shows.
“Honestly, I enjoy performing live more than recording. That said, recording is equally important because ultimately that’s what we perform live. I do feel nervous every time I get on the stage but when you have a humble audience, your fear vanishes. When the audience is supportive, it’s always fun to perform live,” she said.
Meghna, whose parents, Arti and Sanjay, both hail from a musical background and being the daughter of musically-inclined parents, Meghna had lived, breathed and felt music all her life. A life without music is beyond her imagination. If she hadn’t been a singer, she would have preferred to pursue a career in travel and tourism.
“I love travelling and I have travelled a bit within India. I’ve also been to China and Bangkok. My favourite place to visit is Benaras. I love it there because of the atmosphere – colourful, so many beautiful places to explore, the amazing food and the warm affectionate people.”
The success of her big Bollywood project did open new doors for Meghna.
“I do get calls from experienced music directors as well as newcomers. I can’t reveal whom I am working with but as far I can say is that all looks well now. I’m currently working on a Bengali film which will release next year, around February or March.”
The journey of this young singer has just begun. Looking forward to her musical career, Mishra would love to focus on being a classical singer.
“I have been vocal training with my father and I hope when my voice is more mature, I would receive good offers to sing,” signs off Mishra.
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