Iulia Vantur and Himesh Reshammiya on the set. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Leaning on a mic, her face lit by what seem like a million stage lights, Iulia Vantur lip-syncs her latest track, Every Night And Day, along with composer-singer Himesh Reshammiya. An army of shadows creeps up from below the stage and on closer look, we realise it’s a bunch of kids, each weilding a phone camera. The energy of the song as well as the performers on stage is infectious, as we start to bob our heads and tap our feet. A couple of minutes later, a booming voice declares, ‘Cut’.
We are on the set of T-Series’ latest music video, Every Night And Day, from the album Aap Se Mausiiqui, in Malad yesterday to catch up with Himesh and Iulia, the Romanian actress better known as superstar Salman Khan’s special friend. Speculation over her Bollywood acting debut keeps surfacing off and on, but Iulia first wants to see where music — her passion — takes her. “I have surprised myself too [by choosing to pursue singing]. I had no plans of working here [in Bollywood], because I have a successful showbiz career in Romania. But once I visited India, I kept coming back and people around me encouraged me to do this [singing],” she says.
While Iulia may not name the ‘people’ who motivated her to follow her heart, it is well known that Salman has been mentoring her. In fact, it was the superstar who hooked her up with Himesh. And the composer is delighted about the collaboration. He admits he had expected Iulia to take at least eight to 10 hours to record the song. “But it was over in an hour, and we didn’t have to use auto-tuner. Her voice is very Bollywood with a contemporary touch to it. I am glad people have appreciated our song,” he says, reminding us that a video of the track’s making has crossed two million views on YouTube. “The new one is being shot in international style.”
The video, produced by T-Series boss Bhushan Kumar with HR Musik, will have Iulia and Himesh crooning on stage. A bunch of 20 kids, all talented dancers from different parts of the country, will also feature in what is essentially a romantic number (with lyrics by Manoj Muntashir). Talking of romance, we can’t resist bringing Salman into our conversation with Iulia while apologising for invading her private space. “It should be private, but I see you asking me [questions on it] anyway,” she says, her laugh laced with sarcasm. “I understand the curiosity and am used to it [being written about]. Everybody [journalists] has to do their job, but many a time, things are created just for the sake of it.”
Had she imagined she’d find a family in a Bollywood celebrity’s home? “You never know what you find, where and how you find it. That’s the beauty of life.” Prod her further and she breaks into a smile. “What do I say? The Khan family is so beautiful. I really admire them; they are united and welcoming. Their doors are always open for everyone.”
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