Shalmali Kholgade says she aspires to be a pop star like Beyonce.
"I aspire to be a pop star, we don't have many here in India. My biggest dream is to become one. We admire Beyonce and while she has done films, she is known for her stage performances, as a vocalist.
I love acting, I find myself alive when the audience sings along with me in my live gigs. I want everything. There is no reference point, there is no one in our generation I can look up to as a pop star. I am preparing the ammo and I very well know that I am going to be one," Shalmali told IANS.
She released her first non-film single, "Ruka ruka", which she has co-created with Digvijay Singh Pariyar and Sunny MR.
Dwelling on her desire to see herself as a pop star, Shalmali said: "When I do my solo show, I put it up with dance, performance, dress, and prop because it is a performing art, and acting is a part of it. The audience should come and engage with the performer. We need a pop star in Hindi music."
Citing the example of the Punjabi non-film music scene, she added: " Look at Badshah, Diljit (Dosanjh) and all those Punjabi musicians. They are no less than Bollywood stars, and in Punjabi culture pop stars are celebrated. Now, with the whole entertainment scenario changing, and with (the act of) engaging with the audience becoming the main objective for an artiste, we need to create space for a pop star."
"Ruka ruka" is a Gaana Original song and will be available on the Gaana app. While the independent music has been overshadowed by Bollywood music and its marketing machinery, the ‘Pareshaan' fame singer said: "It was important for musicians like us to get platforms like Gaana, because they have the conviction that original audio can reach out to people . The pressure is not there that if the video is not good the song will not reach out. Of course, I have acted in the video and there is a different kind of creativity involved in making a video, but the conviction that these people have, makes singers like us feel that we are in good hands."
Starting her career in 2012, Shalmali lent her voice for several superhit songs including "Balam pichkari", "Daru desi", "Lat lag gayee ", and "Shayarana".
Shalmali's love for acting probably stems from the fact that her parents hail from a theatre background. "I am reading a few scripts and I might end up doing a film if the story is exciting," she claimed.
The song "Ruka ruka" is presented by Big Bang Music.