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An interview with playback singer Usha Uthup
In a free-wheeling chat with writer Niilesh A Raje, Usha Uthup shares her experience and how proud she feels to be part of the vibrant Worli Festival. Usha had been a resident of this Mumbai Suburb many years ago while she was staying with her parents. Her father was a Senior Police Officer in the Crime Branch.

Usha Uthup mesmerised the audience with her vocals which was set in the heart of Mumbai, the three day Shree Sankalp Pratishthan's Worli Festival. It was indeed a promise of various cultural activities where music and dance enthusiasts got a chance to enjoy various cultural performances by artistes from various parts of the country. The festival took place in two different locations one being the Worli Sea Face promenade and other being RWITC at MahaLaxmi Race Course.

The sexagenarian a popular pop, jazz and playback singer Usha Uthup captivated hearts of the audience on Day One of the Worli Festival and took on the centre-stage with all toe tapping numbers Dum Maro Dum, Doston Se Pyar Kiya, Rambha Ho Ho and Hari Om Hari to name a few.

Here's the excerpts from the  interview:

Q: The first thing that registers in my mind when we remember Usha Ji is your signature style- your love for Kanjeevaram sarees and coin sized bindis?

Usha Uthup: Yes, I love them. Well, I was born in a middle class Tamil Brahmin family of Vaidyanath Someshwar Sami that hailed from Chennai in Tamil Nadu. And, as we all know that Kanjeevaram sarees are traditionally made by weavers from Kanchipuram located in state where we hailed from. Might be that regional influence as well.

Q: We recall the era where we enjoyed then and even today all your toe tapping numbers Dum Maro Dum, Doston Se Pyar Kiya, Rambha Ho Ho and Hari Om Hari. What has been your experience and pulse with your audience from back and then?

Usha Uthup:
[smiles] The audience to me has changed only cosmetically but their love, care and profound respect towards me is the same as it was before. The auditoriums where I had performed would have got new look in terms of new chairs, lights or ambience but all these has not changed my audience at all. The way they respond even today during my live performance is just the same which warms up my heart. It’s only because of their love, blessings and continued support I am still performing for past four decades.  
    
Q: My observation being there is always a line sung in English in between your Hindi songs. Say for example in Hari Om Hari (Once in every lifetime comes a song like this, I need you you need me, oh my friends now can’t you see) or Rambho Ho Ho (Living we are living, Dancing ya ya dancing).

Usha Uthup: It’s all about communication and the ability to understand and be understood. Communicating in English to me even then (early 70’s) came in very naturally and I am thankful to all the individuals with whom I worked who gave me this opportunity for exploring something different.

Q: What has been your experience working with music director R D Burman who was always known to experiment something new each time?

Usha Uthup: My experience with Rahul Dev Burman was indeed good. He had an open mind and was ready to accept suggestions that came his way. He revolutionized Hindi film music then in 1970’s with special emphasis on rhythm and western beats that people could connect from across the globe.

Q: Today's generation of songs may bore listeners after a week of their production whereas some have been soothing the ears of people for several decades.

Usha Uthup: I think we should give them all some more time. I am positive they all would be music to one’s ears down the line.

How true, she truly lives up to her signature - "I believe in Music". Here’s wishing the Padma Shri award winner with her gifted, velvet, smooth voice Usha Uthup Ji All the best on her roads to achievements.

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