From Kolkata to Mumbai, A R Rahman to Pritam, Film music to Non Film music, Playback to having a band of her own, Nikhita Gandhis’ journey in the world of music has been the one that every aspiring artist would look up to. She has been loved by critics and her listeners alike, and she has been scaling up ever since she took up music as a career. Having said that, we thought it would be a great idea to know more about Nikhita the artist as well as the person as we looked to find a cover story for February 2023. We had a quick interaction with her and here are the excerpts:
2022 has been a year which has made music and artists evolve further in terms of identity. How do you see the canvas shaping up for artists as brands on their own?
I grew a lot during the lockdown. I think 2020 to 22 there was a significant shift towards non film music in the industry and I saw a lot of beautiful artists emerge as their own. I had a bit of metamorphosis of my own. There was a lot of music I had worked on in the past which I would not release because I would feel insecure about it. But in the last 2 years I let myself be unapologetic, it’s important for artists to know their sound and brand and to be true to it. I realised if people can love me for my playback work, why not show my listeners who I am as an artist as a whole and what kind of music I like to create!
Watch her song, “MAHARANI” here:
You have been dabbling between Bollywood and Non Film music. What are the unique features of each of them?
So different! One would think that being a Bollywood singer I have the luxury of having “access” to so many things, but the truth is when I release my own music it’s just as difficult as the next person. But don’t get me wrong, “difficult” in this context is not bad at all, the difficulties are in the form of creative challenge for me. It’s so exciting and rewarding to release your own music- it feels like your child! You have to do EVERYTHING 😅 From editing my videos to making my own artwork to personally ingesting the music and calling up various stations and asking them to give shout outs and sharing my music, I’ve personally done all of it. And it might be 100x more work but it is so liberating!
What should fans expect from you in 2023?
Music Music Music! The year has kickstarted with two major tracks from Shehzada for the amazing Pritam da! Feels almost serendipitous that I started my Bollywood career with Dada’s Raabta and now start 2023 with Chedkhaniyaan and Munda Sona! It’s going to be an amazing year with so many emotions and so much music! My next single is to drop in a couple of months and some exciting collaborations on the horizon! ♥️
Watch her song “Tu Hi Bata” here:
Having spent almost a decade in your career, how do you look back at it and how satisfied are you with what you have been able to achieve?
I couldn’t be happier and would do nothing differently! I love all the mistakes and all the wins; it’s made me who I am today. The journey has been so full of adventure, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with the finest and also across so many genres and languages! I didn’t really have expectations when I started off and I still really don’t. I love it when life surprises me in its own beautiful way!
You have collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry. What have been some of the experiences, learning, etc., from the collabs?
One thing in most musicians I have seen is the hunger and childlike curiosity to learn! That is truly inspiring, and I’ve seen it in even the most senior and prolific artists. That truly is the one thing an artist should never lose, the humility to keep learning.
You have been touring for a while and doing live shows. Share with us some of the recent unique experiences that you might have had during the tours
Being on the road and performing for public shows is the absolute best. I love travelling and seeing new places and nothing beats the exhilaration of public gigs! I started off the year with my first show being in Jiagunj (Bengal) which also happens to be the hometown of Arijit. It was an incredible experience! There were thousands and thousands of people that showed up and looking at that sea of beautiful faces singing back with you “kuch toh hai tujhse raabta”, it was unreal, truly an out of the world experience!
A snippet of Nikhita’s Live Performance with Pritam:
There is growing trend of remaking music in Bollywood. Do you prefer creating originals or giving your own touch to remakes?
I love making my own music. But I can’t lie, I get very excited when I get the chance to sing a remix because it’s such a flex to be able to officially sing something that you’ve adored and loved as a fan! I ended 2022 with “Kya Baat Hai” and it was so cool that I got to do a record with Harrdy! So yeah, I can’t deny, it feels pretty amazing!
Watch her song “Na Ja” feat. Pav Dharia here:
How much are we going to see Nikhita in Non Film music in 2023?
Tonnnssssss! My single “Pyaar Mein Pagal” drops in March and then I’ll be working on an album in the summer. So much music to share so little time ♥️
Well, if its “Tonnnssssss” of music coming out as she says, we can’t complain! Who wouldn’t want to keep listening to Nikhita’s beautiful voice all day long! We feel immensely excited to keep a tab on her upcoming work as we are sure it won’t be anything short of AMAZING. In the meantime, its Chedkhaniyan, Jugnu, Burj Khalifa, Kyaa Baat Haii, Bad Boy x Bad Girl playing at the backdrop for us!