‘Raabta’ singer Nikhita Gandhi: ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ tune ‘Ghar’ has turn into an anthem for the lockdown – Occasions of India


Should you favored grooving to Baaghi 3’s ‘Do You Love Me’, or Laxmmi’s ‘Burjkhalifaa’, or Stree’s ‘Aao Kabhi Haveli Pe’, then it’s best to respect the voice behind these chartbusters songs, Nikhita Gandhi. On the age of 29, the multilingual singer has already collaborated with the largest names of the movie trade. From AR Rahman to Shankar, from Rajkumar Hirani to Imtiaz Ali–her playback voice has turn into all the trend. Nikhita joined ETimes for an unique chat on her skilled life and different burning subjects. Excerpts:

To begin with, how are you dealing with the lockdown-like scenario?

I feel we had been extra ready for the primary one, and now it is getting a little bit (tough). However, I simply hope that everybody’s listening to the foundations and staying secure. I feel this time medically (the lockdown) has been so much worse. So I hope that everybody’s simply doing their bit and the very best that they will do to be secure.

From singing numerous songs in a number of languages to successful hearts and awards… how do have a look at your journey to date?

It has been an unbelievable journey! There’s a lot pleasure in residing the dream, singing for movies. I’m very grateful and take a lot satisfaction in having the ability to try this daily. I did not assume I’d be making an identification, and a career out of music. So, (I’m) comfortable that I am getting to do this. I am making an attempt to make the very best of it even through the first lockdown, and even now, I am at it. It is a career the place the work by no means stops. You are always working, whether or not it is (through the) working hours or in the course of the evening. Inspiration comes at any time, so I feel it is our duty additionally to maintain making music and preserve spreading positivity.

In your debut tune, ‘Raabta’, you bought an opportunity to sing for Deepika Padukone and Sushant Singh Rajput

Raabta was my first Bollywood monitor, so it was a extremely cool means of coming into the trade. Deepika (Padukone) is the queen herself. She is without doubt one of the greatest actors within the nation and it was such an enormous movie. Pritam da was the composer of the tune, so I do not assume anybody may have requested for a greater debut within the trade, and I am so grateful for that. I have been lucky (sufficient) to work with such great individuals. Whether or not it is my buddies, the engineers, the musicians in Pritam da’s households, the studio household, or whether or not it’s the opposite composers who I’ve gotten to work with. It is actually one thing (particular) whenever you get to work with such nice human beings. So, I feel that is the very best half about these songs.

Nikhita, whilst you had been engaged on Raabta, did you meet Sushant Singh Rajput?

Not after I was engaged on it, however I did go to the premiere of the movie at YRF (Studios). So, that was after I met Kriti Sanon and Sushant Singh Rajput. It was only a five-minute interplay, however every thing that occurred (Sushant’s demise), it’s totally heartbreaking, particularly whenever you meet anyone, and you know the way charming the smile is, and the way bubbly is the persona. I feel we dwell in a world the place lots of that’s taking place, so the one factor we are able to do is watch out and cherish the individuals now we have round us.

Throughout each the lockdowns, Bollywood misplaced some fantastic musical artists. A few of them dedicated suicide, whereas just a few of them misplaced their battle towards COVID…

Firstly, I feel, it isn’t simply the music trade; I feel the entire world goes via this, it is simply that we’re within the public eyes. So, I feel everyone is struggling some type of loss, even at this very second. We live in a time the place everyone is aware of anyone both immediately or not directly, and everyone is aware of that the whole world goes via a loss. We will not actually cease it from taking place. On the similar time, we are able to do our bit by being cautious and staying house. I feel the one request for everyone is to remain at house and don’t overcrowd as a result of the whole human race goes via an uncommon part. So, it isn’t all about Bollywood and the singers, and I feel that is one thing that all of us want to know. I feel it is (coronavirus is) giving us a brand new perspective in direction of understanding the worth of life, being variety to one another, and being good to our family members. Because you talked about suicide and different psychological well being catastrophes which are taking place, I feel that can be a subject that has reached the floor. I am comfortable that lots of celebrities have spoken about it, which is nice, and it’s vital to handle this difficulty. I feel we do want to understand one another and preserve one another comfortable as a result of the ability of happiness is underestimated so many occasions. Sustaining a constructive perspective results in a wholesome life.

