Indian playback singer Asees Kaur, who has most recently sang 'Panghat' for the Janhvi Kapoor-starrer 'Roohi' (2021), says that she feels spiritually inclined towards music, since her father wanted her to sing Gurbani. Her musical journey, thus, began with singing shabads in Gurudwaras at the young age of five.
The 32-year-old is fast climbing the Bollywood ladder, and has sung 'Jaan Ban Gaye' from 'Khuda Haafiz', 'Dildara Reprise' from 'Tamanchey', 'Ve Maahi' from 'Kesari', 'Tere Bin' from 'Simmba', and 'Bolna' from 'Kapoor & Sons'.
IANSlife speaks to the singer in an exclusive interview:
Q: What got you interested in music and singing?
A: I belong to a Sikh family, and I feel and I think that in every Sikh family, parents want their children to feel connected to God, do Paath and sing Gurbani. That's how my musical journey started. My father wanted me to sing Gurbani and I began with singing shabads in Gurudwaras. Eventually, I started falling in love with music. It became a part of my life; I really can't imagine a life without music in it.
Q: How would you describe your connection to music?
A: My connection to music is spiritual or you can simply call it a very soulful connection. As mentioned earlier I started with singing Gurbani, so I feel very spiritually inclined towards music. The first thing I do every morning is riyaaz (practice) and if I don't do that I feel very mismanaged in my life. It has a very soulful and a spiritual effect on me.
Q: What does success mean to you?
A: For me, success is when someone tells me that my song has touched their heart and they love it when I sing. I think that is the response that I look forward to from my audience. That is something I really want in my life. Therefore, it is these kinds of reactions from my audience that defines success for me.
Q: Do you find enough avenues for young talent to shine through and make a mark in the Indian music industry?
A: Yes, I really feel that there are a lot of opportunities for young talent to enter the music industry because right now, non-film music is on the rise and even common people are looking forward to new songs which are from a non-film background. The industry has been very encouraging towards new singers. I think the industry really welcomes everyone with their arms wide open.
Q: Please tell us about the challenges you faced on your way up.
A: I belong to a non-film background and one day, I just decided to come to Mumbai and give it a try and that's when I started meeting people. The only challenge for me was to manage the music directors. Being a female, I haven't faced any challenge and I feel the industry is equally welcoming to all singers. When it comes to the part of struggling, I feel like it is part of becoming who you want to become. So I don't call it a struggle but a process. I really enjoyed my process and I'm happy that I am here today because of my decision to not give up and always give a 100 per cent. That is one thing I really live by.
Q: Who inspires you in the world of music? Who do you look forward to working with?
A: I am really inspired by Madan Noor Jahan Ji. From childhood I've been listening to her songs. Her singing style and her 'adayegi' (style) is something I really want in my own singing. In today's generation, I'm really inspired by Arijit Singh as I have worked with him a lot. I think we've sung like four or five songs together. I also look forward to working with Mithun Sir, A. R. Rahman Sir, and Shankar Ehsan Loy. These are a few of my favourite composers or collaborations.
Q: A little about your upcoming projects.
A: There is a song coming out on April 18 with the DMF, it's a very beautiful Punjabi number and I really feel that people will love dancing to it at weddings. There is another love song coming up with Tipz music. A lot of film songs are in the pipeline and we're just waiting for the theatres to reopen for the release of films so that I can talk about my film songs. There is a very exciting and busy life ahead for me and I'm very happy and thankful for that.