Iulia Vantur gets candid about her B-town journey

The Bollywood singer of ‘Seeti Maar’, ‘Veere’ fame shares how she ended up making Mumbai her home and her ‘unexpected’ career choice

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Husain Rizvi

Published: Fri 17 Jun 2022, 10:00 AM

If you have been a keen follower of B-town gossip in the last decade, you would know why Iulia was making headlines in India. And after making headlines, Iulia’s Bollywood journey began. She made a mark in the music industry way back in 2014 when she lent her voice to Ummabakkum, a track from the film O Teri. The singer was also seen dancing to the song in the video.

Watch the music video below:

Two years later, Iulia went on to sing the Hindi track Every Night and Day in Indian playback singer Himesh Reshammiya’s album Aap Se Mausiiquii. “When Himesh heard my voice, he and Salman (Khan) encouraged me to sing. And then I started receiving more offers,” Iulia says in a recent conversation with City Times.

Today, Iulia has been a part of several music projects. She has sung Seeti Maar from Radhe, Veere from Veere Di Wedding, and her latest hit Tera Tha Tera Hoon is a collaboration with singer Arjun Kanungo. The song, set against the picturesque backdrop of Kerala, was released last month and has so far garnered nearly 9 million views on YouTube.

Watch the music video below:

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has played a major role in Iulia’s musical journey in the industry. The Radhe actor, who was, at one point, rumoured to be romantically linked with Iulia, often gives a shoutout to the singer’s new releases. “Give all your love,” Salman wrote on Twitter when Iulia’s Designer Lehenga released in March this year. Part of Moods With Melodies, a studio album released last year by Himesh, the song marked another collaboration between Iulia and the Aashiq Banaya Aapne singer.

Life on tours

Iulia has also been on US Tours; the first one was with Indian singer Mika Singh in 2019, and the other, after the pandemic-induced break, earlier this year in March with Guru Randhawa and Kanika Kapoor. “I loved it,” she says. “It was an amazing experience, people enjoyed it because they really needed a live show after so long. They danced and sang with us, the energy we exchanged was beautiful.”

And that is Iulia’s favourite part about being a live performer: The whole interaction with the audience. “I have done anchoring, hosting, acting, and singing, and people used to ask me what I like the most. I used to be a little confused,” she said. “But now, after performing live, I know exactly what my answer is.”

Iulia Vantur performs during her recent US Tour
Iulia Vantur performs during her recent US Tour

So what does Iulia do before taking to the stage? “I think it is very important for an artist to connect with themselves before going on stage, and to be very balanced in order to give a 100 per cent to the audience,” she says, “So, I do a little bit of meditation to focus on getting balanced because, before the show, there will always be stress, you will be doing everything in a hurry. So I take a moment to do my prayer and to meditate to know that I am balanced, I am at peace, and 100 per cent there for my audience.”

An unexpected career

Iulia’s career in B-town was “unexpected,” she says. “Because, I never had dreams to have a career in Bollywood. It just happened.” She was very much happy with her career in Romania; she was hosting the country’s biggest entertainment show of that time, and was a celebrated news anchor. Then life took a turn, for the better of course, when roads led to India for the Romanian diva.

Now, Iulia has made Bollywood and Mumbai her home. You know that is true when she says her favourite pastime is taking walks at Bandra Bandstand as she sips coffee from her favourite coffee house located at the iconic landmark in Mumbai. “I love the sea. And I love sunsets. So, that is a beautiful spot,” she said.

‘Dubai is an extension of home’

And the very same thing, Iulia finds in Dubai, a city she visits often and where she has many good friends. “Dubai is like an extension of home, it is incredible how this city has brought the best of the best in any field. There is something to do for everyone, from the little kids to the oldest people.”

Like every other visitor to Dubai, Iulia loves shopping and the Dubai Fountain area. But the singer had “never seen something so beautiful” as Miracle Garden in the last few years. “The beautiful flowers, shapes and they even have a garden with butterflies,” she says, adding that the place is like heaven for her.

Iulia loves the idea of collaborating with artists from the city, especially in the Arabic language. “I love the Arabic rhythm, it sounds very beautiful,” she says, recalling the time she was here for an event and sang in Arabic a line from one of her songs.

Initial challenges

The Romanian diva is no stranger to singing in a foreign language, cue her Bollywood career in the music industry. But she faced her fair share of challenges initially when she started singing in Hindi. “It was very difficult, not because of the pitching or getting the song right, but because of pronunciation. That was a big struggle for me at the beginning,” she said, adding that she slowly got used to the sound of the words and the correct pronunciations.

At one point, the singer even tried taking Hindi classes as she wanted to learn the language from scratch. However, it got difficult for the singer to “start from ABC” and she realised that she learned more through music. “My shoots are in Hindi, so certain dialogues I have learned that way,” she says, “I can’t say that I am fluent in Hindi, but I can make sentences and I manage, especially with the staff, I feel much more comfortable speaking (in Hindi) with them, as opposed to speaking in the public where I don’t feel so confident.”

For Iulia, more challenges came up when she shifted to India. “Different language, culture, mentality, weather, even the style of dressing, everything is different,” she says, “so you have to adapt, understand what you like and what you don’t like, what you want to adopt and integrate in your system, because it is very important to adapt to that place, which will become your home. You also have to keep an open mind (about the customs and rituals), there is no right or wrong, you just have to respect the place and its people to be a part of it.”

So what’s the meaning of her name, Iulia?. “There are two”, she says, “One is ‘a gift from God’, and I really love that meaning. The other is ‘Youth’, which comes from a Latin name.”

“Bahut maza aaya (I had a lot of fun),” Iulia signed off at the end of our conversation with a smile in her voice — as if to underline her affinity with the language of the place she calls home now.

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