TWO OF A KIND

Th­ese two sis­ters are young, beau­ti­ful and a breath of fresh air in the mu­sic in­dus­try. What gives Sukriti and Prakriti Kakar an edge is that they are iden­ti­cal twins, but with a set of unique vo­cals. They are widely known as In­dia’s only ‘sing­ing twins’.

Society - - CONTENTS - By PAYAL ME­HTA|

Widely known as In­dia’s only ‘sing­ing twins’, Payal Me­hta catches up with Sukriti and Prakriti Kakar, as they gear up to con­quer the world of mu­sic.

The Kakar sis­ters have lit­er­ally got mu­sic in their DNA. El­der sis­ter Akriti Kakar has al­ready found fame as a play­back singer in Bol­ly­wood and now younger twins Prakriti and Sukriti are fol­low­ing suit, and have slowly carved a niche for them­selves as in­di­vid­ual play­back singers. “We grew up in a house­hold where mu­sic was a way of life. Still is, ac­tu­ally. Our mom was a mu­sic teacher and she first sparked our in­ter­est in mu­sic,” says Sukriti. To an ex­tent, both of them are self-taught and trained singers. What be­gan as a pass­ing in­ter­est grad­u­ally be­came an in­cred­i­ble pas­sion and even­tu­ally a con­scious ca­reer choice. The equally gor­geous Prakriti adds, “Akriti didi was also a ma­jor in­flu­ence and in­spi­ra­tion grow­ing up and con­tin­ues be­ing one. She is also our big­gest critic. One thing led to an­other and we soon found our­selves get­ting our first break. There has been no look­ing back since.” The sis­ters have sung a se­ries of hit songs over the years, per­formed in a hun­dred live shows and lent their inim­itable vo­cals to var­i­ous ad jin­gles. Akriti Kakar had ven­tured out alone, whereas her sis­ters Prakriti and Sukriti started chas­ing their sing­ing dream around the same time. There had to be dis­ad­van­tage for them in terms of get­ting recog­nised and find­ing suc­cess. “We are liv­ing a dream to­gether. To wake up every morn­ing and do what we do, to­gether, is an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing. Dream­ing, de­liv­er­ing, fail­ing, suc­ceed­ing and learn­ing is all a part of the game. It’s a great time to be in the mu­sic cir­cuit be­cause com­posers and film­mak­ers are open to ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. A range of voices are be­ing tried, and there’s huge scope for op­por­tu­nity, quite un­like the last few years,” quips Sukriti. But, what about com­pe­ti­tion? We can’t help but won­der how it would be if both of them were au­di­tion­ing for the same song. To this, Prakriti log­i­cally ex­plains, “There are times when both of us au­di­tion for a par­tic­u­lar song and we are un­wit­tingly put in a po­si­tion of com­pe­ti­tion. But apart from us, there will be other voices too au­di­tion­ing for the same song. It is just the na­ture of the busi­ness. At the end

of the day; it might be ei­ther Sukriti or me who might get the fi­nal call and that is the pre­rog­a­tive of the di­rec­tor or pro­ducer. It hardly mat­ters be­cause ul­ti­mately the song is coming home.” Sukriti agrees to this, say­ing that she’d be the hap­pi­est to know if Prakriti had got a par­tic­u­lar song, even it was at her own ex­pense. “Her suc­cess is mine and vice versa,” she adds with joy. Looks like, it’s them against the world.

Talking about the big, but not-re­ally-bad world of mu­sic, re­cently there were dis­cus­sions among a few well-known fe­male vo­cal­ists that fe­male singers in Bol­ly­wood didn’t have equal as much op­por­tu­nity as male singers. Ei­ther the whole al­bum has 90 per cent songs that re­quire male vo­cals or the fe­male vo­cals re­quired are just for a lit­tle part of the whole song. The 22-year-olds don’t com­pletely agree. Prakriti, whose lat­est sin­gle Paas Aao just had a few lines for her to sing, jus­ti­fies, “It dif­fers from script to script and one can­not gen­er­alise. But, I’ve man­aged to sing a few songs with my fair share of fe­male vo­cals.” Even Sukriti at­tributes it to the com­poser and the di­rec­tor who have the fi­nal call. “The sit­u­a­tion of the song re­ally mat­ters in each case and no one is de­lib­er­ately try­ing to de­prive a fe­male singer,” she avers. So, how are they dif­fer­ent from each other, or from oth­ers com­pet­ing with them? “Our voices are unique and we have our own strengths. But, what re­ally sets us apart is our depth and range. One thing is be­liev­ing you’re ver­sa­tile, but it is an­other thing al­to­gether to de­liver on that be­lief,” rea­sons Prakriti. “Our fo­cus right now is to broaden our hori­zons and chal­lenge our­selves with a di­verse range of work across mul­ti­ple gen­res. The com­pe­ti­tion in the in­dus­try leaves you with no choice in this re­gard,” says a de­ter­mined Sukriti. Non-Bol­ly­wood mu­sic in the form of sin­gles and al­bums is mak­ing a come­back, which, for me, as a ’ 90s kid is pretty ex­cit­ing. “It is great to see that trend back

