Monali Thakur Curated

Indian singer and Actress

CURATED BY :  


  • How do you think your friends and fans will react to your sudden announcement of marriage?

    The news of my marriage will come as a shock to many as none of my industry friends were aware or invited. We kept delaying the ceremony and announcement and three years just passed by. Mujhe pata hai bahot gaali padne wali hai logon se (I know people will be very angry with me), but I think when we have our wedding ceremony and invite people for the celebrations, they won’t be upset anymore.

  • What are your views on performing live? Has it changed with time?

    I used to be so conscious about performing live. In my head, I was like, ‘They are judging me on my capability and as a singer’. You cannot perform if you are anxious. “But with time, I realised that they are here to sing along, to enjoy my music and not for judging. So, now when I go on stage I feel like, ‘That’s my space’.

  • What form of singing do you prefer? The unplugged one or the original one?

    In an unplugged version, the instrumentation changed so as the treatment of the song. As a singer, it is interesting to me because we are trying how differently we can sing the same song without losing its soul. We rehear, and go through a trial and error before zeroing on one. I love this process.

  • What is the trick behind the versatility with which you sing your songs?

    I think it is the way you are interpreting the meaning of the lyrics. There is a difference between seduction and vulgarity. When I am singing a song that people call ‘item song’, I try to find the broader perspective of the song and its treatment. I do not think in one limited perspective that can narrow the thought.

  • Do you think India is growing as a progressive society?

    Well, it has a really complex answer. I cannot tell you in one word. I have questions in mind on the same.Why are we narrowing down on things? Why can’t we tolerate each other’s opinion rather looking for an opportunity to pull each other down? Instead of raising voice and contributing to issues to solve it, why are we criticizing people on the matter? I think making buildings do not make a country progressive, raising voice against injustice does.

  • What are your views on award functions?

    It is very flattering whenever you get an award, be it the smallest or the biggest, it is always very flattering when an artist wins an award. Because they are acknowledging you and applauding you for what work you have done. I personally honestly feel in these award functions there are many other things involved. The biggest reward and the abstract award that you can get is directly from the audience if they love you. That’s the reason why so many award functions come and go and people forget about them. People don’t keep these award functions in their minds after a point but constantly to be able to achieve that love and appreciation is what counts. Even if one is doing one thing in a year, one should feel that one is doing quality stuff and nothing random. Then when people acknowledge it, that’s the biggest reward.

  • How did you meet your husband Maik?

    I met Maik during my trip to Switzerland and we clicked instantly. Not just him, I made a connection with his family, too. Maik proposed to me at the exact spot where we had met for the first time, under a tree, on a freezing Christmas Eve 2016. My reply was an instant yes. He loves food and, I being a Bong, I love food, too.

  • Would you like to comment on your relationship status?

    I haven’t made it official anywhere on social media yet, but people had already guessed it. A couple of times when my ring was mistakenly visible in my Instagram photos, a lot of people commented asking if it was my wedding ring. That said, Maik and I have successfully been able to hide our marriage for three years!

  • We have heard you were a tomboy in school, tell us about some of your heroic feats. What happened in class XI?

    I used to go cycling everyday. I didn't like my cycle because it was a 'Ladybird'. I used to beg for gear cycles from my friends. I was good at basketball and was a champion in badminton. In class XI my best friend Ganges (Gangotri) was playing with a girl's key chain when the girl became hysterical and pulled her hair. I got furious and pulled her hair too and there was a huge fiasco.

  • How will you use your celebrity status?

    I have a soft corner for old people and animals. I love when old people hug me. I don't know about the future, but these are certain areas that definitely concern me.

  • We have heard or rather we have seen that celebrity-hood goes directly to the head. What do you have to say to this?

    Rubbish! Celebrity life to me is spending 16 hours in the recording studio, doing some shows here and there, and the rest of the time with family and friends. A person who is a top order celebrity and a very busy artist has several appointments, a lot of work occupies their time. Due to some reason if a certain appointment is delayed the entire schedule gets delayed and that person can't give the time expected, but one can't call it a tantrum.

  • Five years hence: Monali as a singer, Monali as an actor, or Monali as a singer-actor?

    Monali is a singer first and an actor later. Music is and always will be my first priority.

  • Your father's contribution to your career and interests?

    My father contributed mainly to my academics. He was a student of chemistry. Now a certain reaction can be done in a number of ways and if I didn't use his technique it would result into a 'kurukshetra'! Career wise definitely it is both his and my mother's support that has worked wonders. It is their dream for me that gives me the drive to work hard. My father lives for me. I know how much he suffers if he sees me hurt.

  • If you are a given a chance to conceptualise a show named Indian Idol (it may or may not be a musical show) what would it be?

    Let me think, that's a tough one. My show will have 'n' number of episodes and 'n' number of rounds. In one round one will have to show how much one can sing. In another round one will showcase his or her dancing skills. In another one will have to do anchoring, again different ways of asking for votes, makeover magic, publicise the sponsors, so on and so forth.

  • Do you think the process of Indian Idol and such other reality shows are right, because they have the risk of voting out a better contestant?

    Well, it is an international format and before we join we are already aware and prepared with its method. And obviously luck is also a very big factor.

