Asees Kaur’s journey towards music started at a very young age of five when she used to sing Gurbani. As she took more interest and talent was there to support, she became a prominent voice in the music industry. She has recently released her debut non film song ‘I Don’t Give A’, which is a strong, challenging and an empowering anthem. We had an interaction with her for our May Digital Cover Story to know more about her new release, her plans for 2023, her journey and her life in general. Here are the excerpts:
‘I Don’t Give A’ is an empowering anthem that encourages women to live a life of their own. What inspired you to create a song with such a strong message?
After doing so many romantic and dance numbers like ‘Raatan Lambiyaan’ and ‘Aankh Lad Jaave’, I wanted to do something different, and for me, ‘I don’t give A’ was just that. I had never tried a fun or message driven song earlier in my career, so this became a very important song in my career.
We were just sitting and discussing, “If I want to come into a non-film music scene, which song shall I start with?” So that’s how the hook line came into existence. It talks about, I don’t give a damn about anything, and I’d like to live my life on my own terms. So, that was the idea behind it, and I think it empowers everybody. I really want to encourage everybody to live their lives on their own terms, and that’s how we decided to start with this song.
Watch ‘I Don’t Give A’ here:
Who is Asees as a person, and how much does it reflect in your music?
I have a small circle of close friends and family, and I am a very family-oriented and romantic person at heart. This reflects in my music, as many people connect with my romantic and heartbreak songs. I am also a fairly private person, and I prefer to keep my personal life to myself.
There seem to be two distinct phases in your career, post 2021 you have been getting more visible. How did this transition happen—was it planned or was it organic?
I never really planned out my career because I don’t think it’s possible to plan it out. Success comes from the opportunities you’re presented with and the effort you put in to make the most of them. I always strive to work hard and give my best, but ultimately, it’s up to the audience to decide whether something is a hit or a flop. My success has been very organic, with highlights like the recognition I received for ‘Raatan Lambiyaan’ and winning my first Filmfare award for ‘Hui Malang’ coming along the way. These moments helped increase my visibility in the industry.
What is more fulfilling for you, creating songs/ music, or performing live, and why?
For me, the most satisfying experience is always creating a song because it allows me to convey my own emotions to the audience. It’s like building a relationship between the musician and the listeners. When we create a song, we can transfer our feelings and emotions, and sometimes we sing according to the audience’s mood, which is a fulfilling experience as an artist. On the other hand, performing live gives me a different kind of high. It’s an amazing feeling to sing to thousands of people and have them sing back your song. Both of these experiences are equally important to me, so it’s impossible for me to choose just one.
Which artists have been your biggest influences from the past and present, and why?
Currently, my biggest inspiration is Arijit Singh. I have a lot of respect for his talent, work ethic, and how he carries himself. As for past inspirations, it would be Noor Jahan Ji because I grew up listening to her music. Her style and grace inspired me to become a singer.
Film music and non-film music, these two have a very distinct category now; which one excites you more?
I find film music more exciting because it has been my childhood dream to become a playback singer, and I started my career with a film song. Even though the industry has evolved, and independent music is gaining more attention, my heart still leans towards film music.
What makes Asees Kaur decide on a song. Run us through your thoughts.
Before accepting any song, I always make sure to read the lyrics first to see if I can connect with the theme of the song. If I can’t relate to it, then I won’t be able to deliver the emotions or sing it the way it should be. So, the song has to be relatable to me, and if I like the music, I give my consent. It’s a combination of both the composition and lyrics, but for me, lyrics always hold a more significant role. I usually choose a song based on its storyline and how it’s written. If I am offered an item number, I would consider singing it for a film song rather than my non-film songs because it is adequately supported by a script and is choreographed in accordance with the film’s overall screenplay, which helps me make a decision.
How do you see music culture evolving in India? What more would you like to see?
The past two years have brought a significant change for musicians, as non-film songs have gained more recognition and importance. There is a growing acceptance among listeners for new voices and songs, whether or not they are a part of a film. I find this change exciting because it grants musicians more freedom to create music that they genuinely enjoy, without the need for a proper script or storyline. If a musician wants to create a heartbreak song or a monsoon song, they can do so without any restrictions.
What are the upcoming projects that you are working on? How does 2023 look for you?
The year 2023 holds a lot of significance for me. Firstly, I am thrilled to announce my first UK tour. I have recently released my song “I Don’t Give A,” which is very close to my heart. Moreover, I am getting married this year, which makes it even more special. Apart from these personal milestones, I also have many upcoming projects in the pipeline, including a song with Jaani and some film songs. I am very excited about these projects and confident that my fans will love them, which includes a mix of heartbreak and love songs.
What is your message to your fans?
My fans are extremely important to me, and I would like to request their support for my new single, “I Don’t Give a”. I have invested a lot of effort and time into this song, and I hope they will love it as much as they have enjoyed my film songs. I would be grateful if they could visit YouTube, watch the song, and leave their feedback in the comments section. This is the first time I have been featured in a song as a female protagonist, and their feedback is crucial to me.
While the fans have always adored her, it’s the kind of work that is coming out from Asees that keeps everyone hooked to what’s next. As Asees takes a plunge into marriage and further career aspirations, we will surely love to see what comes next from Asees Kaur!