Blab with Sandy: Anushka Banerjee

Blab With Sandy: Anushka Banerjee

Hello, folks! In this week’s #blabwithsandy, I have Indian Idol Season 12 singer Anushka Banerjee with me. Anushka won great appreciation from the judges as well as the listeners from all around the world. Her performances won many hearts and she was praised not only for her beautiful voice but also for her beautiful looks and determination. Let’s wait no further and dive into the exciting blab I had with her:

Sandy: Hello, Anushka! Hope you are doing as good as your voice. 🙂

Anushka: Haha, thank you Sandy. Yes, all is good.

Sandy: Could you let us know about your background?

Anushka: I originally belong from Kolkata, West Bengal as we lived there for 11-12 years. My entry into music was bit of a surprise as I never was prepared or inclined into being a singer professionally. During my childhood, I couldn’t hold to a tune and that made me learn everything apart from singing.

My mom wanted me to be a part of the industry and she felt I would become an actress but not a singer. I started doing modeling from a young age and we have a very cultural environment at home. My dad is a big music lover and I used to listen to all the songs that were played at home.

Sandy: With your interests positioned in other fields, how did you get into singing?

Anushka: In my fourth grade, during our free period, our teacher had asked us to showcase our talent. I was of the thought that I cannot dance in the classroom and there wouldn’t be any song played, haha! I told my teacher that I would instead sing a song and I did. After a week of that incident, we attended the parent-teacher meeting where my parents were told about my singing skills. I never really used to sing while at home and it came as a bit of surprise to my parents.

Then onwards, I totally got into singing and I chose singing as my first preference. I left dancing and drawing as I stared concentrating on my singing. Simultaneously, I always wanted to be well educated so I did not push my studies aside. Along with my music, I took up Engineering. My dad is also an Engineer and I believe, it’s always good to complete our education.

Sandy: Talking about Indian Idol, the stage that has given you a lot of fame and appreciation. Could you take us through the audition stage of yours?

Anushka: Currently, we live in Chandigarh and during the pandemic; I was not sure how I could make a progress in my singing career. I saw a television notification about the auditions for Indian Idol Season 12 and I was surprised that amidst the pandemic, the auditions were still being planned. I was excited and wanted to give it a try. My parents felt it might be tough to juggle engineering as I shall need to move to Mumbai if I get selected and my studies may get affected. I had no hope of being selected but I did shoot my song video and uploaded it on the Sony Liv App. To my amusement, I received a call for the online auditions. I did two more rounds of video call auditions and after which, I was called to Mumbai for the final selections. I kept surprising myself by my selection in all the levels.

Sandy: One important thing to note here is that of your parents thinking about the difficulty you may face with regards to your studies but that only would have happened if you were selected and deep within, they had a feeling that you would get selected. This is actually a hidden secret but their belief in your singing was right there!

Anushka: Ha-ha! Oh yes, actually it does feel that they were having strong belief in me and my selection.

Sandy: Being part of the main Indian Idol final squad is a huge thing. How has your experience been?

Anushka: After my mega auditions, I went backstage and palpitations happened. I always had social anxiety since a long time and I was skeptical about my performances. I was not sure if I would be selected or not. The results weren’t declared on stage. I called up my mom to let her know about my performance. The fact that I came this far was a big thing and I was very much anxious to know my result. I, along with two others went onto the stage and the anxiety levels were extremely high.

Vishal Dadlani sir took the mike and announced. “The golden mike goes to Anuska Banerjee”, and that very moment I zoomed out. It took me couple of minutes to realize that I was picked in the Top 15. We also had a photo session with all the contestants and the judges. It was really a wonderful feeling.

Sandy: You’ve been there almost till the mid or 3/4th of the program. Was it hard to take in that you got eliminated mid way as you had a huge fan base and your singing was well appreciated by the judges?

Anushka: I have been eliminated due to lack of votes and I was actually prepared for it. It had to happen sometime to someone and that day it was me. I am grateful that I could reach the midway of the show and I got to perform in front of many stalwarts. Indian Idol was a dream and now it’s no more a dream as I converted my dream into a reality.

I believe that God has many more opportunities for me and many things are waiting for me. Indeed, I was saddened due to my elimination but my parents have been a great support. All the judges loved my performances and I did achieve many things whilst being part of the show.

Anushka with Udit Narayan

Sandy: Be it Vishal Dadlani, Neha Kakkar or Himesh Reshamiya, all the judges have been quite vocal in their liking towards you and your voice.

Anushka: After my first audition, Himesh sir gave me many tips. He told me how I can curb my anxiety and to push my burst of energy before singing into the song which will enhance my performance. I did the same and it did show results. Like in Physics, energy can be converted into other forms, and my anxiety level got converted into positive energy whilst performing on stage.

Vishal sir came to me on stage after my elimination and told me how he was feeling due to the elimination. He understood what I was dealing with at that moment and promised me that many great things are waiting for me and conveyed he will always be there with me whenever I need him.

Neha Ma’am hugged me tightly after my elimination. She has been very supportive throughout just like an angel. We come from a middle class family and I never had any celebrities following me but the moment I saw that she followed me back on Instagram, I just loved that moment.

Sandy: What do you think makes you different from rest of the singers in the Indian Idol Season 12?

Anushka: I think my voice texture and tonality. I have been complimented about my texture ever since I was a child and that has always been way different from other singers. Another thing to note is my ability to memorize a full song. My mentors at Indian Idol have been close to me and they had noticed this knack of mine to memorize the whole song. Not all have the knack to notice other people’s talent but I am happy that people noticed this angle of my singing too!

Sandy: Which performance of yours would you rate the highest and the one you feel could have done better?

Anushka: Surprisingly, I would rate my elimination day song from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ as my best. Also, ‘Lukk Chuppi’ would be on the top too! The song which I could have done a tad better would be my mash-up song performance of “Pyaar Ka Dard Hai” and “Zindagi Pyaar Ka Geet” that I sang during the episode which had Poonam Dhillon Ma’am.

Quick Shot Round:

  • Your close friend from Indian idol: Sireesha Bhagavatula
  • Who do you think will win Indian Idol 12? Danish bhayya
  • Favorite music genre: Contemporary and Soft Bollywood music
  • Music director(s) you’d like to work with: Pritam, AR Rahman, Vishal-Shekhar
  • Your role model: Lata Mangeshkar Ma’am
  • Your toughest competitor at Indian Idol: All of them
  • Given a chance, what would you like to change during your stint at the Indian Idol? I’d like to get rid of my anxiety and feel much like home while I was singing
  • In one word about the judges: Vishal Dadlani – Lion; Neha Kakkar – Cinnamon Roll; Himesh Reshamiya – Deer
  • Your biggest fear: A zombie apocalypse
  • Most used app on mobile: Twitter
  • The actress you want to sing for: Madhuri Dixit
  • Imagine your voice gone for one whole day, what would you do? Haha! I will be very sad and whatever I do that day, there will be a touch of sadness in it
  • What does Anushka do when she is idle? I read a lot of novels

Sandy: What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?

Anushka: There are a few collaborations which comprise of some movies songs too. I do not want to give it at this juncture and I want to take things as they come and rise ahead. Within the next few months or maybe in a year, I will have my music coming out.

Editor’s note: It was indeed a pleasure getting to know Anushka on a professional as well as personal level. Wishing the beautifully talented Anushka Banerjee a blissful journey ahead, filled with songs and beats!

Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)

Follow Sandy @blabwithsandy

Follow Anushka @anushka.banerjee_official

 

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