Interview with Sophie Choudry
A Complete Entertainer
“Singer, VJ, Actor, Entertainer, Dreamer, Dancer, Fashion Lover! Good things come to those who work their asses off & never give up!” is how Sophie Choudry describes herself on her Twitter handle. A well known personality, Sophie really needs no introduction and is a versatile artiste who lets her work speak for herself. She tells us more about herself and her journey to date in this exclusive tête-à-tête.
Down Memory Lane
Growing up in London, Sophie always wanted to be a singer and star in her own music videos. Films were also a huge passion from an early age but she always saw herself as more of a pop star. But make no mistake she is a graduate in European politics and French from the London School of Economics, so I ask her if it was hard to give up on a potentially good career for performing arts? “I absolutely loved studying. Singing and acting was a dream which I never imagined could become my reality. My education was my reality and I loved it. I graduated in political science and French and was pretty sure I would get a job in the UN. Once I graduated I wanted to give my dream a chance. I took out one year to come to India and in that one year I became an MTV VJ, a year later my remix numbers, Mera Babu Chain Chabila became a huge hit and then Ek Pardesi. There was no looking back. In life if you don’t take risks, you risk losing more!” As a singer, music director Biddu discovered her when she was 12 and got her to sing backing vocals on the epic Made in India song he was making for Alisha Chinai. “As a VJ I got my first to show on Zee TV U.K. when I was still studying. I soon had the most popular show on the channel but I never imagined VJing would become such a big part of my life. I guess London was my training ground for all I was doing to do.”
So is being an actress, singer, songwriter, VJ, television presenter and more hard and does she prefer one over the other? “It is not fair to ask an entertainer to choose any one dimension of her personality. I am multi faceted and proud of it. That is the reason I have survived ere for so long without a godfather and without any controversy. But singing and performing live on stage is an unmatchable high.” Dabbling in multiple forms of the visual medium, how does she choose the projects she wants to work on? “I have always been choosy about my work. I go with my instinct and just do the best work I possibly can. This industry is about luck, timing and so much more than just talent.” Sophie was a contestant on the popular celebrity dance show with Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, Season 7 and admits she had rejected the show four times previously and finally was convinced by the Colors team to do it. “The fact that it was the last time Madhuri Dixit, Karan Johar and Remo D’souza were judging together made it more special because I truly believe they are the best judge panel for a show like Jhalak. It was extremely hard work and for someone like me who had had two slip discs in the past a huge challenge but I managed to connect with the judges and the audience. People saw me not as a diva but as the real Sophie – hard working, sweet, emotional and talented and that made the journey totally worth it.” In fact if you quiz her to tell us something we do not know she says, “that I got all straight A’s in my A levels and was an extremely studious girl, so much so that before my exams my headmistress called my mother and told her to not allow me to look at my books for a few days. She thought I needed a holiday!”
Sophie has also acted in several Hindi, Telugu and Tamil films and has played some cameo roles as well. So how was it working in regional cinema? “It was amazing being directed by Prabhu Deva for a Tamil song in his film and absolutely awesome to work with Mahesh Babu for a Telugu song. The fan following of these superstars in the south is another level and they were all extremely professional. I would love to do another song in the south.” Considering that she speaks English, fluent French and very good Italian she says, “I think I am the perfect artist to work in international productions. I am the perfect blend of east and west and so I would love to.” So how does social media help a celebrity? “I think in today’s day and age you cannot be isolated. We live in a digital world and have to be up to date and connected! As a pop singer it’s even more important because unlike previously when television channels and radios used to play pop songs all the time, now we are dependent on YouTube and digital mediums completely. Fortunately for me, my new song Sajan Main Nachungi has done extremely well on YouTube and the digital space and encourages me to come up with more singles soon! Naturally her future plans are more music, more live gigs and more movies. “I love being an entertainer,” she concludes.
This story appeared in Deccan Herald here.