“For Me, My Voice Will Be My Iden­tity, Till The Time I Sing”

Stardust (English) - - COVER STORY - Words DIVYA RAMNANI

Luc­know boy AMIT MISHRA is in­deed blessed with an amaz­ing voice and is sure to make it big in Bol­ly­wood. From top­ping the charts with Man­mae­mo­tion jaage to rul­ing our hearts with Bul­leya and more, we have started lov­ing him even more. Read on as the singer talks about his jour­ney of fac­ing hard­ships to be­com­ing one of the most hap­pen­ing singers of B-town and his ul­ti­mate goals.

Be­long­ing from a fam­ily with no mu­si­cal back­ground, did you al­ways as­pire to get into the mu­sic in­dus­try?

Yes ab­so­lutely. From the be­gin­ning of my school­ing, I got into the vo­cals.

Tell us about your first break in Bol­ly­wood?

My first of­fi­cial song came out on T-se­ries and it was given to me by Chi­ran­tan Bhatt sir. I got an op­por­tu­nity to sing for him for 1920:EvilRe­turns and post that I got a chance to sing for Prashant Much­hal, Suneel Dar­shan sir and also got an op­por­tu­nity to sing with the amaz­ing Palak Much­hal in the ini­tial days of my ca­reer and then the jour­ney came up to Man­mae­mo­tion­jaage. I have also had my own al­bum called Eter­nalLove, for which I col­lab­o­rated with Parthiv Shah. It had six songs and I have done many al­bums after that.

You have worked with some of the most no­table mu­sic com­posers. Please share your ex­pe­ri­ence?

I had the best ex­pe­ri­ence when I got to work with some of the most elite pro­duc­tion houses, they all are very good with their work and ab­so­lutely pol­ished, es­pe­cially Pri­tam da. When I got a chance to en­ter his stu­dio and do a lot of snatches for him, though it was in terms of vo­cal au­di­tion, that was the most ex­cit­ing part for me be­cause he has a bril­liant team and he is truly a gem of a per­son. The way he teaches and ex­plains a song and of course the tech­ni­cal­i­ties, he makes it easy for us. At the same time, I also got to work with Mithoon for Ak­sar 2 and with Sa­jid-Wa­jid sir for Jud­waa 2. I also got a chance to meet Varun Dhawan for the first time. All of them, I would say are

bril­liantly tech­ni­cal and the best com­posers, it was great fun work­ing with all of them.

Who has been your sup­port sys­tem through­out your jour­ney?

My friends, fam­ily and all my loved ones have been a huge sup­port. The very first be­ing my mom and dad since I don’t come from a back­ground with mu­si­cal sce­nario and they weren’t sure at first about where will it take me in life and what will I do in Mum­bai alone, but they have shown im­mense sup­port and courage. My fa­ther wanted me to join his busi­ness but I had other plans and he was very sup­port­ive and stood be­side me like a wall. In my ini­tial days, sur­viv­ing in Mum­bai was tough for me but my pas­sion was on the next level, so I feel there was no strug­gle. It has been a fun ride so far.

Which is your favourite mu­sic genre?

My favourite mu­sic genre has changed with time. I like al­ter­na­tive Rock, Hip-hop and also In­die pop but when I com­pletely get into Bol­ly­wood, there’s no spe­cific genre or lim­i­ta­tions. Be­cause a singer has to mod­u­late his voice ac­cord­ing to the need of the song and there’s no spe­cific genre for a vo­cal­ist be­cause he has to de­liver, what­ever comes his way.

Com­pe­ti­tion in the mu­sic in­dus­try is in­creas­ing hour by hour, what are your thoughts on that?

I wouldn’t say that I am com­pet­ing with any singer, be­cause that’s a mar­gin of what other pro­duc­tion houses think. My part is to work on my­self and just to groom my vo­cals, my com­pe­ti­tion is with my­self be­cause from where I had started to what I sing right now, I feel there is a lot of dif­fer­ence in my­self and I am ex­plor­ing all kinds of mu­sic. Ev­ery time with a new song, I chal­lenge my­self and I never leave the stu­dio un­til the com­posers don’t say bhai­hogaya tera (laughs). And at the end, the au­di­ence is the jury.

Bul­leya has been a turn­ing point in your ca­reer, did you ex­pect such an amaz­ing re­sponse?

Bul­leya is a Sufi rock which is my favourite and I was pretty ex­cited to record it. The first time when I got the chance to sing this song, it was as nor­mal as a vo­cal au­di­tion. But when it was out, the way peo­ple shared it was of some other level, it was a rage ev­ery­where and I was get­ting mes­sages and I still do. It was an­other hit col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pri­tam da after Man­mae­mo­tion­jaage. I was ex­tremely over­whelmed.

You have sung for many well­known faces in Bol­ly­wood, share your best ex­pe­ri­ence?

All of them were good be­cause, all the gen­res were different and I am pretty happy with that. Talk­ing about Manma emo­tion jaage, it’s more of a Hip-hop/ RnB, Sau tarah ke again for Varun Dhawan was like more of a house track, Bul­leya was an al­ter­na­tive Rock and then Galti se mis­take was like In­dian jhol sort of and so on. I mea­sure the song with the genre of course, and I will re­mem­ber all my songs for­ever. But Bul­leya and Manma emo­tion jaage will al­ways be my favourite though.

What is your take on the ac­tors who are try­ing their hands in singing, isn’t that giv­ing rise to some tough com­pe­ti­tion?

