Newlywed’s Tina Sugandh’s history as an Indian-American pop star

Tina Sugundh Newlyweds: The First Year

It’s beginning to look like the producers of Newlyweds: The First Year had more complex criteria in mind during casting than just finding amusing couples who were willing to share their first years of marriage on national television. It seems the producers of the Bravo show sought people with interesting histories in the entertainment industry!

First there was Blair Late, a former boy band star. Now we’re finding out more about Tina Sugandh, an Indian-born pop star. Her unique, Bollywood-influenced style has set her apart in the American market. She’s also achieved success in India, where she performed on the country’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards.

Sugandh was introduced to show business by her parents, who used to perform all around India, the Caribbean and the U.S. The family ultimately formed a band and Sugandh learned how to play the tabla, a traditional Indian drum.

After graduating from college at Rutger’s University, Sugandh turned all her attention to developing her music career. She produced a demo and was ultimately signed on with a record label.

One of Sugandh’s first big breaks came with the Ice Princess soundtrack in 2005, which featured Sugandh’s song “There is No Alternative.”

Around the same time, Sugandh began hosting on Asian Variety Show, which is described as the Indian equivalent to Entertainment Tonight.

“I walked into the studio thinking it was going to be a breeze,” Sugandh told Drum! in 2009. “But being a VJ and a newscaster was completely different. I was stiff and unnatural. It was horrible. But somehow they let me have the job. I hosted off and on for about three years.”

Although she was glad to work on movie soundtracks and television, Sugandh’s real focus was on creating her own album, TablaGirl, which she independently released in 2009. The most successful song from the album was Break Me, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Dance Chart when it was released as a single the year before. The song was also featured on the premiere episode of the Melrose Place reboot.

Still, Sugandh admitted that her road to success wasn’t entirely smooth.

“I wish I could say I was an overnight sensation,” Sugandh said in 2009. “But this album took three years to make, with a lot of ups and downs. I wanted to make sure it had an authentic sound.”

Fortunately, Sugandh’s career has consistently grown since then. She continues to work on her own music and is proud to lead a Bollywood movement in America.

“People know more about Bollywood,” she told Buzzine Bollywood in 2011. “When I say tabla, a lot more people know what that is compared to five years ago. My ultimate goal is to hear Hindi on the radio in the same way we hear Spanish.”

Even though her music is largely Indian-influenced, she actively works with musicians from other backgrounds. She has collaborated with artists ranging from Ringo Star to Timbaland to Fat Joe.

The end of that video even includes an appearance by Sugandh’s husband, Tarz Ludwigsen, a former model.

Although the attractive entertainers surely turn on some viewer at home, they recently admitted tsex is little more than a “bonus” in their relationship.

“I used to have so much lust for Tarz. And now I just look at him like this goofball dork,” she told People. “Looks wear off. You just wake up going, ‘Oh, there’s my dorky husband.’ America’s so fixated on ‘How many times are you doing it? Oh, my God, only once?’ To each his own. I’m not judging.”

Be sure to tune in to Newlyweds: The First Year at 10/9 C on Bravo!

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