Saturday, November 8, 2014

Usha Uthup - Queen of Indi Pop

Music director Bappi Lahari introduced Indi Pop Ramba Ho Sambha ho... and Hari Om Hari….in the Bollywood movies ARMAAN and PYAARA DUSHMAN respectively making its lead singer Usha Uthup an instant hit. Since then she has been termed as the ‘Original diva of Indi-Pop’. She has to her credits 200 albums and soundtracks for 150 Hindi and regional films, Usha Uthup, has sung in 14 Indian and eight foreign languages and what’s amazing is that she is India's first and only international artiste with six English language song releases. 

On her 68 birthday; Raag.Com wishes her birthday greeting and goes memory down lane her journey in music. 

Listen to Usha Uthup Songs on Raaga.com

Usha was born in Mumbai in a Tamil Brahmin family of Vaidyanath Someshwar Sami that hailed from Chennai, in Tamil Nadu in 1947. In an interview she recalled, “I had a passion for music since childhood but to my dismay when I was in primary class I was discarded from the singing group reasoning I was had a hoarse voice and I was not suitable for singing.”

She added, “This incident had a deep impact on me. Instead of being demotivated I took up the challenge to become a singer. My neighboring friend, Jaamila encouraged me to learn Hindi and take up Indian classical music. This fusion approach helped me to pioneer my unique brand of Indian pop in the 1970s.” 

Readers would be surprised to know that Usha who had been discarded for singing in her school stunned everybody when she was offered to sing on the popular radio program Ovaltine Music Hour on Radio Ceylon anchored by India’s eminent radio announcer Ameen Sayani. Usha sung the song Mockingbird Hill…. and became a star overnight. She was then just nine years. 

Later she did many programs for All India Radio and appeared on Doordarshan and sung songs in Bollywood. Some of her most memorable numbers include besides her iconic Ramba Ho Sambha ho... and Hari Om Hari…., Hare Rama Hare Krishna… ; Tu Mujhe Jaan Se Bhi Pyara Hai.. ; One Two Cha Cha Cha…, Dosto se pyaar kiya...., Darling ..Ankhon Se Aankhe Char Karne Do; etc. 

Usha Uthup is also credited for introducing "Pop Time" for Doordarshan. For Usha, music is not just her life-style, but it is an instrument of love!