It’s a few minutes short of midnight when we get to hear Priyanka Chopra’s voice on the other end of the line. The actress has been shooting non-stop for the biopic on Mary Kom and the day (or night) we spoke to her wasn’t different either.
“It’s been a long day,” she says, “It started at 7 in the morning and still hasn’t ended.” But she immediately perks up when we remind her of her song Exotic shooting up on the number one spot on the iTunes India chart. “All this has happened within two-three days and that’s so great!” she says of her second single, that she’s sung along with Pitbull. The video of the songtoo has recently come out. “It’s all because of the love and support of my fans. Either they love me too much or they actually like my music!” she laughs. An excerpt from the interview:
So what’s exotic about this song?
The most beautiful thing about this song for me is that it’s a fun song. It’s a song one can party to. I didn’t want to make it too cerebral — you don’t have to think too much. That’s what the vibe of the song is. And Pitbull was the perfect person to collaborate it with.
Your first song didn’t have any Hindi lyrics but this one has.
The first song may not have had Hindi lyrics but it had Indie instruments. This is an international album and it has a global audience. But I wanted to break through the stereotypical view that people have of Indian films and music. I want to bring out commercial mainstream music that has desi vibes in it. RedOne (the producer) is from Morocco, Pit (Pitbull) is from Cuba and I’m from Mumbai and the song is a big mixture of different cultures. That’s what global music is all about today.
When it comes to collaborations, who’s on your wishlist?
Every collaboration should be with somebody who makes sense to that song. I don’t know if I make that kind of music but I would love to collaborate with U2. And I think it would be great to have a strong
female song with Beyonce.
Tell us a bit about the video.
We had just two days to shoot it, so we had to shoot really fast. It was shot in Miami and the styling was done by a girl called Giselle. There were a lot of interesting elements brought in the video. To me, exotic is beaches, it’s fun, it’s sexy and that’s what the song’s about. It’s an exotic summer song and we tried to be true to it.
Do you think being an A-list Bollywood star has worked to your advantage?
Yes, it is one of the biggest advantages I have, to have such an incredible fan base who are so supportive of what I do. I really hope that this opportunity that I’ve been so fortunate to get, paves the way for more Indian musicians and artistes to come out and make a name for themselves. I hope that my doing this opens up the foray for a lot more musicians who are way more talented than I am.
It was a huge risk for you to venture into singing. Have you always been a risk-taker?
All my films have been risks. Everytime I did a film, I was told it would not work. When I did Aitraaz, I was told people will not accept me as a heroine as I was playing a vamp. When I did Fashion, people said nobody will watch it as it is a heroine-oriented film. In Barfi!, I played a completely deglamourised character. I go with my instinct. What will happen? I’ll fail, but then I’ll try again.