Monica Dogra's rendition of 'Nara-e-Mastana' hopes to be the next party starter
Monica Dogra's rendition of Abida Parveen's hit track, Nara-e-Mastana, hopes to be the next party starter
Enthusiasts of Sufi music uphold Abida Parveen's 10-minute-long rendition Nara-e-Mastana as among the most cherished numbers of the genre. Almost a decade after it hit playlists of music aficionados, Indo-American musician Monica Dogra has rehashed the song to suit modern sensibilities. Her "club banger", she tells mid-day, wouldn't qualify as an ordinary remake. "It has its own identity," she says. Close on the heels of its release last week, she talks about her muse, her return to the second season of musical reality show The Stage, and the career-defining opportunities in her kitty.
How has the single been received by your fans?
The reception has been amazing. I'm feeling the love pour in.
Was it challenging to reinterpret the song?
I certainly couldn't have made anything close to Abida Parveen's track. She is an institution in Sufi music. She is different and bold, and a sense of purity and power is evident in her music. I feel connected to her, which is why I decided to reimagine her song. I permitted myself to take it in a direction that I considered apt. The producer, Abhimanyu Malhotra, and I settled on a trap drop.
The song is at odds with the kind of numbers you're known for. How have you added your touch to it?
For me, the track is about being intoxicated. There's a palpable longing for a union with a higher power. I used the hook of Parveen's number, and wrote the song around it, preserving only one verse from the original. My song has an identity. It's not a typical remake.
How will the upcoming season of The Stage differ from the last one?
In this season, we will allow the public to vote. That will be an unpredictable development. The experience of working with my co-judges [Vishal Dadlani, Ehsaan Noorani and Devraj Sanyal] has been amazing. I learn from them, but also feel empowered to stand up for what I think, when we disagree. We begin shooting next week.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
I'm working on an EP, which releases in a few months. We are in the final stage of mixing. I will begin touring soon and have also signed up with USA-based Untitled Entertainment Management, which will define my career on international shores.
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