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'I don't want people to know me as Loy Mendonsa's daughter'

Last updated on: February 16, 2010 15:59 IST

'I don't want people to know me as Loy Mendonsa's daughter'

Nithya Ramani in Mumbai

Alyssa Mendonsa is not the average college girl, doing her Bachelors of Art degree from Mumbai's St Xaviers' College.

For starters, this 19-year old is the daughter of Loy Mendonsa, the 'Loy' of the talented Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio.

So it was only a matter of time for Alyssa to make her singing debut. And her first song Uff Teri Ada, in the Karthik Calling Karthik soundtrack, is getting quite popular.

Alyssa talks to Nithya Ramani about singing for Deepika Padukone, the lead star of KCK, and why she doesn't like the fame.

Image: Alyssa Mendonsa sings Uff Teri Ada
Video: Nithya Ramani

'I chose not to be involved in my father's life'

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Singing seems to be an obvious step, since your father is in the field.

Though my father's career took off 10 years ago, I was never a part of this life. For some reason, I didn't like the fame and attention. I am a loner and like to keep to myself. I am very shy. I don't like to take my father's name and get attention.

I used to go to the studio regularly, but only to study people. Not because my father is there. I have tried to keep away from this life. I don't like the 'celebrity life'. People from school and college would ask me about my dad and his work and I wouldn't know what he has done. I chose not to be involved.

I don't know if I got into music because of my dad. As a child, I would always wonder how singers abroad sing so powerfully. I was very fascinated by that. I would imitate their style of singing.

I am a very secretive person. I do my research and singing when nobody is around. There was a time when I had to sing for a cultural programme and my mom was surprised to see this coming from me.

I am not formally trained in singing but my dad decided to train me.

Image: Alyssa Mendonsa

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'I didn't know they were going to record my voice'

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How did Uff Teri Ada happen?

I had gone to the studio once during my vacations.

Shankar has known me from childhood and knows that I can sing. He has always encouraged me. He gave a few lines and asked me to sing. I didn't know they were going to record it. They liked my voice and asked me to sing on the mike. Luckily, it worked out for the director (Vijay Lalwani). That's how Uff Teri Ada happened. Everything happened very quickly.

Were you nervous?

No. Shanker told me to be calm. But I don't get scared or nervous behind the mike. I didn't know it was getting recorded; I just gave my best and luckily, it worked out.

Do you friends like this song? What feedback did you get?

Yes, they complimented me. That really matters a lot.

I am glad that the audience has received it well too. I didn't expect anything.

Image: A scene from Karthik Calling Karthik

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'Farhan is very sensible and funny'

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Did you happen to meet Deepika or Farhan Akhtar while recording the song?

No. I haven't met Deepika at all. I've met Farhan once -- not during KCK but during another recording that dad was doing for him.

He is a very nice guy, very sensible and humble. And very funny. He is willing to take risks and do unconventional things.

Are you ready to take up singing as your career?

This has become a platform for me and I will make the best use of it. I want to help people with my music.

Image: A scene from Karthik Callng Karthik

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'I want to be a self-made person'

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What kind of music do you like?

I listen to everything. Off late, I've been listening to a lot of Michael Jackson. His songs bring back a lot of childhood memories.

What is your favourite Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy song?

I love the background score of Lakshya. Also, the Kal Ho Naa Ho and Dil Chahta Hai songs.

Do you play any musical instrument?

I am learning the piano. I had composed my first song when I was in the eighth grade. But I don't know the technical aspect of music. If somebody asked me what cord I was playing, I wouldn't know.

What next?

Nothing yet. I feel I should never take advantage of my father's name and fame. I want to be a self-made person. I don't want people to know me as Loy Mendonsa's daughter. I want them to know me as Alyssa Mendonsa.

Image: A scene from Karthik Calling Karthik

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