She can sing Adele in her trademark Kanjivaram sari with a bindi on her forehead and jasmine in her hair. Usha Uthup, who has been singing for the last 44 years, has donned many hats successfully, be it singing in several languages, acting or being a judge on reality shows. The singer, who got nostalgic during a show in the City recently, takes a trip down memory lane with Metrolife.
“In 1969, when I first started performing, I visited Bangalore to perform at Hotel Bangalore International. It’s fantastic coming back here especially to an audience that is so discerning. I love them unabashedly. The folks here inspire one to grow,” she says. As accomplished as Usha is, she reveals that prior to her show, “I’m nervous as hell. I always feel like this prior to a performance because a standard is always set. If you can’t perform better than that, you need to at least perform like that. But you can never go below that.”
Usha says knowing the profile of the audience helps a performer prepare better. “Although the lyrical content and melody quotient remain the same, there is always some difference performing in different cities,” she says. Usha, who has also tried her hand at acting, says she really wants to be back on the big screen soon. “I really hope to be back,” she says excitedly, adding, “I have been getting several offers from the South.
Actually, there is one Malayalam movie that’s confirmed. And it’s going to be shot in Bangalore next year. I just can’t wait.” Side by side, she will also continue judging reality shows. “They are a great platform for youngsters to showcase their talent,” she says. At the same time, she cautions aspiring singers “The challenge these days is to stay. It’s comparatively easy to get to the top but staying put is the hard part. But for those who do, sky is the limit. Today to help out, technology and information are available at one’s fingertips. If they stay, a fantastic future lies ahead,” she points out.
Ask her the highlight of 2013 and Usha says, “It’s been a fantastic year. I’m not the one to crib and grumble. I take what God has given me in the right stride. But this year, I feel lucky to have performed (Adele’s ‘Skyfall’) with my daughter and granddaughter.”