The advance reports of acclaim in film reviews of “Barfi!” were trickling in and the promotions still on when on Sep.13, its lead actress and 2101/DesiHits!/Interscope recording artist Priyanka Chopra’s debut international music single was unveiled at the J.W.Marriott in Mumbai.
In My City, featuring will.i.am and produced by RedOne and Brian Kennedy, is an emotional, feel-good song that bridges the world of dance music with nostalgia, echoing sentiments of hometown pride.
In My City makes its debut in India followed by its launch on Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network. The song was the music bed for the intro to Thursday Night Kickoff that began the same day with the 185th meeting between Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers – the most-played rivalry in NFL history.
“This is the culmination of a two-year journey that has been the toughest yet most enriching experience of my life while also marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter,” said Priyanka Chopra. “Today, as I share my music with the world, I hope that I have been able to create a sound that India would be proud of. With the help and support of my family, an incredible team and the most talented music producers and songwriters, I am proud to present my debut single first to India and subsequently to the world.”
In My City will be made available across various platforms internationally over the coming weeks. This is the first single from Priyanka’s much-anticipated debut album, which is expected to be released early next year.
Jimmy Iovine, Chairman, Interscope Records, in a video recording, said, “After two years of this incredible journey, we have finally cracked the code to the ultimate ‘East meets West’ pop album. I really believe we have done something we can all be proud of.”
Added Red One, Executive Producer, 2101 Records, in a videotaped interview, “I want to congratulate Priyanka on an incredible album. It was such a pleasure to work with her. She is such an amazing star and she’s going to take over the world!”
Speaking at the launch, Anjula Acharia-Bath, CEO, DesiHits! said, “PC is that artist that I was searching for all my life! I’m honored and thrilled to work with Priyanka on this journey, which will put India on the map across the globe. She’s a goldmine of talent and is really incredible – she is India’s representative in the global pop culture.”
Anjula revealed how she had noted Priyanka in “Bluffmaster!” all of 7 years ago. “She was a hot chick and I never knew then that she was going to be the face of the dream I always had, when some years back, I came with an A-class team from Universal, UK to meet the artist they wanted me to hear. At Salim-Sulaiman’s studio where I had the demo, it was love at first sight! And I told them, ‘You have got a huge star!’”
Said Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director, Universal Music for India / SAARC, “I am proud to finally announce our most exciting artist ever. I have been part of ‘Project PC’ since its inception and to see it reach the level it has globally is unreal.”
Sanyal had just flown in from Beijing where there was a conference of all Universal MDs across the globe.
“Whenever I make people hear a new artist’s track, the usual ratio is 70 percent liking it and 30% disliking or finding it okay. This time the response was 100 percent – it was insane, unreal!” he said.
Added Troy Carter, CEO, Atom Factory, who was present at the event: “Priyanka has been working diligently over the last year on her music, so it's rewarding to see her present it for the first time in her home country. She is a girl who is so not afraid of hard work. She never gives up, and does what she can do tomorrow, today.”
In My City featuring will.i.am, will be available across all physical and digital platforms from Sep. 14.
Blenders Pride, the premium whisky label, has chosen In My City to be a key feature of its upcoming, multi-city ‘Blender's Pride Fashion Tour.’ Additionally, Nokia India will provide its consumers with exclusive downloads of ‘In my City’ from the online Nokia Store. In a record big release, the single will release in 1000 music stores all over India, as against the norm of 50 for a single!
The first two questions at the Q&A segment at the event were asked by this reporter for India-West. “Rave reviews for your performance in ‘Barfi!’ and now such a path-breaking achievement. Do you think all this was meant to happen the same day by Someone Above?”
The actor answered, “I am sure it was. I have been promoting ‘Barfi!,’ which releases tomorrow, the whole day, and I am exhausted! I am really blessed that these two milestones in my life have come together. And I am grateful to everyone responsible.”
Asked what was the greatest vocal challenge she faced in this album, she replied that it was the range needed in the song. “It was a big song! And I must express my gratitude to Sam, my Indian coach and to my coach in Los Angeles who made me take up the challenge and helped me meet it.”
She thanked her Indian coach for accompanying her over a year to all her shoots. “After pack-up, whether in Mumbai or Darjeeling, it was Riyaaz with her.”
It was Salim (of the duo) that told Universal of her singing prowess. “I had sung half of my song Alisha in ‘Pyaar Impossible’ for a lark in their studio,” recalled Priyanka.
The actor said she had grown up learning to sing because of her mom and dad, both doctors, who also were singers. “It was an eclectic mix at home, with dad preferring Mohammed Rafi and my mother making me listen to the Beatles. But I never thought that I could sing well enough to record. For that matter, I never thought that I could act!”
She said the momentous day was the culmination of a dream for her dad, who was happier today than when she became Miss World, a heroine and also a National award winner. Her father in the audience vigorously nodded his head. Priyanka’s grandmother, mom and brother were also present.