By K Ashwin Mobile: 09920183006 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Indo-Canadian songstress Jonita Gandhi headlined the first ever Bollywood Music Festival in Saudi Arabia last night.
No doubt she has travelled the world and left audiences marveled by her vocal splendour, captivating stage presence and overall charm. Last night, Jonita Gandhi blazed a trail by becoming the first female Bollywood singer to ever perform in Saudi Arabia. The young and energetic singer performed with her band to a full house of exhilarated attendees at the Al Khobar Corniche as they witnessed history-in-the-making.
Al Khobar heard Bollywood music like they had never heard before; live and up close, right in their hometown. Following two nights of unique and dynamic performances by the great singer Shaan, Jonita’s performance marked the culmination of an event that was the first of it’s kind. Jonita mesmerized the audience as she brought the festival to a close on a high note.
Jonita was hand-picked by the festival curator himself to mark this historical moment. “Jonita’s journey from Toronto to Mumbai has been an incredible one. Hailing from a talented family of music-lovers, Jonita’s experience in Indian and Western music has given her an edge in the industry. Showcasing her in KSA was a must and a delight!” says festival curator Abhishek Mathur.
Over 17,000 attendees filled the seaside venue, roaring as Jonita entered the stage singing her chartbuster number Breakup Song. They sang and danced along to hit Bollywood tracks like Sau Tarah Ke, a medley of popular Bollywood dance songs, a few Tamil and Punjabi tracks on special demand, and even a few English numbers. An overwhelm of love was felt during her melodious renditions of songs like Aahista, Lag Ja Gale, Gilehriyaan and Kabira.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan has seen the likes of major international artist concerts being held in this emerging society since 2016. Saudi Arabia has steadily begun to emerge and is beginning to take its place on the world’s entertainment map.
The event was hosted by the nation’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) in the Eastern Province as part of a series of festivals and entertainment events.
Jonita was incredibly surprised by the energy and affection the people of KSA gave her. “Never thought I would perform in KSA. What an eye-opener… An incredible country with wonderful people who love all kinds of music! I was taken aback by the enthusiasm of everyone in the audience. There were people requesting songs in several different languages – I tried my best to oblige! Had a blast and I hope to come back again soon!”
Photographs by Rakesh Prakash