It is the story many hope for – a YouTube star catches the attention of filmmakers and gets her big break in Bollywood. Only in the case of Dhvani Bhanushali, it all did come true. At 19, she is not only a force to reckon with on the video-streaming platform with over 48,000 subscribers and several popular covers to her credit, but has also made a dream playback debut with Ishtehaar from Sonakshi Sinha and Diljit Dosanjh’s next film, Welcome To New York.
Less than a year old on YouTube, she credits the platform’s wide reach for her foray into the Hindi film industry. “YouTube is a great way to promote your work. It is a vehicle that will take you to the corners of the world. After all, it was my Bollywood covers on YouTube that caught Shamir Tandon’s [composer of Welcome To New York] attention. Since he wanted a fresh voice for the track, he asked me to give it a shot,” she says, beaming with pride that she got the opportunity to sing alongside Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in her first outing itself.
From singing the cover version of Kabira (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, 2013) to performing on MTV Unplugged season 7, it has been a smooth ride for Bhanushali so far. The youngster, on her part, is raring to go – she wants to follow in the footsteps of her idols Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal and Neeti Mohan. But Bhanushali hopes to mix up film and independent projects like her favourite, Beyonce. “Her music is phenomenal. I want to do Bollywood as well as indie music, and wish to perform like artistes from the West,” says the singer.