But all that talent lay dormant during the period in which she worked with Shiamak Davar, from who she learned to dance. She attributes her superb and powerful dancing skills to training with him for six years. That was when she recorded her first demo and sent it to the A&R executives in BMG who signed her on after a failed first attempt at capturing the artist. Then we saw a first glimpse of Mehnaz the singer in her first video Miss India from her debut album of the same name.
It was a video with a story similar to the ugly duckling and the song found an immediate audience among the youth of the country. But musically Miss India, which was composed by Asif Ali Baig and Merlyn D’Souza, was a change from what was being churned out. It was a full sound with the least bit of synthesized music-which was the rule in the Indi-pop world, even if the musical arrangements were generally awful. The next hit was Main Hoon, a song with a bold video to match.
The video is remembered mostly for Mehnaz’s powerful dancing which made her background dancers seem like amateurs in comparison. The song also let the audience have a taste of Mehnaz’s singing power. Mehnaz then came in with works like Sambhalke, a single where she was part of a trio that included her and her to be nemesis Anaida. Paisa Paisa followed, from the sound track of Kaizad Gustad’s Bombay Boys.
For these singles she won awards like a special Screen award for Best Female Pop Vocalist and an award from Channel V. Mausam hit the stores in 1999 with a video on the title track that gave her a chance to go mellow and romantic. Mehnaz had clearly changed the face of Indipop now. She set a standard that audiences and fans came to expect, this meant that a lot of the erstwhile competition was now history. But all of these dwarfed her biggest achievement yet and that was singing with the band that defined Romantic songs and Slow Rock in the Eighties-Air Supply.
Many were surprised that an Indian singer was able to cut it with a band from the West. Indeed Mehnaz made everyone proud. Mehnaz now spends most of her time in concerts and shows so much so that she hardly has anytime for herself! Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more