by ASJAD NAZIR
Talented singer Anj Chauhan has shown off her impressive versatility on a wide array of projects and has been commended for her unique musical approach. She has also made a formidable partnership with her acclaimed pianist husband Kaykay Chauhan on interesting fusion projects.
Eastern Eye got Anj Chauhan to select 10 songs she loves.
Muskaanein Jhooti Hai/Fever by Anj Chauhan & Kaykay Chauhan: This is a clever amalgamation of two of my favourite genres, Bollywood and jazz, with a retro old-school feel. A cover close to my heart, this perfectly describes my sound as a performer and listener. The beautifully filmed video captures a time of smoky jazz and sensual yesteryear Bollywood heroines.
Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliot: Breaking boundaries and defying stereotypes, Missy is one of my all-time favourite urban artists. She is the epitome of woman empowerment. The opening tumbi riffs in the song gives me happy chills.
Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan: It’s all in the intro riff. This track gets me up on the dance floor and move like no one’s watching. Chaka’s incredible vocals and the melody are pure perfection.
It’s A Man’s World by James Brown: As a proud feminist, I believe this song celebrates women. My inspiration, when performing this number, comes from the wonderful Joss Stone. It’s a cover I get asked to perform a lot as the mood strikes a chord with the audience for its humour and intelligent lyrical content.
Imagine by John Lennon: This is not your typical love song and goes deeper into humanity about caring for this earth to help preserve it for future generations to come.
Proud Mary by Tina Turner: I have recently researched and fallen in love with Tina Turner. I feel a huge personal connection to her, despite having never been in her presence. This song has so much dynamism. It starts in a slow teasing way and crescendos into this massive loud rock/orchestral piece that is fast paced and racy.
Tumhen Dekhti Hoon by Lata Mangeshkar: I truly connect to the lyrics and the raga. As a child, I originally heard the melody to this song as a Hindu prayer. Little did I know that it was an adaptation from a 1970’s Bollywood song sung by Lata ji. When I was introduced to the original, it was absolute bliss to listen to.
Wohi Khuda Hai by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: This ‘hamd’ resonates deeply with me and the kalaam is beautiful. It has one of the most uplifting melodies I’ve ever heard.
Kuch Toh Log Kahenge by Kishore Kumar: The message and meaning of this song is spiritual and about being true to oneself. It is also about living life the way you want and not wasting precious time thinking about what the world thinks of you.
Aaj Jane Ki Zid Na Karo by Farida Khanum: The beauty of Farida Khanum’s lament in this ghazal which talks of living in the present. The song also loosely revolves around my favourite Raag Yaman and I believe that is why I am attracted to it.
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