While on a brief assignment in Mumbai and New Delhi this week, I've been absorbing a lot of the local music, food and culture. What has struck me is that Indians not only celebrate an incredibly rich, diverse and flourishing musical scene at home, they are also very in tune with what's happen musically elsewhere in the world, often brining up Western artists like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift in conversation. (One of the reasons for that is cable channel VH1 that has a presence in India and plays English-language music videos.)
Given all the talent and starpower in India, there's oddly only a small handful of Indian artists who celebrate success overseas. One of the most promising Indian superstars who has a firm shot at fame internationally is Bollywood actress Priynaka Chopra who released her debut single "In My City" late last year through UMG/Interscope/DesiHits Records.
Chopra is without a doubt one of the most recognizable Bollywood stars in India who also ventures out in music, television and charitable causes. She made her acting debut in 2002 when she appeared in the film Thamizan that impressed fans and critics alike. That appearance led to leading roles in a string of Bollywood box office smashers that garnered her not only millions of fans but also National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards in India.
In early 2012, Priyanka teamed up with hit-making producer RedOne to collaborate on an English-language pop record. The first result of their collaborative effort is the single "In My City" that features some rhymes from will.i.am.(Check out this cool behind-the-scenes video of Priyanka signing her record deal at the UMG offices in Santa Monica, CA together with Jimmy Iovine, RedOne, will.i.am and Akon.)
After everything she has accomplished in India, releasing her music internationally is a dream come true for Chopra. "This is the culmination of a 2-year journey that has been the toughest yet most enriching experience of my life while also marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter," Priyanka Chopra explains in a press release. "I walked into this as a novice, with no training or experience of making music, and today, as I share my music with everyone. With the help and support of my family, an incredible team and the most talented music producers and songwriters, I am proud to present my first single ‘In My City’ to the US and subsequently the world."
Following the early success of "In My City," Chopra has also contributed vocals to "Erase," a progressive house ditty "for everyone with a broken heart" by up-and-coming dance-production outfit The Chainsmokers. The euphoric production is about to break into the Billboard Dance/Club Play chart and will surely give Chopra's budding music career another strong push forward.