Monica Dogra is ready to release her first solo album titled Shaair
It’s been a dream for her for a while now and actor-singer-musician Monica Dogra (popularly known as Shaa’ir of the band Shaa’ir+Func) is ready to release her first solo album titled Shaair. The album comprises seven songs, five of which are produced by Gaurav Raina of Indian fusion group MIDIval Punditz, and two by Prashant Mistry from Engine-EarZ. It is set to release in the first week of December and she is visibly excited. “It’s been there for a while now, in my head. I wanted to do a solo for my fans. It’s definitely dance music-oriented; I love movement,” she says. But for people who are wondering if that’s the end of the road for the band together, they can put such thoughts to rest. “I am touring full time with Shaa’ir+Func. That’s unstoppable.”
Monica’s quite unstoppable actually. She’s just finished shooting for her show The Dewarists, she’s assisted in curating India’s first experiential music festival Magnetic Fields to be held at the Alsisar Mahal in Rajasthan from December 13-15, and this weekend (November 24) she is performing at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Bangalore. Her name is synonymous with the music fest, but she was missing from the scene at Pune. “I have no idea why, but I wasn’t invited,” she says. “But I got such a tremendous amount of fan mail post NH7 Pune that I have been asked to play at Bangalore and I am doing that,” she says candidly. The performer says that a lot has changed in the industry since the time she started out. “The audience has grown 200 times from four years ago. But music needs inspiration. At the same time, it requires quality control, as it’s easy to make music with the kind of technology available freely on the Internet,” she reasons.
That’s not the end of her work. Monica has also signed a new film titled Mastaan, with Naseeruddin Shah and his son Vivaan. “All I can tell you is I am in it, as are Naseer and Vivaan. I get into a lot of trouble for revealing a little too much all the time!” she laughs, talking of the film that’s yet to go on floors. “Well, I play a tough-as-nails girl in this. I really look up to Naseer. He is sort of a hero to me. I think Vivaan’s also got his father’s skills. It’s a great film for me,” she says. Monica is training in plyometrics for the role under her trainer Ryan Pereira. The film is to be directed by newcomer Rocky Khanna and Monica says it was the director’s vision that made her sign up. “I am sort of a sentimental girl. I go with how intensely the director feels about the film,” she adds.
Monica has earlier worked with Aamir Khan in Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat and Neil Nitin Mukesh in Bejoy Nambiar’s David. Her film Fireflies by Sabal Singh Shekhawat is awaiting release.