I guess they are able to pro­duce their work so well be­cause the game is not just to sing in a room and get pop­u­lar (laughs), this is some­thing you have to pro­duce

A vo­cal­ist has to de­liver, what­ever comes his way.”

and they have the re­sources to do it. Mu­jhe Alia jika­woh gaan­abahutacha­la­gatha‘Ek

kudi’, she sang it so flu­ently… some­thing very raw and au­then­tic. So, yes I ap­pre­ci­ate all of them be­cause they are tak­ing ef­forts to en­ter­tain peo­ple in what­ever way pos­si­ble, be it through act­ing or singing and they en­joy it, so ku­dos to them.

If not a singer, what would Amit Mishra be?

I would have been a crick­eter, be­cause to be hon­est, my sec­ond love is sports. In my school days, I was very good at co-cur­ric­u­lars as all the time I was into sports, mu­sic and stud­ies as well. And I was quite pop­u­lar in my area for cricket (laughs).

What do you en­joy more – play­back singing or con­certs?

If I was asked this three years back, I would have cho­sen play­back but now I need to main­tain a bal­ance be­tween both of them be­cause I get op­por­tu­ni­ties to per­form for bands and con­certs and it be­comes tough be­cause you have to travel and take care of your voice. So now, I love do­ing both since I rep­re­sent both right now.

A mu­si­cian, just be­cause he works be­hind the screen doesn’t get his de­served ap­pre­ci­a­tions. What is your take on that?

That doesn’t mat­ter some­how be­cause for me I get all the de­served ap­pre­ci­a­tion. An ac­tor makes the song pop­u­lar be­cause of his star­dom and con­fi­dence. Aur dekhne wale kaafi sama­jh­daar hai, they iden­tify a singer’s voice very well. Dur­ing my ini­tial days, I was more in­clined to­wards how to sing be­cause pop­u­lar­ity toh baad ki baat hai. And for me, my voice will be my iden­tity, till the time I sing.

What is your big­gest strength and weak­ness?

My strength is my fam­ily of course, my mom, papa and di. And my weak­ness is the fact that I am very emo­tional be­cause I am an artiste.

What is that one spe­cial thing about you that no one else has?

X fac­tor! (Laughs)

Ev­ery­thing is go­ing the remix way in to­day’s time, don’t you think it’s killing the slow mu­sic vibe?

I don’t think so be­cause it’s the

Pri­tam da has made my jour­ney very mem­o­rable.”

same mu­sic, the melody of that song is so mem­o­rable that even if it’s re­made, the flow doesn’t break, it still en­ter­tains. If a song is remixed, it be­comes a rage be­cause ev­ery freak­ing club plays it and my per­sonal favourite is Chalti hai kya 9 se 12, it’s on loop in my car while I drive. Peo­ple just add some masala to an old song and I love that.

Rate th­ese singers from 1 to 5, Arijit Singh, Shreya Ghoshal, Su­nidhi Chauhan, Atif Aslam, Amit Mishra…

1. Arijit Singh

2. Shreya and Su­nidhi ji

3. Atif ji

4. Amit Mishra

How do you keep your­self mo­ti­vated on a dull day?

I just lis­ten to a song of Bruno Mars, I will start with The Lazy Song and my playlist would reach to the Dan­gal songs by the even­ing.

Who is your in­spi­ra­tion?

All my gu­rus since my child­hood. Then all the men­tors I have got a chance to sing for… all of them are my in­spi­ra­tion since I have learnt different things from them. Chi­ran­tan Bhatt has been a very great men­tor for me in my ini­tial days and Pri­tam da too, he has made my jour­ney very mem­o­rable so far, I have learned so much from him.

From the re­lease of your first song to now, is the ner­vous­ness the same?

I do get ner­vous some­times be­fore the song is about to re­lease. Things like how I will sound, will the au­di­ence ac­cept the song. And also be­fore a stage per­for­mance I feel ner­vous as well be­cause you never know what kind of au­di­ence I am go­ing to get, and I want to be a rough and tough singer, like some­one who can sing at the top of his voice even on the Hi­malayas. (laughs)

Tell us about your future projects?

I am work­ing on two video sin­gles, and we are al­most done with the shoot and the ground work, we might re­lease it in the first week of May. The name of the song is Va­ca­tion, it will fea­ture my band, and it’s a Rock and Roll kind of song. The sec­ond re­lease is Ooty wali beauty, the shoot is be­ing planned in Spain, and this might just come after the Va­ca­tion track in May. Talk­ing about the play­backs, yes I am pretty much into the record­ing ses­sions right now but I can­not share it be­cause of the ex­clu­siv­ity.

Name your faves amongst your songs?

Manma emo­tion jaage, Sau tarah ke, Bul­leya, Galti se mis­take and Gan­pati bappa morya…

Do you fol­low a cer­tain reg­i­men to main­tain the flex­i­bil­ity of your chords?

I can­not eat very heavy things and I try to keep my­self fit. For the flex­i­bil­ity of my vo­cal chords, it’s very im­por­tant to just prac­tise ev­ery day and any­where, to sing in the right man­ner and just not to scream

Who are the mu­sic direc­tors, you wish to work with in the near future?

I wish to work with Pri­tam da a thou­sand times. I want to learn so many things from him. I would like to sing for Vishal Shekhar, Salim Su­laiman, A R Rahman sa­hab and Anu Ma­lik, he is my all-time favourite. I am just wait­ing for an op­por­tu­nity and I am try­ing since long back. This is one never-end­ing list. (laughs)

Lastly, any mes­sage for your STAR­DUST read­ers?

Keep lis­ten­ing and keep en­joy­ing mu­sic, much love.

My com­pe­ti­tion is with my­self.”

Ran­bir Kapoor in Bul­leya

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