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Natalie Di Luccio combines Indian with Italian for this unique take on “Nella Fantasia”

J-P Mauro - published on 09/07/17

This may be one of the most beautiful music videos you'll ever see

Natalie Di Luccio was only 19 years old and still attending McGill University when she was invited to Mumbai to sing a small part for Indian artist Sonu Nigam’s devotional album, Maha Ganesha. Her part was extremely successful and drew the attention of A.R. Rahman, India’s most successful composer and film scorer.

Teaming with Rahman afforded her a great deal of exposure, and soon her voice became popular in India. She began her career as a playback singer, a vocalist who records music for movies in which they do not appear.

Since 2010, Natalie has recorded songs for 11 movies and has become so popular that she has been nicknamed “Bollywood’s Soprano.” She has also released 12 music videos for her recordings of popular Indian songs. “A Dream from Rajasthan (Nella Fantasia)” is her most recent video and has the largest scope.

Her vision for this unusual recording of “Nella Fantasia,” which combines Indian elements with the popular Italian ballad based on Ennio Morricone’s “Gabriel’s Oboe” from The Mission soundtrack, took 3 years to realize. She chose all the musicians for the recording, including Sawan Khan, a famed traditional Indian singer, who really added something new and exciting to this version of the tune.

In an interview with Spotboye, Natalie admits that she didn’t speak a word of Hindi before she went to India, but now she can understand a lot and speak a little. This helped her communicate with Sawan:

Sawan was the real deal and not someone touched by modernization, which I absolutely loved. Although Sawan and I couldn’t communicate directly — he only spoke in Sindhi and I, in broken Hindi, which his son then translated, to Sindhi — we formed a special bond instantly.

This bond is clear to see in the video. In fact, part of the reason this video is so wonderful, beyond the magnificent cinematography, is the joy that both artists obviously take in recording this grand piece.

Along with the official release, Natalie also released this behind-the-scenes video, in which she shares the production from the audio studio to filming at the breathtaking Mehrangarh Fort in Rajasthan.

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