In case your mind wanders off to put a name to the frequent face that graces a major part of your ad-break screen time on Indian television, think no more. The effervescent influence on the Tata Sky, Maggi, Kit Kat, Cadbury, Nescafe, Vodafone, Airtel (and so many other) advertisements is that of singer, musician, director and actor Saba Azad’s.
Born in 1990 to a lineage of prominent theatre and drama thespians, Saba’s childhood was interspersed with perennial memories of watching her uncle, the renowned communist playwright and street-theatre director Safdar Hashmi’s leftist group, Jana Natya Manch.
At the age of six, when most kids would rather devote their gullible hours to television cartoons, Saba Azad was already training in classical Odissi. Her inclination towards the performing art led her to learn ballet, Jazz and Latin American dance forms. Her stellar ancestry gave her ample opportunities to work as a child with MK Raina, GP Deshpande, Habib Tanvir and NK Sharma in their stage productions. While growing up in Delhi, she was absorbed in fashion walks and contemporary choreography before moving to Mumbai and creating her own, accoladed niche in the entertainment and performing arts industry.
Azad faced the lens early onto her growing-up years when she acted in several films as a child artiste. Her lead role in the short film Guroor for director Ishaan Nair got her international acclaim by virtue of its selection in the New York and Florence film festivals.
Her stint with mainstream Bollywood cinema began in 2008 when she debuted opposite Rahul Bose in Anil Sharma’s Dil Kabaddi. This, like is the case with other new faces in the dog-eat-dog industry, did not prove to be a crucial game changer in her professional quest. Her big break came when her impressive acting and catchy screen presence led her to get recognised by ‘Y-Films’ – she was soon the female lead in what became a cult favourite of most early twenty-first century’s college-goers – Mujhse Fraandship Karoge (opposite Nishant Dahiya and Saqib Saleem). She has also been one of the faces in the cheeky, engrossing short film, Pure Veg.
Saba Azad kick-started her very own theatre productions ‘The Skins’ in 2010 and shot to theatrical accolade with her directorial debut in LovePuke. This play was staged at the renowned ‘National Centre for the Performing Arts’ (NCPA) in Mumbai, following which, she moved on to act in Makarand Deshpande’s productions.
Saba Azad’s multitudinous talents which she honed to perfected performing ability have made her a frequent name in the playback singing industry. She has led her voice (which, by the way, is gripping) in the record-bashing, superhit Dhoom series, the sleeper hit Nautanki Saala and the Bollywood adaptation of Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! If you are curious, you can also hear her intone in the star studded (pretty literally) Shaandaar, Main Aur Charles and the underdog of a film, Karwaan.
Her rapport and off-screen romantic chemistry with actor-musician Imaad Shah has translated to professional success through the electronic band Madboy/Mink, a joint venture that crystallised in 2012 out of their mutual love for music. From what can be deduced of her consistent rise in the realms of cinema, theatre, dance and music, Saba Azad is now a well-known, oft-uttered name, one that promises to climb higher up the ladder of success in future.
Follow her on:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SabaAzadOfficial/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sabasultanaazad/?hl=en