Monica Dogra, Singer

A childhood experience that left an indelible imprint?
I grew up in Jammu with my mum. I come from a family of musicians. All of us would sit in the living room in the evenings and we would sing, accompanied by the dholak.

You spent a considerable part of your time in Maryland. How was the transition to Mumbai? 
It is difficult to be away from anything familiar. When I got to Mumbai I made a lot of musician friends, we would jam and party together. I was always making up impromptu songs. Things were certainly different, but the transition was smooth.

What was your first concert experience like? 
I was 16 years old when I sang at the Carnegie Hall. I was judged one of the best sopranos in Maryland state. That was a big experience for me.

Mental synchrony is as important as musical synchrony in a band. What makes you and Randolph a good duo in Shaa’ir + Func? 
When I met him, I knew we would really click together. We both wanted to write music and, more importantly, the same type of music.

Besides music, what do you turn to in moments of despair?
I write. Even when I write, I have music playing in my mind.

Are you religious? 
I come from a Hindu family. I have been fascinated by stories about Shiva.

Your musical tastes and style are socially and politically charged. Is this a conscious effort? 
It is natural to develop a prejudice. I am not above it. I think the word prejudice is a negative connotation for being opinionated (laughs). But I try not to talk too much about things I don’t know enough about.


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