She belongs to the new era of women. She’s talented, she’s optimistic and most importantly she’s empowered. Perhaps that is why there was no person better than her to be the voice in a song for Anurag Kashap’s modern day Chandramukhi in Dev D. Aditi Singh Sharma is slowly and steadily making her mark in the world of music. Her latest triumph in Bollywood music has put her on the map! Whether it’s singing a catchy tune for an ad, a rocking number on stage or a soothing track for a film, or even strutting her stuff on the ramp, she’s done it all and rocks at it all! Bollyspice now brings you an exciting and exclusive encounter with the voice of the moment, Aditi Singh Sharma!
How did your path start as a singer?
I have been singing ever since I was a baby. As I’m told by my mother, I would never cry in the mornings or ever in fact, she says I would sing in my cradle alone when I’d wake up and everyone else was sleeping. I myself was in disbelief when I was told this for the first time (how long ago this was I cannot remember but now I think it’s way cool!!!) haha. I’ve been singing on stage since my childhood, I’d be put on a stage at weddings of friends and family, and then I remember performing at all the important functions at school when I was in class 1. My mom also trained me in Hindustani classical for a bit when I was 4 years old.
Your story has been quite remarkable till date as you were discovered in the Kotex Style Seventeen Girl Hunt, so would you say you’ve particularly struggled a lot to attain the status you have today?
I wouldn’t really say that I was discovered during the ‘Kotex Style Seventeen Cover Girl Hunt’, but yes that was the first time that I ever visited Mumbai and got a chance to interact with & walk the ramp in front of such amazing & successful people who were working in the industry. That was just a fantastic experience, which boosted my confidence and told me that ‘yes I could do anything that I wanted to if I put my heart into it’. I was always a singer but, even at the seventeen hunt everyone would always make me sing on the way to our destinations, and they even printed a photo of mine in the magazine with a caption “From bus rides to quiet moments in the hotel, Aditi never missed a chance to sing! Our very own Mariah Carey!” I firmly believe that everyone has to go through a struggle of their own. I don’t think there exists people in this world who have not gone through some kind of a struggle. I just feel happy to be where I am today and I will continue to work hard to try to do much more than this, and hopefully soon enough the struggling phases can all be converted into stories from the past =)
India of course has many talent hunts every year for aspiring singers, do you think this is an effective way to break into the industry for budding singers?
Yes, India does have many talent hunts and they are only increasing. I’m sure these hunts have helped many in breaking into the industry but personally; these hunts don’t work for me. I haven’t agreed with many of the winners of the competitions, but for that no one is to be blamed as it is just a matter of choice. Our country needs much more training in music overall as opposed to voting for contestants from their own city or region.
You’ve sung extensively for television and ad films and bands and today you’re doing playback singing. What do you think you enjoy the most and would want to do more off in the future?
I can’t really pick a particular thing and say that I enjoy that the most, I love performing with both my bands ‘Crimson’ & ‘Groove Adda’ they both are very different because one is a rock setup & one is a Bollywood setup. We always have a different kind of audience to cater to, there is always that factor of uncertainty, yet it is always so much fun!! I also love being in the studio as most of the times you don’t know what you’re going to be singing until moments before the recording which I absolutely love giving in your inputs and trying to work out songs, jingles, VOs (voice overs) in the best way possible. It is all crazy and absolutely fantastic! I also enjoy playing live a tad bit more. It’s just the interaction with the band members on stage is amazing and the interaction and response from the audience always gives me a high!! But I would love to continue doing both, perform live & be a studio artiste and I’d love doing both equally!!
What style/genre of music do you most enjoy both performing and listening to?
Having been part of different bands that play different genres and having attempted various genres of music in the studio. I realized a long while ago that I enjoy many genres of music. I love rock and have been associated with it for years and I’ve started enjoying Bollywood music a lot, a big part of it now being that I have to perform the songs so I’m always listening and learning!! I enjoy dance music a lot and international music as well, I’m also a big fan of drum and bass, house, electronica, pop, soul, funk, etc. there are MANY genres. These all I enjoy listening to a lot but yes in terms of performance for now I’ve only been able to attempt a few, majority being rock and Bollywood and blues, funk, pop a little here and there. I loved them all =)
Due to the fact that our music industry is extensively encompassed in our film industry in India, what are your thoughts on the recognition that composers and artists receive in today’s day and age? Do you feel it is adequate?
