UAE-based singer Neha Pandey on collaborating with Bollywood lyricist Shabbir Ahmed for new single

Neha's latest track 'Dil Mein Baje' will be released on 9XM in India


Husain Rizvi

Published: Sun 25 Sep 2022, 11:12 AM

Last updated: Sun 25 Sep 2022, 4:08 PM

Neha Pandey, a household name in the UAE music scene, is set to surprise her fans with her newest single titled Dil Mein Baje, releasing on 9XM in India. And this one's special because Neha marks her first-ever collaboration with renowned Bollywood lyricist Shabbir Ahmed, after making her Bollywood singing debut in 2017 with Humdard from the film Dobaara.

Dil Mein Baje, which is in process of being launched, is a foot-tapping song with a creative retro pop art feel that is complemented by experimental visual treats. The song is a light hearted melody by Shabbir, and sells a chilled vibe to the young-at-heart audiences with its peppy, upbeat, and retro-yet-modern feels.

Neha came into the spotlight nearly two decades ago after winning Zee TV's national contest in the indie pop category. Over the years, Neha released more singles, including Busy Busy, collaborated with artists from different parts of the world. She resides in the UAE, a country which holds a "special place" in her heart. The country has also inspired one of her songs, which is yet to be released.

We caught up with Neha to know more about her new Bollywood collaboration with Shabbir, and upcoming projects.

You must be excited for your upcoming release. Can you tell us more about it?

This song was one of the many projects of mine that were done much earlier, even before Covid struck. And I had to wait for a long time to release this one. It is a completely different flavour; youth targeted, including the ones young at heart. Among the various elements - it has a retro pop art feel.

You're collaborating with Indian lyricist Shabbir Ahmed. Your first reaction when you bagged this?

I have been fortunate and blessed by the Almighty to have had the opportunity to interact and work with some of the most talented and respected Bollywood artists, musicians and actors and beyond. I am thankful is all I can say.

You recently ventured into Arabic music, how was that experience for you? Can we expect more Arabic songs from you in the future?

Being the first Indian female to come up with her own Arabic song indicates my passion for Arabic arts and culture, being a non-Arabic speaking individual. It was also a risk to venture into a language as difficult as Arabic and create originals. Therefore, the experience has been ecstatic, fulfilling and encouraging for me, especially getting so much support from my native Arabic speaking friends, listeners and fans.

I have done a few compositions which are unreleased, including an Arabic song (again one of the projects since Covid times).

Tell us about your upcoming projects and performances?

The future is in the Almighty's hands. There are a few beautiful surprises ahead.

What is your dream collaboration in Bollywood and internationally?

My dream collaborations have been many. And as previously mentioned too; many legendary names like Amr Diab, A.R. Rahman and the likes. I can’t just name one.

What inspires you? What keeps you going?

This very miracle called “life” and its many faces inspire me. I have derived inspiration from plenty of things along this journey of life.

Resilience, perseverance, strength, and being a mother to my son Aren kept me going. My several personal losses pushed me ahead to fight on and keep going with my belief in Almighty that anything is possible if we have faith. It is the strength to hold on to our human values that helped me through.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

I see myself using my talents and growing towards good causes, being empowered enough to touch lives in a positive way. I wish to bring humanity together beyond any religion, caste, and creed.

How has the UAE helped you grow into the musician you are today?

I owe a lot to the UAE for my achievements, and as I have mentioned earlier, this most unique and tolerant country holds a special place in my heart. It is a country which has truly taught us tolerance in a divided world and has inspired one of my unreleased songs.

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