My nights and weekends are reserved for my passion- music and being an emcee, performing with various Bollywood artists via concerts & tours all across North America. I feel really fortunate that I have been able to pursue my interests as well as maintain my corporate life. I love calling myself a ‘Corportainer’- an amalgamation of ‘corporate’ and ‘entertainer’.
BV: From an engineering background, how did you gravitate towards being an anchor for Bollywood shows and a singer?
Simantinee: Music is my true calling in life. It is the primary driver of everything that I do. I have been an onstage performer since the age of 9 and it was then when I started training in Indian Classical Music. If you ask me, I think I started a little late as compared to my elder sister, Ujjayinee Roy, who is an established playback singer in the South Indian Film Industry. I have been an All India Radio child artiste and performer.
I completed my Bachelors in Indian Classical Music while I was a ninth grader and I have always thanked my parents, especially my Mom, Dr. Arundhati Roy, who herself is an Author-Lyricist, for introducing me to the creative side of the world. Music is a constant in my life and everything else revolves around it. I have been a part of many musical bands, shows, and gigs and have performed in numerous events. One of my proudest moments came when I was invited to perform at the 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore in Vancouver, Canada.
I was happy doing music in different forms. I was hosting a banquet in Seattle for a Bollywood Artist. Little did I know that I was being tapped by the legendary promoter of Bollywood shows in North America, Rocky Kaushal, who has been in the business for the last 26 years. This is how my journey as an anchor in Bollywood shows began.
BV: Being an emcee calls for being innovative, informed and spontaneous. How do you prepare for your events?
Simantinee: The best part of being an Emcee or an anchor is your ability to think on your feet. You have to be spontaneous, prepared and be able to improvise. There had been a few instances when I wasn’t that well-prepared. I was in Phoenix and I was going to just attend the concert and enjoy being in the audience but a couple hours before it was about to start I was asked to go and emcee the Bollywood gig. In moments like these, you have to think and act smart. Most importantly, you have to know and have the proper engagement level with the audience. Being an anchor for Bollywood shows or any other event for that matter is not about delivering a monologue, it has to be a dialogue. You have to connect the intended content well with the audience it is meant for. After all, the anchor has to be interactive, engaging, focused and a quick-thinker.
BV: What has been your proudest moment in your journey as an anchor?
Simantinee: I had the fabulous opportunity to host some of the biggest Bollywood concerts and tours all across USA, Canada. It’s a great feeling to be up there in front of such a large audience and be able to do what you love doing the most. Also, sometimes when I am hosting a show, the audience will request me to sing. The feeling that people appreciate, acknowledge and applaud your talent is like no other. It is a feeling that I really cherish.
BV: Of late, we have seen you doing some fabulous covers like Gilheriyan and Moh Moh ke Dhaage. Have you always been a singer? How did music come about?
Simantinee: Like I said, I can never be too far away from music, be it in any form. I cannot thank my Mom and my Didi enough for introducing me to music, stage, and audience at a very young age. There were so many shows where I performed along with my elder sister and Mom – proudest moment any child could have.
Although I have been doing a lot of gigs, I had not established that well in the digital media. My main focus was on the live shows. Honestly, I really didn’t have the time after managing my day job and the live shows. This is when the legendary promoter in North America, Rocky Kaushal, motivated and inspired me to take the next big step. He advised me on the importance of digital/social media to get oneself noticed. It was only late last year when I started planning on getting established in this emerging media. I know it’s kind of late but that doesn’t matter as long as I am enjoying it. I completely agree that the digital media has revolutionized the way budding artists connect with a wider audience all across the globe.
BV: You seem to pack so much in a day, how do you strike a balance between work and life?
Simantinee: Life is constantly happening and there’s always something to be done. Sometimes, I wish I had 48 hours in a day. But I sincerely believe that if you are really passionate about something, you will always find time to pursue it. I don’t believe in excuses, you gotta do it if you want to.
BV: Who or what do you attribute your success to? Is there a quote or a motivational phrase that you go by?
Simantinee: There’s no shortcut to success. The harder you work the luckier you get. Hard work is an absolute must. Secondly, being patient and observant pay well in the long run. You have to constantly evolve, learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t give up no matter what you do. This being said, I am also very fortunate to have an unswerving support from my husband Arnab. He has been my rock solid guy!
BV: Lastly, any word of advice for people who wish to make a mark as an Emcee?
Simantinee: Emcees or anchors are the strings that bind a show together. Never lose your elegance and poise in front of the audience. It is important that you are well-perceived by the people in front of you and that is possible only when you are calm and confident and this way you can definitely mesmerize the audience.
Simantinee exemplifies the virtue of being passionate in the truest sense. If you truly love doing something, you will definitely find the ways and means to pursue it.
Thank you Simantinee for speaking with us.