Akasa Singh, from Mumbai, has burst onto the global scene as a singer. But, her beginnings are all about the arduous journey, which all must undertake in humility if they truly desire knowledge and skill. Her ability, or talent, owes a mighty lot to her family. In a conversation with Guardian 20, she remarks upon how her upbringing has been one of the contributing factors to where she has reached today. “I was born into a musical family, my father, Arvinder Singh is a singer and music director. My mother Ameeta Singh, is a trained Kathak dancer and performer.” She adds, “During my formative year I was so inspired by my dad as I watched him perform and listened to his music playing all day at home. At a very young age I was certain that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Her journey has only added to what she is as a singer and a powerhouse performer on the stage. She started with performances on stages that are set for college festivals. “The early college gigs that I did were actually a test I had to pass as an artiste. Those audiences didn’t know me or any of my songs. They would or wouldn’t appreciate me for who I was based on that performance,” Akasa continues, “So performing early on for college crowds actually gave me a lot of good practice”
Her college gigs were followed by an international stage for practice, with Mika Singh. She was a part of Mika Singh’s band at the age of 17, and travelled to many international destinations like the USA, Canada and the UK. Akasa says, “Much like an expensive school, I got to learn from one of the best performers of our country. I joined Mikaji’s band at a very early age and began touring around the world with him, which exposed me to so much and gave me a worldly experience.”This was yet again another chapter where she discovered herself before international audiences and realised where she fit in — she was simply amongst the most upbeat performers to hit the stage.
The next stop for Akasa was RAWSTAR. At this national stage for singers from all over India she met some great competitors. “Being on national television gives a singer a face, and audiences always connect to that more. RAWSTAR gave me that opportunity.” She adds,” Not only did I get to showcase my talent but was also able to portray who I was as a person and that gained me a lot of fans.” She came out as the only female singer in the top 5 performers in the competition. Akasa has paved her way by taking one step at a time — one judiciously chosen step at a time. And all the while she has been honing herself as an artist.
Akasa maintains a wide scope as far as her preference of genres go, as a child she was exposed to her father’s music which included Hindustani classical, Sufi, Ghazals and Punjabi Folk. As she grew she came in touch with western influences like R&B, Hip-Hop and Country. “I enjoy singing in all this genres as well,” says Akasa. She went on to work with Himesh Reshammiya, and sang the song “Tu Keech Meri Photo” for the movie Sanam Teri Kasam. She even recorded a few covers of songs like “Judai” and uploaded them onto YouTube, which resulted in her gaining a lot of attention and enabled her to expand her fan base.
Her recent move, which is a rather big one, has been a song with the international Pop icon Ricky Martin. “Vente pa ca”, sung by Ricky Martin, is a Spanish song that was released by RM late last year and became one of the biggest Spanish-language hits of 2016. “When I signed a management deal with Sony Music, Ricky Martin’s label, they approached me with this song and I was thrilled. This is my debut in pop music and working with an international star of his status is what dreams are made of.” She shares further, “I recorded the Hindi verses with advice from Sony Music’s A&R team — which was then sent to RM and he instantly loved the sound.”