Mountains Have Been My Inspiration In Life To Create Music: Jubin Nautiyal

The singer talks about why he keeps going back to the hills and his eclectic travel playlist

Jubin with a furry four-legged companion

His soulful voice has endeared him to the masses; his calm demeanour, as he talks about his love for travel, is refreshing and genuine. Jubin Nautiyal, a true-blue boy from the hills, talks about his hometown, the influence of travel on his music and the next destination on his radar. Excerpts from an interview: 

What does travel mean to you?
Coming from the mountains, travelling is therapy to me. It gives me clarity and a good time to connect with nature, absorb its beauty and strength, explore new cultures and meet beautiful people. I've been trekking around mountains since childhood and that is what fuels me even today. Even while working on a new project, I always think about the mountains and it makes it so much better. 

For Jubin, travelling is therapy

Tell us a little about your hometown memories? Would it be safe to say your heart is in the hills?
I hail from a small town in Uttrakhand from Jaunsar Valley. My love for mountains is not hidden and they have been my inspiration in life to go ahead, be strong, create music. I love to be out with mother nature, because the love which I receive is so pure and innocent and that helps me in my music as well. As kids, we used to always be out, playing around and our life was simple and beautiful. Everyone knew each other and it used to feel like one big home. 

You had to cancel your tour because of Covid. Did you miss travelling and performing for your fans? 
It's just unfortunate that we had to once again face the situation but postponing the concert was a conscious decision taken for the safety of my fans. Our promoters also advised us to reschedule the UK tour. It will be my first time performing at the Wembley stadium in London and I am hoping we'll be back with double excitement and energy. And yes, the biggest thrill is performing live for my fans and travelling along with that has always been fun. 

What is your earliest memory of travelling to a place? 
There are many but one such is visiting Kolkata. I used to visit Kolkata as a kid many times, my uncle was in the Railways and was posted in Kolkata. I used to stay with them at New Alipore. I have always relished Biryani and Sandesh in Kolkata, the likes of which can't be found anywhere. 

Do you like to explore local cuisines when you’re travelling? 
Of course I do, we all do in fact. Our country has so many different delicacies to offer with its cultural and geographical diversity from different states. I try local food wherever I visit for a shoot. Our diverse and authentic food culture is a reminder, a kind of symbol of our nation's pride. I am happy to witness that our Indian cuisines are getting acknowledged globally.

What kind of a traveller are you? 
It depends sometimes on the circumstances. If I am in the mountains then I would definitely like to explore the place like a local. If I am visiting some city or beach, then I try to just relax and enjoy the local food. 

Bucket list destinations that you want to check off?
I am really looking forward to visiting Kerala; I haven't been there before. I just want to go there and relax. As per my hectic schedule of work and life, I deserve at least a week at a nice destination and for that I would love to explore Kerala in India. 

What’s your travel playlist like? Any recommendations?
At different places I like to explore different genres of music. I am a great admirer of Lata Mangeshkar, Kishor Da, Rafi sahab and Nusrat sahab. I also listen to a lot of other artists like Amy Winehouse, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Damien Rice and many more.  

Is there any place in India that you keep going back to?
Mountains in Uttarakhand, known as 'Devbhoomi' of our nation. Uttarakhand has so many hidden gems, unexplored. I would love to go and explore all those beautiful places which feel like heaven on earth. Jaunsar - Bawar is the place which belongs to my tribal region. People have to visit it to experience the beauty of it. There are places where clouds are below the mountains, fresh air, great food and smiling people. Viraat Khai is a great place as well, Chakrata is a great hill station; it would be a beautiful experience.