Graham Reid | | 2 min read
When Britain's Cornershop scored a hit with Brimful of Asha back in '97 it was perhaps the first time many had heard the name of Asha Bhosle, one of the song's subjects.
But her voice has been familiar to generations because she is one the most successful and most recorded artists of the past six decades.
As a playback singer – she sings while the actresses mime – her voice has appeared in thousands, yes literally thousands, of films in India. It is believed she has recorded well over 15,000 songs of all kinds.
And her older sister Lata Mangeshkar hasn't been far behind.
Bhosle – who also owns restaurants which bear her name – is now in her early 80s and still singing . . . in fact this remarkable woman is coming to the Taranaki Womad this month (see dates below).
Time then to offer her this questionnaire. And her answers are very surprising.
The first musician whose music really affected you was . . .
My father. [Deenanath Mangeshkar, a theater actor and classical singer]
Your first appearance on stage before an audience was . . . (And you were how old?)
1943 at age 10
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are so emotionally moving are . . .
Imagine (John Lennon), Ebony & Ivory (McCartney), I’m Looking At The Man In The Mirror (Michael Jackson)
The most unusual place you have performed would be . . .?..
On a beach in Abu Dhabi
The most important book you have read is . . .?
Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Chokher Bali’
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?
My late husband Rahul Dev Burman and I would sing “Mera Kuch Saaman”
The three films you'd like anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
Gone With The Wind, Singing In The Rain, Heaven Can Wait
The last CD, vinyl album or download you bought was . . .
Asha Bhosle in Concert with Metropole Orkest
When you travel, what is it you most miss about your home country?
The artist you most admire would be . . .
Your favourite meal to share with friends would be . . .?
Saffron Biryani served in my worldwide restaurants called Asha’s
Do you practice every day, and if so for how long?
Almost everyday . . . a couple of hours per day
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” If that were true, you would spend them where, doing . . .?
With my family, grandkids..doing whatever my grandkids heart desires. That would make me the happiest
And finally, do you have any unrealised goals in music?
I could give you a long list, but I’m 82 and I need to sleep now.