Regardless that ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ didn’t work on the field workplace, your tune was immensely widespread. How was your expertise working with abilities like director Imtiaz Ali, Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma?

The tune, ‘Ghar’, might be probably the most particular tune of my profession. I am so grateful to Irshad Kamil sir, Imtiaz sir, Pritam da, and everyone who made that tune what it’s. I’m just one side of it; the tune has discovered its listeners by itself. ‘Ghar’ was the tune that launched after the movie (acquired) launched, and each different tune acquired promoted earlier than (the discharge). Regardless that the tune was not promoted, it reached lots of people. Now, the tune has turn into an anthem for the lockdown, the magical lyrics are actually extra relatable. Thus, this tune will at all times be particular to me.

Whereas engaged on the movie, did you get a chance to know Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma?

Nicely, normally the method of understanding the plot is completely different for various songs as a result of you find yourself recording completely different songs at completely different occasions. Typically the tune is recorded even earlier than the movie is shot, typically it is whereas the movie is being shot, and typically it is simply earlier than the discharge. So, you do not actually rely upon every expertise. Significantly with ‘Ghar’, the movie had been shot or was nonetheless being shot, and I simply had a quick in regards to the type of singing. Since it is a very Indian melody, they did not need it to sound like a ghazal or too classical, they only needed it to sound actual. They needed to strike a steadiness between Western and Indian melodies. I feel that is the one tune that I’ve dubbed for. The monitor was prepared, and I simply stored singing it in a loop, round 20 occasions, after which, we simply took the very best take. So, I had no concept in regards to the plot or the scene. As soon as I noticed the film, I acquired to see how the tune actually match into the movie and the way it acquired picturised on Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma.

AR Rahman has been an integral a part of your profession. You additionally sang for Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali movies. So, how do you handle to sing in a number of languages?

I began my profession with Rahman sir, with the film ‘I’ (2015). It was a multilingual big-budget movie, with Vikram because the protagonist. That was my first large solo, after which I sang lots of regional songs. I labored with famend composers like Anirudh (Ravichander), Harris Jayaraj, and great composers. So, it’s a very distinctive expertise to sing in a language that you do not converse, since you get to be another person, however on the similar time, it’s tough too. It is type of performing, the place you’re taking part in a personality that speaks and sings in that language. I’m so grateful to all of it as a result of that is what led (me) to Bollywood. I nonetheless sing for regional movies.

Please inform me about your upcoming initiatives, what are you engaged on?

Like final yr, I am engaged on lots of singles that I’ve composed and produced. Final yr, I launched a tune referred to as ‘Khudh Ko Hello Paake’ in affiliation with MTV, which celebrated the LGBTQI group. There have been many different unbiased songs that I’ve made and launched final yr. There was a single in English, a recreation of a well-known bhajan. So, there’s lots of new stuff within the pipeline. I’m additionally engaged on worldwide collaborations as properly. So, there’s a complete bunch of music coming your means.

Once you sing a qawwali or a bhajan, how do you establish and cater to your viewers?

I feel it will depend on the tune. I do not actually assume an excessive amount of about it, and I do not wish to confine myself to at least one singular type of viewers. I feel my movies (songs) have additionally been like that. Every tune has been completely different from the opposite. Some have been very business, and I’ve completed lots of English collaborations with artists from overseas. Even there’s a completely different viewers (who) do not hearken to my Bollywood songs. So, I do not actually strive to consider who I cater to. I simply take every tune as it’s, and attempt to do it the very best means.

