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Singer-Actor Monica Dogra Reveals How A Fan’s Letter Became An Everlasting Memory

  • JWB Post
  •  January 6, 2017


I’d first heard of Monica Dogra when I was still in school, and just beginning to explore rock n’ roll and metal music. I wasn’t too fond of electronic music. However, Shaa’ir and Func were a fresh change.

The Indie scene mostly comprised of men when she came in. And yet, she conquered Bollywood with Playback singing and acting, both.

How did you do that, Monica?

M: For some reason, I get asked this question quite a lot.  I’m multidisciplinary- I enjoy doing many things and am pragmatic and fluid.  They’re all food for my soul for cravings I experience at different junctures of my life.  

Photo by @aranka_israni . . . . The truth is, of course, that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time. . #DavidBowie HMUA by @tuongvigiang

A photo posted by Monica Dogra / Aka Shaa'ir (@monicadogra) on

I know for a fact that the vocal practice noises are funny as hell. Be it the lip rolls, the “gug gugs” or something else.

Is there a noise that cracks you up/ your neighbors?

M: If you blow through your lips with air and sing a scale… it looks funny and sounds funny, but it activates all your facial muscles and resonating chambers!  

Note that, singers.

If you’re referring back to 3 Idiot’s Induction Motor, you got it right, good sir.

How has the face of western music in India changed after “The Stage,” according to you? How long before India begins to accept the artists with open arms?

Thoughts for the new year… photo by @monishatpd . . . No, you carry your wound. With the ego your whole being is a wound. Nobody is interested in hurting you, nobody is positively waiting to hurt you; everybody is engaged in safeguarding his own wound. Who has got the energy? But still it happens, because you are so ready to be wounded, so ready, just waiting on the brink for anything. . You cannot touch a man of Tao. Why? – because there is no one to be touched. There is no wound. He is healthy, healed, whole. . . This word "whole" is beautiful. The word "heal" comes from whole, and the word "holy" also comes from the whole. He is whole, healed, holy. Be aware of your wound. Don't help it grow, let it be healed; and it will be healed only when you move to the roots. . . The less the head, the more the wound will heal; with no head there is no wound. Live the headless life. Move as a total being, and accept things. Just for 24 hours, try it – total acceptance, whatsoever happens. Someone insults you, accept it, don't react, and see what happens. Suddenly you will feel an energy flowing in you that you have not felt before. . . #OSHO #ZEN #Tarot #healing #masteryofemotions #MonicaDogra #MonDog #DMoney #Portrait #NaturalLight #Actor #Artist #Vintage #fashion #bandra #mumbai #nyc #denim #photography

A photo posted by Monica Dogra / Aka Shaa'ir (@monicadogra) on

M: So many people are paying attention to us now and seeing how much talent is truly out there!  The show has just done wonders!  I’m so grateful and excited.  I can’t go anywhere without meeting the fans of the show.  I feel India has already accepted the artists with open arms.

One vocal technique that you’d recommend every aspiring singer to take up religiously?

M: You can’t really say – because the voice is a muscle and each muscle behaves differently according to the body it’s in.  I would say drink more water!  Practice all the time!  And don’t smoke! 

Lots of water, eh? Time to set that water alarm!

Who is one artist that you listen to on loop?

M: Radiohead and Ani Difranco


Who is that one musician you want to collaborate with?

M: I’d love to work with Kendrick Lamar 

We can beat them, just for one day We can be Heroes, just for one day And you, you could be mean And I, I'll drink all the time 'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact Yes we're lovers, and that is that Though nothing, will keep us together We could steal time, just for one day We can be Heroes, for ever and ever What'd you say? I, I wish you could swim Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim Though nothing nothing will keep us together We can beat them, for ever and ever Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day I, I will be king And you, you will be queen Though nothing will drive them away We can be Heroes, just for one day We can be us, just for one day #DavidBowie . . Photo by @aranka_israni HMU by @tuongvigiang #Monicadogra #instadaily #portrait #chelsea #naturallight #photography #nyc #artist #nyc #india #mondog #dmoney #arankaisraniphotography

A photo posted by Monica Dogra / Aka Shaa'ir (@monicadogra) on

A fan moment you’ll never forget.

M: I’ve been asked to sign people’s chests at gigs, been gifted painted portraits of myself, custom jewelry, but one memory I’ll never forget is a fan once wrote me a long letter on a plane so as not to disturb me – and we chatted about Gabriel Garcia Marquez afterward!  It was very sweet. 

May I, please just tilt my head like I’m looking at a little pup and go ‘awwwww’?

If your life were a song, it would be…?

M: Joyful Girl – Ani Difranco 

“I do it for the joy it brings because I’m a joyful girl.”

That’s just perfect, Monica. We’re going to try and sprint past you in the path of joy.

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