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Oh So-phia!

George Michael and VJ Sophia have one thing in common - their teachers

WHICH WORD - adventurous or subdued - best describes her personality? "Adventurous, because I don't know what the other means," chuckles VJ Sophia.

"I love risks, they've always been rewarding," she adds.

It is another matter that certain people are earmarked for success by fate, and VJ Sophia Chowdhury happens to be one of them. A London School of Economics-gold medallist, Sophia, with a degree in Politics and French, could have easily embarked on a high-flying career but decided otherwise.

"I wanted to do something that would allow me to be myself. VJing was a natural choice."

Deciding to become a VJ had its own rewards and even before she realised, Sophia was quite a star in the U.K. At the peak of her stardom however, she decided to undertake another risk - this time to test Indian waters instead. "I knew I had to start from the scratch in India."

What she also knew was that success was imminent — an instant hit with shows like MTV Loveline, Sophia was soon the leading face in the race. Awards and encomiums followed naturally, the most recent one being - MTV-Style award.

It dawned on her pretty soon that at her worst she'd continue to be rated as the country's best, and Sophia realised it was time for another risk. Tables turned, and VJing was relegated to the background and Sophia emerged in a new avatar as singer and dancer. "I always wanted to be a rock star, having grown up on Blondie, George Michael and Michael Jackson," says the VJ, - who studied at the London School of Music and Dramatics.

Not many know that Helen Shenel, George Michael's music teacher, tutored Sophia. Shirley Bassey was her teacher in western classical music.

After having struck gold with her voice too, Sophia feels she is "cut out to be a singer."

Having won the prestigious UK Asian Pop award for best Female Debut, Sophia has now placed her feet firmly in the field of music with even a couple of international collaborations to her credit, - her last one being Bombay Moon by Right Said Fred.

R.D. rocks

A huge fan of R.D. Burman and O.P Nayyar among music directors, and Asha Bhosle (her inspiration) among singers, Sophia's foot-tapping remixes have topped the charts from day one.

"Remixes are not a shortcut to fame and success," she states, adding - "More than 20 per cent of today's remixes flop.

My music is different because I re-create rather than just re-mix, and therefore they come to the audience as fresh. Every time one listens to my music, one will hear new tracks - there're more than 100 tracks in each composition." Among contemporary remixes, she thinks Raghav's is fabulous.

Just out of a hectic four-day shoot for a new video of Jadoogar Saiyya, Sophia is full of beans,attributing childhood lessons in Bharatanatyam and Kathak later on, for her physical fitness.

"Life is all about fulfilment," she feels.

Now that her life has come a full circle, what next? "Oh! I've just begun. So many dreams are yet to be fulfilled. Like collaborating with George Michael, making movies..."

And, who knows, with her degree in politics, it may hardly be a surprise if she decides to don the mantle of a neta someday!


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