Reality music show contestant from Oman, Aasma Mohammad, makes her playback debut in Bollywood
Donning a black abaya and a colourful headscarf, 18-year-old Aasma Mohammad is at the lobby of Grand Hyatt, Muscat, her home city. To talk about her career as a playback singer, in Bollywood. By her side are her parents and six of her eight siblings.
Talking about her first song, Aasma says: “It is called ‘Lakho deewane hain’ for the film ‘World Cup 2011’. I have got quite a few offers, not just to sing but to act too, in a film and also in a TV series.”
Soon you realise she is besotted with Bollywood. “The first Bollywood celebrity I met was Abhisekh Bachchan, he came to the show sets,” she says. Aasma here is referring to the sets of “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa”, a reality music show on Zee TV, which gave her a chance to hog the limelight in India. Though she got eliminated from the show, Aasma gained public attention for her singing, witty repartee and for her stunning face. “It was a great experience for me, I never thought I would become famous one day,” she says. In Mumbai, and also during her tour to other Indian cities, she was often recognised by the public. “But in my home city Muscat, I am recognised only by the employees of a certain mall as I did a promotional event for them,” she says with a giggle.
Talking about the “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa” platform, Aasma recollects, “There was an audition here for the Dubai chapter of the reality show. I took part in it just by chance and sang two Arabic songs; soon I got a call.” Her father adds, “She came fourth in the show and won a swanky car, this helped her enter the India show.”
Aasma’s father, Mohammed Rafi, a bank official in Muscat, was a show contestant in 2006. There he met singer Bali Brahmbhatt. “I remained in touch with him and we stayed with him when I took Aasma to Mumbai for the first time,” Rafi recalls with gratitude. He now loves the country which has given his daughter an opportunity to make a name for herself. With pride, he states, “Aasma is perhaps the first singer from Oman to have done playback singing for Bollywood. An Arab girl singing in Hindi, isn’t it unique?”
Aasma, meanwhile, is doing her riyaaz to be part of a Bollywood night in Bangkok and also a possible world tour organised by Zee TV.TEXT AND PHOTO BY SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY