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'I've always wanted to sing in a Salman film'

By PATCY N
May 25, 2021 14:03 IST
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'I come from a small town and I never thought I would ever sing professionally or become a playback singer.'
'But I made a career here.'

IMAGE: Payal Dev with Salman Khan. Photograph: Kind courtesy Payal Dev/Instagram

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai may not have worked, but its songs are doing well.

Dil De Diya, picturised on Salman and Jacqueline Fernandez, has become quite the hit, and its singer Payal Dev still can't believe her luck.

She tells Patcy N/Rediff.com, "It was a dream come true, a fan moment for me. I felt mera Bollywood main aana safal ho gaya."

How did you get to sing Dil De Diya?

I have worked with Himeshbhai (Reshammiya) in Happy Hardy and Heer.

He knows my voice texture and the genre that I sing.

He offered me this song; he told me that he would present this song to Salmanbhai for Radhe.

We have a good relationship because I have sung many songs for him, some of which are unreleased.

Himeshbhai wanted me to try the song in a particular scale. When I did, he said my voice sounded different from the other songs I had sung.

 

Video: Payal Dev sings Dil De Diya from Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai.

 

What's it like singing in a Salman Khan film?

This is my fourth song with Salmanbhai.

I have sung Yun Karke in Dabbang 3, Saansain Hui Dhuan Dhuan in Race 3 and Nain Phisal Gaye in Welcome to New York.

Because I sounded different in Dil De Diya, he (Salman) couldn't recognise my voice.

I met Salmanbhai after the dubbing; he was really happy with the song and he praised me.

This song was dubbed before our country went into lockdown.

I saw the video as soon it was made because my husband Aditya Dev has produced the music, so the final job was done in our studio.

Video: Payal sings Yun Karke from Dabangg 3.

When you got a chance to sing with Salman Khan for the first time, what was your reaction?

It was a dream come true, a fan moment for me.

I felt mera Bollywood main aana safal ho gaya.

I have always wanted to sing in a Salman Khan film.

I was praying for it!

I come from a small town and I never thought I would ever sing professionally or become a playback singer.

But I made a career here.

Every time I sing with Salmanbhai, I go through the same feelings.

I am a huge fan of Salmanbhai.

Before I sang for Salmanbhai, I had sung for Bajirao Mastani, Great Grand Masti, Freaky Ali, Tum Bin II, Kabil.

My husband Aditya knew Salmanbhai since he is a music producer.

My first independent song Sajna Ve was composed and sung by me. Aditya produced it.

Salmanbhai heard the song and he said, 'Whenever this song releases, send it to me, I will tweet it.'

It was a huge moment for me when he tweeted my song.

The reason I became a composer is because of Salmanbhai -- his tweet encouraged me and gave me the confidence to do better.

 

Video: Payal Dev sings Genda Phool.

 

Did you meet Jacqueline during after Dil De Diya?

No. I last met her during my single Genda Phool.

In fact, I had no idea Jacqueline was in Radhe. It was when the video came out that I realised she was doing this special number.

This is my second song with Jacqueline. She is lucky for me.

Genda Phool is a very different song; it is a Hindi and Bengali mix.

Badshahbhai sang the Hindi portion and I did the Bengali folk bits.

Initially, I was reluctant as I thought people would not understand the Bengali portion, but it was Badshahbhai's idea and he was very confident that it would work.

The song became popular and Badshahbhai was proven right.

Music has no language barrier.

If the song is good, people will listen to it.

 

Video: Payal Dev sings Tumhi Aana from Marjaavaan, which was composed by her and sung by Jubin Nautiyal in the film.

Which actress would you like to sing for?

The list is long!

It's my dream to sing for Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone.

How did you get interested in music?

I come from a small town called Ramghar in Jharkhand.

My mother was a music teacher and I learnt singing from her.

My journey was difficult.

When I look back today, it looks like I have lived in two different worlds.

Some family friends, who were working in the film industry, told my parents that I have a beautiful voice and that I should try my luck in Mumbai. So I came here in 2007.

But suddenly I found myself very lonely. There was no help.

All those people who gave false promises vanished.

Everybody ignored me.

I can't blame them, as they were struggling themselves.

But I did not want to go back without a fight, so I started meeting composers and visiting studios.

Soon, I started singing jingles.

My husband Aditya Dev was supported me a lot.

At that time, we were not married. He was a family friend, trying his luck in Mumbai.

We got married in 2008.

My first playback opportunity came in 2013 when I sang the title track of Grand Mast.

 

Video: Payal sings Ab Tohe Jane Na Doongi from Bajirao Mastani.

How did Bajirao Mastani happen?

I had dubbed a song for a friend who had worked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

He heard my voice and complimented me.

When he was working on Bajirao Mastani, he remembered my voice and called me.

He asked me to sing the song.

I did, and he liked it.

But he knew I was nervous, so he asked me to take the song with me and record it.

He told me he would not be present during the recording or else I would be nervous.

So I went with his assistant and recorded the song.

When I sang the song, I had no idea that it was for Bajirao Mastani.

That song was life-changing for me.

Everything changed overnight because it was such a huge film.

The second song that gave me wings was Tumhi Aana from Marjaavaan, which was composed by me.

 

Video: Payal sings LOL from Ginny Weds Sunny.

Are you getting work as a composer?

I have done a lot of work in the independent space.

I have composed the song Dil Jaaniye in Khandaani Shafakhana.

I did the Ganpati song Danka Baja in Mumbai Saga.

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PATCY N / Rediff.com
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