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Interviews |  01 Oct 2008 11:31 |  By ShabanaAli

Preeti - '90 per cent of our songs are new this time'

Singing sisters Preeti and Pinky have never had it so good. The Navratri fervour, which always sees the duo in high demand, has this time ensured them a tie up with Big FM, and Big Music will launch their album in the next few months. For the next nine days, though, the siblings are booked to perform at the Ghatkopar grounds in Mumbai.

On the eve of the Navratri season,'s Shabana Ali caught up with Preeti to find out what makes them tick.

What's the USP of your gig this year?

Well, let that be a mystery for. However, this time, 90 per cent of our songs are new, and the rest are popular numbers mixed with Garba and Dandiya beats. We have definitely tried to make it different as the songs can get monotonous. But, you always have to work around the theme of folk, as the audiences are very used to hearing folk and we have to give them what they like and enjoy.

What special genre of folk are you trying to work on?

We have used the 'sugam' aspect rather than hard core folk music. Sugam sangeet is more about being melodious and rhythm based. We have worked on a lot of new fast numbers so that they keep our audience active on the floor. There is a lot which goes into selecting songs for the whole gig.

How did you get into the scenario of singing live for the Navratri season?

It all started when I was seven and Pinky was five when my dad's friend organized a garba and the singers did not turn up that night. So, he came over to my father and asked him to send us on the stage and sing for the crowd. My father was not very sure and said, Yeh toh bahut chote hai, yeh kya gayenge stage pe.... But, uncle had confidence in us and took us on the stage. People enjoyed all the songs and after the show was over, they came over and patted our backs. So, this is how we started singing in the Navratri season.

Generally, what kind of songs work well for the Navratri mood?

The most important criterion for selecting songs is, they should be peppy and fast enough to make the audience dance. At times, there are songs which keep the environment dull and audiences do not enjoy dancing to the tunes. We have to even see the rhythm and tempo to match with the Garba beats. I and Pinky have to sit across and check out the whole song and the various ways a song can be made fast and pacy so that our audience grooves on them.

What kind of a tie up do you have with Big FM?

We have tied up with Big FM for two and half years. They are going to take care of our album and our music career. We already have an album ready to be released and it's going to launched by Big Music. I and Pinky come up with a reggae and lounge mood in it. It has eight tracks, some of which are duets while the others are sung individually by me or Pinky.

The album was planned to be launched before Navratri but due to various reasons, we have scheduled to release it by December.

Is there any song in the album which you think will really click with the audience?

We are not really banking on any one song in the album, as it is very difficult to predict people's tastes. You never know what they suddenly like and what they don't like. We have high hopes on a song sung by both of us called �Money money', however.

You have been absent from the music scenario for a long time. What have you been doing?

We were busy working on regional projects. We launched our Garba album, and now we are waiting for the music of Suraj Kanodia's latest movie which is still to be named and launched, in which we have rendered our voices.

Do you have any Hindi film projects lined up?

We are not too keen on Hindi films right now. we have already sung the kind of songs we wanted to in the past few years and made our mark in the industry.

I prefer to sing for sufi and item numbers where as Pinky has a playback voice and she would always like to work on such projects.

Since you also perform abroad, what kind of difference do you observe between audiences in India and overseas?

We enjoy performing for our audience in the US, Canada and we are totally amazed by their enthusiasm. The audience is crazy about the whole festival. Unlike here, Navratri is celebrated for four weeks and on the weekends, the participation is awesome.

You have been in this industry for long. Do you think singers here are underpaid?

Well, it's not exactly that. Singers who are into such functions do it more for the love of �Mata rani'. It's like a craze for them to perform during this period. Even the organizers do it with a religious fervour. Yes, earlier when the performances did not have a 10 pm deadline, singers would be exploited to the hilt. But now, it works better for the organisers as well as the singers.


Pic by Mitesh Bhuvad