  • From what age have you been taking classical training and from whom?

    From the age of five. I took training from Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty and later on from Pandit Jagdish Prasad, who prepared my voice for playback.

  • You gave up Physics to pursue a musical career, but there are people who give up their passion for a secure career. What do you have to say about this?

    I have always listened to my heart and touch-wood, my parents have always been very supportive. They have always let me take my own decisions, even taking part in Indian Idol. Those who have to give up their passions for parental pressure its unfortunate for them, but if it is out of personal choice then it's personal priority, I can't say anything about it.

  • How important is 'dreaming' in one's life, according to you?

    Yes, dreaming is very essential in life, without dreams life would have been hopeless. On a philosophical note, life is not all about dreaming but an imaginary shell bound by tough realities, and in the course of pursuing that dream we miss out on a lot of things.

  • What do you think of the new remixes that are being made these days of almost every old song ?

    I am not averse to old songs being presented in a new way. I believe that melodious tunes are not for just one era, they are for all times. If an old song is rendered in a better way, nothing wrong with it, but if the singer fails improve the song in the remix version, then it is an insult to the original song. I want to sing in varied ways. I want to sing rap songs too. However, I keep in mind that the lyrics should be good.

  • How do you feel working on the unplugged versions of a song ?

    In an unplugged version, the instrumentation changed so as the treatment of the song. As a singer, it is interesting to me because we are trying how differently we can sing the same song without losing its soul. We rehear, and go through a trial and error before zeroing on one. I love this process.

  • Do you see India as a progressive society for the music when it comes to certain songs which bollywood is into right now ?

    Well, it has a really complex answer. I cannot tell you in one word. I have questions in mind on the same.Why are we narrowing down on things? Why can’t we tolerate each other’s opinion rather looking for an opportunity to pull each other down? Instead of raising voice and contributing to issues to solve it, why are we criticising people on the matter? I think making buildings do not make a country progressive, raising voice against injustice does. I think it is the way you are interpreting the meaning of the lyrics. There is a difference between seduction and vulgarity. When I am singing a song that people call ‘item song’, I try to find the broader perspective of the song and its treatment. I do not think in one limited perspective that can narrow the thought.

  • How was your experience on winning the national award for Best Female Playback Singer for Moh Moh ke Dhaage at 63rd National Film Awards ?

    It feels amazing at first, overwhelming actually and feels really great. Of course, this gives a lot of happiness when you know that you have won an award or for that matter that you have been nominated for your work. I realised the actual gravity of this award (63rd National Award) when I saw the reactions.

  • Do you see bollywood more as a male driven industry ? What are your thoughts on it ?

    There are fewer opportunities for female singers in Bollywood. Out of a thousand songs created, only 10 songs would be female solo maybe. I have struggled a lot. Till now, my journey in Bollywood is no less than a roller-coaster ride, but I am happy the struggle came and taught me how to take care of good times. Struggle is very much important as it will teach you the value of success and fame. There is also a huge difference in the pay gaps of a male and a female singer.

  • What is your take on the present indie music scene in India?

    Not much is happening in the indie scene and the reason there is not much support from big banners. If producers start taking initiative in individual projects, things will improve. I don’t think what MTV is doing is enough. I mean, sure it is giving a platform to showcase one’s talent but we need to push harder to reach the level where we have singing divas and superstars in the country because we have so much talent.

  • Who has been your biggest inspiration?

    Definitely family, to begin with. Baba (father, Shakti Thakur) himself being a professional singer and even Maa, who is also a singer, have always been a great inspiration. Other than that I have also been greatly influenced by the music of the West. I would listen to indie music, blue, pop-rock, basically anything and anyone that appealed to me. It will be unfair to just name one, there are many.

  • Given that you had started acting and singing almost simultaneously, as a child, what you wanted to become?

    I always wanted to become a musician. At the age of six, I had my first song recorded with HMD. So, I was clear that in order to reach maximum people I need to become a playback singer because in this country sadly only film music gives you that kind of recognition. But now I want to do different things from dance to composing to writing songs anything that interests me.

  • You started your Hindi film career with pop numbers like “Khwab dekhe jhoote moote” and then surprised music lovers with melodious “Sawarloo”. Do you think that helped music directors notice your versatility?

    It is unfortunate, as you know, the industry stereotypes people. And especially for women, there is not much scope in film music to experiment. Because music in movies are created according to the script and these days even the female lines are sung by male singers. But mine, fortunately, is a different story. I started getting offers for similar kind of songs – songs that conveyed no meaning– so I consciously refused them although I was not earning enough. Then I met Amit Trivedi, who offered me “Aga Bai” for Aiyyaa. He liked my work and then “Sawarloon” happened. Amit knew I was trained in Hindustani classical (Patiala gharana). So, it certainly helped people notice the other side of me that I can even sing a thumri.

  • How does it feel to win a national award?

    Awesome! But honestly, I think I need time to believe it, especially because I never thought of it or did I expect it. My phone was on flight mode and once I switched it on, billions of messages were pouring in. I thought I probably got a big film offer, or I am getting married. A filmmaker friend of mine from Bengal then called and gave me the news. For a moment I was silent and then I started jumping around. I called my mother at home, who was equally overwhelmed.