The gen-next singers of B-Town are creating a success story of their own through their hard work, dedication, love and passion for singing. Bollywood has given a platform to many budding talents in different ways, whether it is a reality show, YouTube channels or other social media. These young singers have generated a major fan following with just one or two hit songs in the industry.
The story of Allahabad-based Shashwat Singh’s debut song almost sounds like the dream of a young aspiring singer. He has kicked off his career with musical sensation A.R. Rahman for the track “Wat Wat Wat” from the Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone starrer Tamasha. Talking about his experience of becoming a professional singer and working in Bollywood, he said, “It was a matter of right place at the right time, Bollywood happened to me one fine day when I was in the middle of a chorus recording session and Rahman sir was at the console. After the recording was done he told me he had never heard my solo voice and asked me to sing. Two months after that day I got a call for Tamasha.”
When asked about his experience with regional songs and how different it is from singing a Bollywood song, he said, “Regional requires you to turn yourself into a local who is from that region. It’s a challenge. You need to hear, observe and produce quickly. I have done Regional sessions for my friend Sunny M.R in telegu for a movie called Bhale Manchi Roju. And it was great! It’s challenging for me to get my Tamizh strong.”
“Somehow I am able to nail Malayalam. It’s always a fresh experience, provided the person sitting at the console has a little patience to bear with a stupid accent that you might be trying to get rid of in a matter of few takes. With practice you can sort all of it out,” he added.
Prior to this, he worked with Rahman for his band NAFS. He has also sung “Alizeh” from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and “Sarsariya” for the movie Mohenjo Daro.
Another budding talent in the music industry is Pawni Pandey who started her musical journey with the reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs, after getting noticed she got her first break in Bollywood with “Jhoomo Re Jhoomo” in Kisaan. She has sung a few songs, in Bollywood films, like “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom”, “Gehlore Ki Goriy”, and recently “Laila Main Laila” from Raees, which is on every chart-topper playlist. She has a bit to share about her own personal journey, “Being an outsider, it gets tough to crack the layer of the industry as you don’t know anyone; you don’t know the how the industry functions. But with the grace of god, I’ve been lucky to have my family and the right guidance of my teachers and people like Rikku ji. So it was not easy to get a chance in Bollywood for sure, but it was a great learning experience.”
She also performed in live shows, both national and international. She will be seen next at BMP music festival in Delhi where she will enthrall the audience with her rocking number “Laila”.
Badrinath Ki Dulhania singer/composer Akhil Sachdeva is recently been in the news for his first Bollywood debut song “Humsafar”. He never thought that his Bollywood musical journey would start at a friend’s place in Delhi where he would get a chance of meeting with director Shashank Khaitan. He told Guardian 20 about his musical career, he said, “Music has been a passionate journey for me. I would say, I have not chosen music but music has chosen me. I started singing when I realized that music makes me happy and brings a smile to my face. Since I belong to a middle class family, music is also for my livelihood.”
He further informs us, “With Music in my heart and soul, I started my journey in 2009 with my band Nasha. I have been inclined towards music since my childhood, but getting my debut break for Karan Johar’s movie is a feeling that is yet to sink in. I wish my stint as a singer and composer in Bollywood gives me as much love and affection which people have given to my live band Nasha.”
Akhil met director Shahshank two years back at a party for his (Shashank) successful film Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and it was the latter’s promise that paved the way for his first big break in Bollywood. “When he heard the song, which I had written almost 3 years ago, he was super impressed and he promised that he would include this song in his next movie. “Humsafar”, my song, gave me the biggest Bollywood debut I could have imagined.”
He rose to fame with his song “Humsafar”. But he started his journey with his band Nasha. When we asked him about his experience and how different it is from singing a Bollywood song, he said, “The best part is Nasha is the first band that introduced the Sufi Rock genre. We were the ones who gave India this genre. I was the first artist to tell news publishers in an interview 7 years back that Sufi rock is my genre. Nasha is all about Sufi, energy and feel. I have definitely seen the stardom with Nasha and I have also seen the criticism before. But Bollywood definitely is very different. I would say if I compare between both the forms of singing, stage is more about energy and connect with the audience. Bollywood is more about control, and you have to follow certain basics. I would say I am blessed by God as I feel I am capable of doing both.”