Nikhita Gandhi has been one of the very few female vocalists in today’s time who has constantly been belting out hit after hit. Just in this year itself, she has come with the massively successful ‘Tere Pyaar Mein’ from ‘Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar’ and ‘Chedkhaniyan’ and ‘Munda Sona Hoon Main’ from ‘Shehzada’.
Talking to Prateek Sur, Nikhita Gandhi opens up about the dearth of female music composers in today’s times, the war between melody and electronics, creating a niche for herself in the herd of singers and the songs closest to her heart. Excerpts from the candid chat:
There is always a constant debate about whether a person is born a singer or can one person learn the art of singing over the years with practice. What is your opinion on this debate?
I think it is both and I don’t think there is one right answer to it. Everyone is different. I know so many untrained musicians who have such sharp ears and are so quick at picking up nuances. I know so many non-classically trained singers who sing classical music just because they love it. They hear it and they inculcate it. So, it differs from person to person. I think that not knowing much is also beautiful and knowing a lot is liberating too.
You’re known for songs that are heavy on melody. But in recent years, we have seen that a lot of songs are heavy on electronics and less on melody. Do you think there is a shift in music with newer technology coming in every now and then?
Yeah, we do see a lot of production-heavy music. That is true. But I don’t think that takes away from the melody or the fact that we can make strong melodies and melodies matter. I think, to me, a great song is a song that you can both, sing it with a guitar as well as if it is a heavily produced track, it also sounds amazing as is. That’s how I listen to music, it can differ. Sometimes the melody is insignificant and it’s about the production because it is also a big part of music. But, for me, it is when the song sounds equally amazing on just a guitar, without any instrument, as is on a heavily produced track.
With so many singers coming to Bollywood these days, how difficult is it to create a niche for yourself? What quality of your voice do you think differentiates you from the rest?
I haven’t really dissected my niche quality per se. But I feel that it is important always, whether it is today’s world or when there were fewer singers, the most timeless thing you can be and do is to just be your truest self, and not impersonate anybody or try to sound like anybody and just sound like yourself.
Do you think there is a dearth of female composers in the Hindi music industry?
If you mean the Hindi film music industry, I think maybe there are fewer women, yes. But I see a lot of women around me, and not just singers but technicians, engineers and more and more women showing interest in the music field. I think when you are not shown that path, not too many people know enough to follow it. But there are more women in the industry these days. I see women DJs, recordists, and mixing mastering engineers. So, in general, there is an increase nowadays and I love that I live in today’s world.
If you have to pick one song which is closest to your heart, which you’ve not sung, which song would it be?
I would sing a medley so that I can put more songs in this one song (laughs). I have too many songs close to my heart. Ghar, I know is a song which is close to many listeners’ hearts and I agree with them. It is a beautiful song and there are so many. Raabta is very special to me, and so is Qafirana, and then the list will just go on.
What next can we expect to see from you?
Well, I am dropping a lot of music very soon. I am so glad to have started the year with 2 Pritam bangers in ‘Shehzada’. I have my own song dropping on my YouTube channel in March. So, working towards that and plenty of music and shows this year.