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I had no ambition to be a professional singer: Rekha Bhardwaj

Singer Rekha Bhardwaj says she had no ambition to become a professional singer. The singer, who performed in an episode of "MTV Unplugged", learnt singing out of passion.

I had no ambition to be a professional singer: Rekha Bhardwaj

Mumbai: Singer Rekha Bhardwaj says she had no ambition to become a professional singer. The singer, who performed in an episode of "MTV Unplugged", learnt singing out of passion.

"When I was starting off, there was no fire in me, in terms of making a career in music. I was a singer with zero ambition. The only passion I had, the fire I found was in my 'riyaaz'...I learnt classical music. And whenever I practiced my music, it was like I immersed myself in the sea," Rekha told IANS.

"I had no idea and ambition to go about it, professionally. But yes, I wanted to become a classical singer and playback singing (and) Bollywood... everything happened by chance," said the singer who won a National Award in 2011 for song "Badi dheere jali" from the film "Ishqiya".

She started her career with the independent music album "Ishqa Ishqa" in 2002, and the music still resonate with people.

Talking about the archival value of the song, Rekha said: "Since 'Ishqa Ishqa' was my first album and the song 'Tere ishq mein' was the trump card. Gulzar saab and Vishal put all their energy to create the best song. 

"Honestly, when you create a song, you do not think about its impact and listener's expectation...impact comes when the song is released. When I look back and think about the archival value of the song, yes I feel good. But we did not imagine that the song will live in the mind of listeners for ages."

"When I perform live and people request me to sing 'Tere ishq mein', it fascinates me how even after 16 years people love to hear the song, perhaps that's the power of a good song," she said.

Asked about how Sufism changed her as an artist, she said: "It made me feel free and light. Sufism helped me to work on my inner being, my persona. Such a transformation that Sufism offers surely translates in my music. Yes, the impact of Sufism reflects on my singing."

Whether it is "Namak ishq", "Pehli baar mohabbat", "Oye boy Charlie" or "Jagaave saari raina", she has worked with her husband and filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj on several hit tracks.

Is it a conscious choice of collaborating more with Vishal?

"Perhaps because he always sees me practicing and has the idea of my potential. You can say my husband gives me more work than other music directors. Whether it is for my voice that caters to the genres like ghazal, classical or folk -- Vishal understands my versatility."

Rekha performed in an episode of "Royal Stag Barrel Select MTV Unplugged" season 8 on Saturday on MTV channel.