“Wherever I go, if people don’t know me and if I just sing Hum Tum, that’s it”
Veronica UK, the name might not ring a bell immediately but she’s the voice behind the Bollywood title track Hum Tum which she co-performed with another UK-based bhangra pop artiste, Juggy-D. Along with Juggy, she’s also an artiste from the Rishie Rich production firm, and is one of the premiere female artistes in the UK Asian community. Here, she talks to Images on Sunday about her music on a recent visit to Pakistan.
Q. You’re also known as Miss V, how did you end up with that nickname?
A. It’s my fault. Basically I was thinking of a title for the album. I just thought of a name, Miss V, and then I decided that because there are so many artistes in England with like, Miss ‘something’, I decided to change it. Now we’re going with Rush.
Q. How did you start out and end up with Rishie Rich productions?
A. It’s a long story. I was into music even as a young girl and have grown up with the best of both worlds, really: British, American and Asian. I met Rishie when I was 16, we formed a group called We Are One and used original music along with some R&B and pop soul. Fast forward, and we basically got a break from Yash Raj to do a song for the film Hum Tum in 2004.
I did my first debut album in 2005 called Teen that did really well and went double platinum in India. It went to the number one spot in the BBC network chart and I was the first Asian female to ever have that. I then did Kya Cool Hain Hum.
Q. Some say that your Bollywood projects have contributed massively to your popularity.
A. Yes, definitely. Especially internationally and it’s been fantastic because wherever I go, if people don’t know me and if I just sing Hum Tum, that’s it. It’s all over, they all know it and they sing along and everything. It’s amazing and absolutely fantastic because that song has opened up a lot of doors for me and I’m really grateful.
Q. Are you working on another film project?
A. Yes, Toonpur Ka Superhero with Anu Malik, Rishie Rich, myself and H-Dhami. It’s an animation with Kajol and Ajay Devgan.
Q. You’re the only female in a genre dominated by men. How does it feel?
A. I don’t know. I’ve grown up with it now. I’m so used to it now that I don’t even flinch in a room full of men and I don’t even think about it.
Q. But has it been tough?
A. Yeah. Because I would go to shows and if it was my uncle taking me, they’d look at him and say “what’s a woman doing here?” and we were like “she’s here to perform.” You get used to facing these kinds of barriers and you just ignore them as you’ve got to get on with it.
Q. What are you working on right now in terms of your upcoming work?
A. The second album Rush is finished and it’s a very exciting project. I’ve put a lot of hard work into it and Rishie’s done a lot of work on the album. I’ve done a cover of Nazia Hasan’s Disco Dewanay. It was very exciting and wherever I go, I perform that song and people start singing along.
Then I’ve done a song with Abrarul Haq called O Sanam that is produced by Rishie and it’s fantastic. It’s kind of a mid-tempo ballad. When Abrar came to the UK for a tour, we supported him and performed at the Wembley Arena. His music is very different and Rishie has brought it up to date and made it accessible to the younger generation with O Sanam.
–written under the initials “HS”