EXCLUSIVE

Saba Azad :
A Legacy of Joy

Azad on how she plans to leave
a legacy via music, dance, and diamonds.

Earrings Antara Jewellery • Ring Anmol • Bangles A.S Motiwala Fine Jewellery, VRK

While she will disarm you with her vocal cords, she will absolutely floor you with her dance moves. Unlike the current nature of stardom that deprives one of control over their identity, Saba Azad has relentlessly and consistently maintained her own while pouring into her various talents.

The self-assuredness reflects in her personality as a certain upbeat energy encapsulates the room when Azad walks in with her glorious mane of black hair and a petite frame to match. Unfazed by the chaos around her, she asks me where she should head for her hair and makeup. Following a quick intro, we both head to her dressing room. To no one’s surprise, she casually yet authoritatively manages to approve the music choice with a firm nod and a quick bop. And just like that, Saba Azad has seamlessly become a part of the existing energy in the room.

Saba Azad styling diamond earrings
necklace and diamond rings

Earrings Anmol • Necklace Antara Jewellery • Rings KAJ Fine Jewellery

Born into a family already knee-deep in theatrical arts, Azad spent most of her childhood performing with her Uncle Safdar Hasshmi’s theater group. Azad’s interest in performing arts didn’t stop there. She further chose to train in dance forms like Odissi, Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary. Azad made her Bollywood debut in 2008 in Dil Kabaddi opposite Rahul Bose. She soon followed up with Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, a coming-of-age movie that the millennial and Gen Z set grew up watching and re-watching, starring powerhouse industry performers like Saqib Saleem.

While comfort is probably one of her defining terms when it comes to how she makes her decisions, in life or sartorially, Azad’s journey has been reflective of anything but comfort. As we situate ourselves to dive deeper into the multihyphenate’s life and journey, we also explore the relationship between diamonds and her music and performing arts career. Saba’s choice of the word legacy to describe her equation with diamonds strikes me as more than obvious. Excerpts from a tête-à-tête with the free-spirited performer. 

“Music is the length and breath of my life”

Saba Azad on music and diamonds

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Saba, we all know you as an actor, but what really defines you is your proclivity towards music. So let me start by asking you what music means to you.

Music is the length and breath of my life. I feel the world would be drab without music, and it would take the soul out of living in such a world.

What is your earliest memory of music?

There was always some music playing at home. My parents had a lot of vinyl records. A lot of these were Western classical greats like Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi, but there was this one record of synth music — with a Moog synth track called Popcorn by German-American composer Gershon Kingsley that I distinctly remember listening to on repeat growing up. And that was probably my oldest memory of music.

Saba azad Diamond Earrings
Saba azad Diamond ring and Bangles

Earrings Antara Jewellery • Ring Anmol • Bangles A.S Motiwala Fine Jewellery, VRK

And if you were to grab a coffee with a musician, who would that be?

It has to be David Byrne of Talking Heads. About 4 years ago, I saw him live at Zenith, Paris. It was a two-hour long show, and the man, who is 71 now, didn’t stop moving from the moment he jumped onto the stage — practically running, dancing, and singing throughout. What a phenomenal performer and show. I want to be him when I grow up.

While music is a huge part of who you are today, your personal style is equally defining. How would you describe it?

Hobo-chic at best. I couldn’t be bothered to put in any effort. Oversized pieces are my go-to, and I’m a student of comfort. When it comes to shoes, you will almost always find me in sneakers or boots. I love androgyny, so you’ll often find me in clothes bought from the men’s section.

Earrings Anmol • Necklace Antara Jewellery, • Rings KAJ Fine Jewellery

Who is your style icon?

It would be Audrey Hepburn. I do love dressing up when it comes to an evening out. While I may channel the hobo chic best on the daily, I do every so often enjoy revisiting the decades between the ’20s and the ’70s. Love me a good high-waisted ’50s style skirt or a pair of cigarette pants or the ultra-femme pencil skirts with a finger wave and a bold lip.

Saba azad minimal Diamond jewellery look

“I prefer
minimal jewellery”

All Jewellery ZOYA – A TATA Product

How do you define your relationship with natural diamonds?

Long distance and intermittent. By this, I mean I usually end up wearing jewellery only for special occasions. This almost always requires me to call my parents in Delhi as they keep all of the family heirlooms. So, whenever an occasion warrants diamonds, I am always on a call with Mom.

Talking about heirlooms, is there a certain piece of jewellery that you have inherited that holds a special sentiment for you?

Not an heirloom, but my grandmother gifted me these natural diamond earrings on my 10th birthday. I prefer minimal jewellery; less is always more, so these simple diamond studs work perfectly for me even now and are pretty much my go-to for all semi-formal occasions.

Saba azad Diamond Cuffs

Earrings + Cuff A.S Motiwala Fine Jewellery

And as we speak about leaving things behind, you do have a beautiful array of your art, but what would you like to be remembered for?

I believe love is the only real legacy we can leave behind. Love and joy. These emotions are transferable, and I hope to leave people I’ve had the chance to walk with in this life with these emotions.

If you were to leave us a piece of wisdom as our parting words, what would it be?

Life is now. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Life is really made of a series of nows.