I did it my way

payal dev2Payal Dev talks about her journey with the song Saara zamana from Kaabil and making a name in the film industry

Payal Dev received a lot of praise for her debut song Ab tohe in the film Bajirao Mastani. She has come a long way since then and continues to charm the audience with her melodious voice. Her latest song Saara zamana from Kaabil has become a chartbuster and the latest party anthem. Here’s what Payal says about strengthening her foothold in the industry.
On bagging the project, she says, “I have known Gourov ji of Superbia for a long time. I had sung the song Lipstick laga ke for him in the film Great Grand Masti. So it was through him that I got this project. He showcased a number of my songs to Rakesh Roshan ji, Rajesh Roshan ji and Hrithik Roshan too. This project was over in such a short time that I still have to pinch myself to believe if it really happened!”
About the brief and preparation, Dev adds, “I have grown up listening to Saara zamana, because it is such famous and an evergreen song. But we were wondering what to do so that the song came across as a different and unique composition. Whenever we listen to a recreated song, we end up comparing it with the original. I had to sing it in a modern way. It had to have the perfect balance of Indian and Western themes. There was also the angle that the song could not be completely Western because it has already been done before. When I presented it, finally, Sanjay Gupta sir and Hrithik liked it immensely and decided to go ahead with it. Even Rakesh ji and Rajesh ji liked it.”
On the song being a hit already, “Yes, there was a certain amount of pressure on me to sing this song, because it was already etched in the minds of people. So I tried my best to make it sound different and at the same time retain the original beauty of the song. I have sung two to three versions of the song. It was an exhilarating experience working with Rajesh Roshan,” she says. “I have grown up listening to the songs of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai. I have always dreamt about working with legends like them.”
On her journey in Bollywood, Dev says it was a life-long dream to sing. “The place from where I hail has no connection with Bollywood. It was a struggle for me to reach where I have today. And I made it on my own. I had a few chances to participate in reality singing shows, but I didn’t do them, on principle. They have churned out some of the best singers in the country but it is not my thing. There was one song I got to sing in Freaky Ali and since it was a Salman Khan production, I was on cloud nine. I have always been a fan of Salman since childhood and it was a dream come true to sing in a film by his production house.”
And audience support? “I am overwhelmed with the love and support I’m getting from the audience. My previous songs Lipstick laga ke and Rootha kyun were also loved and widely accepted.”
Any upcoming projects? Dev says, “Yes, there are a lot of projects in the pipeline, but I will be speaking about them only when they’re releasing. At the moment, I can’t disclose any names.”

Aparnna Hajirnis
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As on 02th December, 2017
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