— EXPLOSIVE FASHION
Having forged a successful career as an entrepreneur, former Miss Mumbai and Founder CEO of Niche Entertainments, Nisha Harale is the face of music festivals Supersonic, Oktoberfest and Holi Reloaded; host of music programmes; fashion choreographer; grooming instructor; certified hairstylist from L'oreal International School; columnist; social activist whose fight for Mumbai nightlife transformed the city. Today, she is employing her rich experience to highlight and promote talent in the field of music. In conversation with her.
''Music is me, and I have danced for years, supporting all my deejay friends, music events, or even for that matter, aspiring artists. Since childhood anyone who has witnessed my journey knows music plays an important role in my life and that is how I started playing music and also conceptualising and executing properties like 'New Sound' where aspiring artists get an opportunity to showcase their talent. I am passionate about music because I believe it can change the world and help unite people worldwide. Personally, music helped heal me. I owe it all to music…''
If Nisha Harale can survive intense personal crisis and emerge, like a phoenix, more fabulous, creative and unstoppable than ever, there is hope for us all. ''In school, I always headed music and dance events so it wasn't a surprise to me or my loved ones that eventually I would do something in this field. It was during my divorce with Adam that I embraced music… those were the painful years when I was suffering from seizures, put on a lot of weight and was depressed. The doctors had given me a long list including avoiding places with loud music and flashing lights, driving or locking myself in a room, fearing anything could trigger a seizure. That's when I reached out to my brother who had technical knowledge of music and requested him to teach me… and drowned my soul in music. One day, my friend DJ Asad invited me for 'Dance Ganesha' music festival and there I danced five inches from the sixty- thousand watt speakers without ear plugs, to 145 bpm music, for eight hours… with thousands of people dancing alongside me! I surrendered to music and the following morning when I woke up alive and well, I did everything the doctors had told me not to, and fought my seizures. Today, I play music and organise events to help kids at orphanages because I truly believe if music has healed me then it can heal the world.''
Professionally, the gig that changed her life was Miss Mumbai. ''I was crowned by Salman Khan and Shobha De and that contest opened doors to the entertainment industry'' she reminisces. ''Everyone welcomed me with warmth and the artists I have heard over the years, who are now my seniors, have been so caring, sharing their knowledge and showing their support. I'm so grateful to each one of them. I'm also grateful to the souls on the dance floor who have welcomed me with so much love! That said, there is a lot of talent out there and several aspiring artists have come to me to seek help in getting a gig; that's where I got inspiration to launch 'New Sound'. I built this platform for aspiring talent to play and also learn from seniors who are part of the music line-up. 'New Sound' is close to my heart and it's gained so much momentum. I'm so grateful for the support system I had, be it family, friends or the industry. Underground music events has never been easy, particularly since Bollywood has a huge fan following, but with constant efforts from creators of music festivals and music lovers, slowly but surely Underground music has made a mark and one can now see, hear and enjoy it in this country. Another project close to my heart is 'Infuze' — where fashion, art and music meet. As a fashion choreographer, I love to create, and anyone who has witnessed a fashion show knows that it's a team effort where designers showcase their creativity, with hair and makeup artists, and the fashion choreographer puts it all together with a production team, models and music. Nowadays, I ask myself this question: why should fashion be set only in an arena where one is invited and seated? I couldn't come up with an answer to that so I launched a concept where one can witness a fashion preview while sipping beer, enjoying live music or dancing!! The good thing about this concept is that it allows people to check out the collection of an aspiring or renowned designer; it gives aspiring models the opportunity to be noticed as they are selected and groomed; the same goes for talent in music. It has all come together under one roof… where creativity flows. The response has been amazing and I'm really grateful.''
The most precious part of this interview, for me, is the nuggets of wisdom Nisha shares from her experience. ''I advise young talent to respect artists and learn rather than criticise — it's said that a DJ is your God on the dance floor and for me every artist represents that. Each has their own style of music. Don't judge! Grow and help others grow. Hard work pays but more than talent it's humility and networking skills that will take you ahead in life. Be grateful for everything and remember that life is too short for negativity. Music is a continuous process of learning and the more you learn the better you become! Lastly, keep dreaming because dreams do come true… If you're an underground deejay or artist, help educate your audience! All of my advice comes from my heart. I'm one of those few souls who loves each moment of what I'm doing and that's what life is about — living in this moment. Life has taught me many lessons the hard way and I have learnt to dance through it with a smile on my face. Each day is a new day and I'm happy to be alive. I'm a spiritual person and I try to disconnect once a year and do Vipassana. I meditate everyday and I'm a simple girl who is vegan and believes in staying grounded. It's been a year since I turned vegan and the reason for making that choice was to stand up for animal cruelty… Before I sign off, I would like to share some more thoughts. I always follow this — "your perception of me is a reflection of you and my reaction to you is an awareness of me. " If anyone is causing you pain it is because they are suffering; a happy person won't trouble you. So, honestly, the person causing you pain needs help. I also believe that for any problem, love is the answer. Communication is key; leave no room for fear, ego and hate. Sometimes, though, it's important to protect your energy. In such situations, we all take care of it instinctively. My family and friends play an important part in my life. No matter where I am, what time of day or how tired I am, I will be there for my friends and family and anyone who needs me. I will be there." Stay blessed, gal.
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