TELEVISION PRESENTER, DANCER AND ACTRESS GREWAL SAYS MUSIC IS NOW HER TOP PRIORITY
by ASJAD NAZIR
SHE may have come to global prominence as a likeable presenter on television channel B4U Music, but now Khushboo Grewal is making a mark as a singer with a growing number of film songs including in recent release Baaghi.
Also an accomplished dancer and actress, themulti-talented
Khushboo is putting music at the top of her priority list with exciting plans including more live shows and interesting collaborations.
Eastern Eye decided to turn the tables on someone more used to asking questions to find out more about Khushboo and the interesting new musical chapter in her life.
You are used to asking questions, so how does it feel when you are being interviewed?
(Laughs) It feels great to be on the other side. I often think what I would have asked myself in such a scenario. Old habits die hard.
You are a talented dancer, actress, singer and, of course, TV host, but what was your first passion growing up?
I think I was born to perform. Right from my pre school years all the way until now, the stage has always been a dear friend. And singing and dancing came very naturally to me. My sister was my idol when I was growing up. I would copy her dance moves and would sing along with her at parties and that’s when I discovered this is what I love to do.
Most people made a connection to you through TV. How do you look back on your time as a TV host?
It was one of the best times of my professional career in Mumbai. I learned a lot. B4U gave me the freedom to host and plan my shows however I liked. The entire creative call was left up to us as VJs, which was a great learning experience and a confidence booster. Also, my coVJ
Salil was like an institute in himself. I owe a lot to my initial years at the channel.
What would you say was your most memorable moment as a presenter?
All the travel shows and interviews were always a lot of fun and something I will cherish forever. But if I have to pick one time, it would be interviewing Amitabh Bachchan. Just to share screen space with him and to get his undivided attention for half an hour is enough to intimidate anyone, but he is a truly humble and a modest man. He even gave me a small note of appreciation on his letterhead, which I have kept safely in my locker.
In terms of music, what do you feel was the turning point for you?
As far as my music career goes, I have just started and have a long way to go. I’m barely one year and a few months old in the business, out of which I was on a sabbatical for nearly nine months so effectively, I am just starting off. There are miles to go before I sleep.
Which of your film songs have you enjoyed the most?
I personally loved the track Selfi- yan from the film Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene. It didn’t be- come as popular as it should have, but it’s a peppy yet modern Punjabi track with some great beats and music by Meet Bros.
Your recent release Girl I Need Youfrom Baa- ghi is a big track.
Did you realise it would be popular when you first heard it and recorded it?
I fell in love with the track the moment I heard it. The fresh feel of Meet Bros’ composition, Roach’s (Killa) velvety vocals and of course, the magic of Arijit’s (Singh) voice is sure to grow and stay with you for a long time after you hear it.
So is singing taking priority for you now?
Singing is definitely a priority at this point. I’m looking at doing songs that challenge me, exploring genres that I haven’t done before. My focus right now is purely music, be it playback or live shows. I’m looking forward to collaborating with artists and musicians internationally.
Who is your biggest musical influence?
Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan in our generation have groundbreaking versatility. They are not only exceptional in their playback, but are also powerhouse performers on stage. I also follow the work of a lot of other musicians from Lataji, Rah- manji to Honey Singh and Badshah. They are all unique in their own ways.
So who would your dream duetbewith?
(Laughs) Do you even have to ask? It has to be Arijit Singh. In this day and age, it’s every singer’s dream to do a duet with Arijit and I could not have asked for more than to get a song with him so early in my musical jour- ney. He is a sup- remely versatile and talented sing- er and I’m fortunate that my lat- est song Girl I Need Youboasts of my vocals alongside his.
How much are you enjoying performing live?
I absolutely love it. It’s all the concerts and tours that make me look forward to each day with in- creased fervour and enthusiasm. The instant gratification that artists get on stage from their audience is food for our creative souls.
Tell us something about you not many people know?
I am a big cheater. (Laughs) I cheat on my diet and binge on food when no one is watching. I cheat in the gym when my trainer is not present. But I’m lucky because I’m genetically blessed. Thank god for that.
What is your best and worst quality?
I am a control freak. It’s my best and worst qual- ity. It’s best for me because I like to be in charge of everything happening around me, but it is the worst for those around me.
Do you remember the first song you ever bought or fell in love with as a kid?
I used to perform Sridevi’s song Hawa Hawai fromMr India while growing up and even made that funny face during my performance. But in my teenage years, I had Bally Sagoo’s album Ris- ing From The East on repeat in my balcony.
Which one classic song do you love and really enjoy singing?
Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai. I love the lyrics. And in English, my favourite has to be Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You.
What are your big passions away from work?
Anything involving creativity. I have immense love for designing and decor and enjoy doing that. Other than that, dance is one of my biggest passions. It’s just sad that I don’t get enough time to wear my dancing shoes.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2016?
Hopefully some different stuff. I’m experiment- ing with my singing style this year, and Girl I Need Youis the direction. I want more genres and even come up with gle. I am looking ward to myself and the audiences. the most difficult things to achieve. I really look up to peo- ple who beat all the odds and prove themselves with sheer hard work, grit and determination. That coupled with honesty, hu- mility and compassion is rare. I see that in Meet Bros and am inspired by them a lot. They have made a mark for themselves in the industry with these qualities and their compassion towards oth- ers makes them promote new talent, so kudos!
Finally, why do you love music?
It liberates me, it destresses me, it lets me express myself. It helps me celebrate life. It allows me to make others happy. It makes me touch others’ hearts. It will stay even after me and beyond me. It has let me be me.