The music trade has gone via an evolution of digitalisation. We now have come an extended way–from the tape recorder to on-line streaming…

Every thing is being consumed on-line. For instance, most of us do not even have cable (tv). We get entertained by these OTT platforms. I feel every thing is shifting in direction of digital, and music is not any exception to that. Though I’ve a blended feeling (in direction of digitalization). You’ll be able to’t actually take away that feeling of shopping for a cassette or shopping for a CD. However the completely different type of consumption of music offers extra scope to the artwork and the artists. With audio streaming platforms, it is really easy to place your music on the market. So, I feel it’s totally empowering that every thing is on-line which makes it extra accessible and thrilling. Numerous unbiased artists have emerged, and that is one (of the) nice issues that has occurred from digitalization.

Since you’ve gotten collaborated with worldwide artists as properly, what’s the one issue you want in regards to the music trade of our nation?

What’s distinctive about India is that we’re very film-centric. This is without doubt one of the main variations between our nation and different international locations. Overseas, the music is consumed in another way. Proper now, we’re at a junction; the place we’re going in direction of that (westernized music) as properly, and we’re (sustaining to be) film-centric. There are lots of new issues taking place in our nation…within the music trade. Unbiased music is rising, I feel Punjab is a good instance of that. There are lots of unbiased artists, there may be rap, and even hip hop can be rising, so we live in an attention-grabbing time. I feel it is a time of change, and a time for (accepting) new issues. So, as an artist, it makes it very thrilling to be part of that technology of music.

On one hand we’re seeing the emergence of budding proficient singers, then again, we see veteran artists like Sonu Nigam, Shaan criticising the present state of affairs. What’s your view on this difficulty?

I do not know what to say about that as a result of I am on the identical facet of the story. However I feel it is a query that in all probability administrators, producers, and labels would be capable of reply. I feel what you’re referring to, particularly with Sonu (Nigam) ji is to not do with fighting songs, however I feel it was his argument with a label, and I feel his relationship with that exact label. So, as a singer, I can say that there’s a want for a construction. I feel there may be lots of unionization for actors, for trade staff, for composers, and even writers to an extent, however (there may be) not a lot help for singers. So, the place they’re coming from is one thing that in all probability we may even face in just a few years. So, I feel the issue might be there is no such thing as a construction or no royalty system. Nevertheless, so far as I do know, that (difficulty) is coming into place.

I’ve joined IPRS (The Indian Performing Proper Society) and different our bodies. There’s one other Singers Affiliation physique that has been fashioned, so they’re making an attempt to reform the issue of missing the construction. It is (the music trade) not a authorities job or a job in a personal firm, the place you recognize you get a pension or a wage. It is a much-unstructured trade, and as singers, I feel it is the least structured for us. So, I utterly perceive and I hope that that is what you are speaking about. The construction is required, and it is nice that generations earlier than us are voicing this as a result of I feel they’re making it higher for us, and them. However I feel it should assist us extra, as a result of now that is coming into place, and since it is coming into place, it is undoubtedly going to assist us and people who be a part of the trade within the coming years.

It’s nice that you simply opened up on this burning difficulty. Please proceed…

Numerous veterans, lots of renounced artists, who I look (upto), not simply singers, however composers, writers have introduced this difficulty of royalties and the gathering of royalties (to the forefront). I’ve been studying about it and making an attempt to know this higher. See, there isn’t any course like, the best way to be a singer. No one actually educates you on these subjects. However, the excellent news is that there are being our bodies (who has been) put into place. The construction will take care of the gathering of royalties on no matter tune you sing…even when it is not yours, like a movie tune, the place you do not have (the suitable to) declare within the mental property. There’s a system that’s being put into place.

Lastly, one message that you simply wish to give to your followers within the present scenario…

It’s a very tough time, and there is unhealthy information in every single place, there’s struggling in every single place. It is simply so vital to behave quick. Should you’re feeling a little bit unwell, keep house, and distance your self. If anyone is struggling, it is vital to behave quick and to guarantee that everyone will get medical care. There are quite simple drugs which are out there. Taking the medicines on time can be crucially vital as a result of the hospitals are utterly overflowing with sufferers. If you’re sick, please take the COVID protocol drugs, as prescribed in time. Don’t act with negligence, as a result of issues are escalating shortly. So simply observe the foundations, keep secure and keep constructive.

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