A. As a child I always had a great liking for music, I kept humming songs while watching television. It was my father who noticed my passion for music and observed that I had a sweet textured voice. It was then that he decided that I should be trained in this field right from childhood and, therefore, he admitted me into Suresh Vadika ji’s academy. This is how my musical journey began. Before coming infront of the mic, I did a lot of remixes and devotional songs. Afterwards, I got my first Bollywood track which was “Janabe Janiya” from Aksar, composed by Himesh Reshamiya sir, which was followed by many songs like “Humko Deewana Kar Gaye”, “Tum Jo Aaye”, and after that there was no looking back.
Q. You started your career with devotional songs. Why did you shift to mainstream music?
A. My love for devotional music goes a long way. I started my singing career with spiritual songs and my first song was “Durga Vandana”. There is no shift to mainstream music, because it is not that I don’t sing devotional songs anymore, its just that my Bollywood songs capture more ears. You will still find a lot of my spiritual, peaceful songs on YouTube.
Q. You have come a long way since you recorded your first song “Humko Deewana Kar Gaye”. How has the journey been so far?
A. The journey has been a very exciting one. I have come a long way, and fortunately I have been able to grow for better and learn a lot. It is with my father’s blessings that I have reached this successful stage in my life, therefore whatever I am I owe it to him. From “Humko Deewana Kar Gaye”, to singing my latest vivacious track “Mera Highway Star” featuring Khushali Kumar and Raftaar, my journey has been a very enriching as well as thrilling one and full of memorable experiences.
Q. When did you start training for music?
A. I was seven years old when my father realised my talent for singing and put me into training in order to become a singer. I used to hum songs while watching TV as a kid and when Papa heard me, he liked my voice quality and started my classical music training at that age. I was initially trained in Suresh Wadkarji’s academy.
Q. You have recently come up with your single — “Mera Highway Star” with sister Khusali Kumar and Raftaar, which has already received eight million views online. How was your experience working with your sister and Raftaar?
A. My experience was absolutely wonderful. This is the third time that Khushali and I have come together. Our last collaboration was an emotional rollercoaster with the lovely track “Mere papa”. This time we have tried something different by choosing a bold and high spirited song. Raftaar has added his own charm and energy to this groovy track.
Q. You have worked with many renowned music directors. Any specific Bollywood celebrities or music directors you wish to work with?
A. Yes, I have worked with many music directors like Himesh Reshamiya, Sajid-Wajid and Pritam. The experience has been a very enhancing one for me as a singer. However, it’s my dream to work with A.R. Rehman. Every singer wants to become a part of his stellar projects and I too would feel very fortunate if I get a chance to work with him.
Q. How do you feel about working in your father’s biopic Mogul?
A. I feel extremely elated, happy, nervous and a mix of many more feelings and I guess words will not be enough to describe this. I owe my success and whatever I am today to my father. I have reached a successful phase in my life and that is all with his blessings. When I was just seven years old, my father observed my voice quality and started my training. He was very passionate about my singing, so I feel that I am living his dream today.
Q. After being in the industry for year and having received awards for your work, how does success feel?
A. Well, it’s very humbling to receive so much love and admiration from my audience. The best reward for a singer is her audience’s love and support, and I feel blessed to have that. My song “Soch” received so much love from my audience that it was very flattering. I believe that for an artist, success means having a huge fan base who love and support you immensely. If you’re fortunate enough to have that, you should feel successful.
Q. How do you look at your competitors in Bollywood?
A. Competition is everywhere, not just in Bollywood. Primarily, you are in competition with your own self. I thrive to be a better singer, a better human every day. I feel that all I have to do is invest more hard work and efforts and perform better than the last time. As long as I am in competition with myself I have scope for growing and shining on a more positive note.
“My first Bollywood track was ‘Janabe Janiya’ from Aksar, composed by Himesh Reshamiya.”
Q. With so much new talent coming in, where do you see the music industry headed in the coming years?
A. Yes, there is so much more talent coming in the music industry, be it in terms of lyricists, composers, singers or YouTubers entering the mainstream, which I believe is a very good thing. It is very rightly said that the more the merrier, so the music industry very warmly welcomes new talent, like through a variety of reality singing shows. Therefore, I believe that through more of digital awareness, everyone is now capable of accessing platforms to showcase their talent, which is a great thing.
Q. Who is your inspiration in the music world?
A. In the field of music I really listen a lot to Lata mangeshkar ji. I think she is the goddess of music and an institution in herself. Listening to her songs has been a great source of inspiration for me. Another person that I really look up to is my father, Shri Gulshan Kumar. He was extremely passionate about his work and a giving human being. He was a great visionary who could comprehend talent at first sight. He gave me the right guidance since I was a child. So, he’s my biggest source of inspiration.
Q. Can you please tell us about your upcoming projects?
A. My single track “Mera Highway Star” in collaboration with Khushali Kumar and Raftaar was released recently. Sonakshi Sinha starrer “Noor” will also showcase my latest track “Gulaabi 2.0”. Other than that, among my upcoming songs is “Goggle” in the movie Mubaarkan about which I am very excited. Also, I have already started working on more single tracks in collaboration with other artists, so hopefully the year 2017 will be pretty good.