in vogue. It widens the tal­ent pool, ex­poses lis­ten­ers to di­verse gen­res and artistes and en­riches the over­all mu­sic scene in the coun­try. There’s a mar­ket and an au­di­ence for every­thing now,” says an over­joyed Sukriti. Adds Prakriti, “The in­die mu­sic scene suf­fered a lit­tle in the early 2000s but with easy ac­cess to dig­i­tal con­tent and a greater de­mand for qual­ity mu­sic, the trend has come back. This resur­gence is very heart­en­ing and I’m for­tu­nate enough to be a wit­ness to this growth story.” The sis­ters have en­tered the in­dus­try with one dream—sing­ing. Be­ing such beau­ties, we ask them if they will ever ven­ture into act­ing. And we get the same an­swer from both of them—that their fo­cus right now is only on mu­sic. They do get a lot of film of­fers but haven’t thought of it se­ri­ously as an op­tion. “But, who knows what lies in store down the line? As they say, never say never!” says Sukriti, giv­ing us a hint that the op­tion can­not be ruled out. Talking about chas­ing dreams, Sukriti, who has worked with mu­sic com­poser trio Shankar-Eh­saan-Loy on Pehli Baar from Dil Dhadakne Do, re­calls her ex­pe­ri­ence with them rather lov­ingly and can’t wait to work with them again. Both of them dream of work­ing with the mu­si­cal icons of the in­dus­try like AR Rah­man, Pri­tam, Vishal-Shekhar, Sachin-Ji­gar and Amit Trivedi. Prakriti is also a fan of singer Ari­jit Singh and ad­mires Sonu Nigam, with whom she sang in Tu Hi Na Jaane from the movie Azhar. For her, it was noth­ing short of a dream come true. The girls have had a re­ally good year so far, with both of them be­ing part of the T-Se­ries Mix Tape al­bum with the likes of Shaan and up­com­ing artist Ju­bin Nau­tiyal. Prakriti has had songs like Hai Za­roori from

Noor and the afore­men­tioned sin­gle Paas Aao with Amaal and Ar­maan Ma­lik and has re­cently sung Hawa Hawa along­side Mika from the Ar­jun Kapoor-Anil Kapoor star­rer Mubarakan which is al­ready top­ping the charts. On the other hand, Sukriti, who gave us a va­ri­ety last year with a hit dance num­ber like Kar Gayi Chull from Kapoor and Sons and the soul­ful Rus­tom Vahi from Rus­tom, sang the groovy Zubi Zubi from Naam Sha­bana and Jise Ke­hte Pyaar Hai from Noor this year, which re­ceived a lot of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from the au­di­ence. She has crooned to the ti­tle track of Mubarakan, which again is do­ing very well. The tal­ented duo is also work­ing on some projects to­gether. “There’s a song that we have writ­ten and com­posed. We hope to do a mu­sic video to­gether soon,” says an ex­cited Sukriti. Well, we wish them the best for their fu­ture en­deav­ours.

Be­fore leav­ing them to their busy sched­ules, I couldn’t help but ask them some­thing fun. The sis­ters have of­ten been spot­ted wear­ing the same kind of out­fits on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions. I was just cu­ri­ous to know if they did that on pur­pose to have fun with peo­ple or if it was some­thing that they had done since child­hood. To this, the twins giggle. Prakriti then ex­plains, “As kids, we would of­ten wear same or sim­i­lar look­ing clothes. As we’ve grown older and de­vel­oped our in­di­vid­ual senses of style, we bor­row each other’s clothes now and then. We are sis­ters, af­ter all!” To this, Sukriti laughs and adds, “We may wear the same kind of out­fits from time to time. It’s in­ter­est­ing to note peo­ple’s re­ac­tions and confusion! I guess it is a ‘twin’ thing.” Now, this is some real sis­ter­hood we’ve got here!

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