Umm…personally I don’t think artists such as the singers, composers, music directors, lyricists actually receive the recognition that they deserve. Most of the times I’ve seen people recognize songs on the basis of the actors that the songs have been picturised on in the film. Mostly no one knows who has written what song, or sung it or composed it. But hopefully things will only get better as they have right now from the way things were a few years ago.
You were a part of the High School Musical 2 album, which is one of the most successful ventures by Disney in recent times, how did you become a part of such a credible soundtrack and how was the experience?
Being a part of the High School Musical 2 album for me was an incredible experience. Mostly because I got to work with the fabulous trio, Shankar Ehsaan Loy. That was the second time I had ever visited Mumbai, and the first time I had ever been to a studio in Mumbai! I had met Ehsaan when I had hosted the Jack Daniel Rock Awards 2007 at Elevate in New Delhi and he was one of the presenters there. I had sent him a demo of my work after that which he played to Shankar-ji and just one fine day I got a call from Ehsaan asking me if I wanted to be a part of one of the songs they were working on the next day. I can still remember the excitement and joy and happiness etc etc. and I flew into Mumbai the next day morning and recorded with them in the evening and came back. That was an incredible experience, and my first in a Mumbai studio meeting all the singers and engineers, which I will always remember!
Your recent track for Dev D went on to be loved by millions of fans across the globe as both the film and soundtrack were received extremely well by the audiences, did you expect the album and your track to do so well?
My song in Dev D was actually the last song that made into the film and I believe it was one of the last to have been recorded as well. It was an insane, crazy, incredible thing to have happened. Amit Trivedi (music director) hadn’t even told me the details of anything while we recorded the scratch of the song and even when we had finished the song. He just called and said that it was for a film and that we could try and see how it sounded. After we finished the song, Amit called me after a week telling me that they didn’t like it, this and that, and that that it did not fit into the film etc etc. and I was like, ‘ok cool … no worries, we can give it a shot next time…’ Then he started laughing and said, ‘I’m joking Aditi, Congratulations, your song has made it to Anurag Kashyaps film Dev D and everyone loved the song.’ I actually didn’t know how to react, and I was just basically reactionless and I only told my close friends about it because honestly, till the album came out I didn’t believe that it had happened. And when the album came out, the way the response was, it was even more insane! Everyone loved the film and the soundtrack and yes I feel so proud of the whole team and I know that everyone has worked so hard on the film. I’m very grateful to Amit Trivedi for the fantastic song that he’s given me & for the mind-blowing album. Also I’m very humbled by the millions of people who keep messaging me on Facebook and Orkut and Youtube telling me that they loved my song! Thank you all so much for all the love and support.
Do you listen to Bollywood or filmi soundtracks often?
I have a Bollywood setup with my bandmate Gaurav Balani, which is called ‘Groove Adda’ and we play a lot of Bollywood. I listen to a lot of Bollywood on the radio and keep looking out for new songs that my friends from the industry have sung or composed or written or just for the sake of good music. =)
Name a few composers whom you’d like a chance to work with?
I’d love to get a chance to work with AR Rahman & Vishal Shekhar, these are the 2 that I’ve not worked with who are on my list.
Name a playback artists whose work you particularly admire?
I’m highly influenced by Sunidhi Chauhan & Vishal Dadlani for their versatility and Vishal has tremendously inspired me because he is a different person on stage when he’s with his rock band Pentagram and a totally different person when he’s singing Bollywood in the studio. Both Sunidhi & Vishal have the ability to fit into any kind of a song and mould it into a way, which they can call their own.
An album in recent times that you’ve thoroughly enjoyed?
I have thoroughly enjoyed Dev D and I think Amit Trivedi has done a fabulous job. It has been months and still I’m listening to it! Also Delhi 6 I absolutely loved.
Last but not the least what advice would you give to budding singers out there today struggling to break into the world of music?
I would just tell every singer to sing their hearts out, perform their guts out and be true to their art and somewhere someone someday something will definitely happen and will happen in such an unexpected way which will do justice to every wrong that they have been feeling all this while which will in turn change to all the rights that they deserve!!
Well guys hold onto that precious advice that obviously has worked wonders for this talented young lady! BollySpice wishes Aditi all the very best for all her upcoming ventures. For all those fans who want to connect with Aditi, check out her MySpace page.