She is among the latest craze in the music scene in America and worldwide – her debut self-titled album released just a few months ago and already some of her songs are climbing to the top of the Billboard Charts. If you listen to her music, you would detect not only Bollywood music and classicial Indian instruments in her songs but also traces of bhangra, pop, rock, and hip-hop, smoothly blended. Her hit single “Break Me” made an appearance on popular TV show Melrose Place this season and she sang the theme song for Kelly Ripa’s ABC sitcom ; her songs have been on soundtracks of movies such as Around the World in 80 Days, Christmas with the Kranks, Ice Princess, Raise Your Voice, and The Clique. She recently had the honor of opening the show for Dave Stewart and the Rock Fabulous Band by playing tabla (Indian drums) and singing a traditional Indian song (and the lead in some of Dave’s hit songs). After her debut album release, the CW-11 Morning news in America invited her onto the set to perform her hit song “Bollywood Girl” which she did with much aplomb. She won an award at the Sony Entertainment Television’s South Asian Excellence Awards and to put the cherry on top, she got to lunch on home-made Indian food with former Beatles member Ringo Starr and his wife at their house – she even tried to teach Ringo Starr how to play the tabla.
With a long list of skills to her credit and quite a few accomplishments to date from the days as a child performer for ‘The Sugandh Family’, this girl is guaranteed to go places where few Indian girls have gone before. How many Indian (let alone Sindhi) girls do you know that can sing, write her own lyrics, dance like a Bollywood superstar, and most special of all; can play a really, really mean tabla?
So who is this girl that we’ve been raving about, you wonder? We’re writing about none other than the gorgeous TablaGirl – here’s an exclusive interview between Rachana Mirpuri and Tina Sugandh for our readers of Beyond Sindh Magazine.
BSM: How was it growing up and performing with The Sugandh Family?
TS: It was absolutely incredible! I started performing with my family, The Sugandh Family, when I was five. My mom, dad, sister Seema, and I all sing and play instruments. My dad is also a hysterical mimic, comic, and MC. My parents worked at their full-time jobs during the week, and my sister and I studied very hard in school, and then every weekend we would all take off and have this magical Bollywood weekend! I am so very grateful for every family performance we’ve ever done!
BSM: What was the attitude of your parents towards your musical and instrument inclinations?