“There’s One Thing Ju­bin Nau­tiyal Be­lieves In – ‘I Sing But I Never Re­gret’.”

Stardust (English) - - COVER STORY -

He’s hot, hap­pen­ing and here to stay! He’ll make you cry with his soul­ful bal­lads and groove to his party tracks! Be it Hummahumma or Hum­navamere, Ju­bin nau­tiyal has cap­tured the hearts of the au­di­ence with his re­makes and sin­gles. And now he’s on the hunt for his new sound. Read on to know more about his new songs, views on the trends in Bol­ly­wood and the in­de­pen­dent mu­sic scene.

You’ve come a long way in your mu­si­cal ca­reer. How has the jour­ney been? Any off-key notes in the way?

My jour­ney has been very event­ful with lots of ups, which gave me the power to keep mov­ing, and lots of downs which mo­ti­vated me to do bet­ter. Since I don’t have any­body from this line of work in my fam­ily, com­ing here was over­whelm­ing. Get­ting to do what you love and get­ting to love what you do, it’s such a beau­ti­ful thing. Off-key notes toh chalte re­hte hai. I’m a per­son who’s con­stantly in a fight with my­self. I need to get bet­ter and grow as an artiste. That’s my big­gest fight in Bol­ly­wood; how to outdo my­self. I don’t care about how peo­ple hear me, whether they like my work or not. I just want to be hon­est to the work that I’m do­ing. I want to make sure that I should be happy after croon­ing my song. Oth­er­wise main khud hi kitni baar mu­sic di­rec­tors ko bol deta hu ki nahi karna hai gaana, this is not for me. For in­stance, the Holi Bi­raj Ma song, if it would’ve been any­one else apart from Himeshji who would’ve brought me this song, I would’ve never done it. He was there while I was dub­bing and he showed me ev­ery­thing, even how to do all the ex­pres­sions, holi ka woh essence jo maine kabhi kiya nahi hai pehle. That is the kind of faith I should have be­fore get­ting into the dub­bing stu­dio.

What or who is your big­gest in­spi­ra­tion when it comes to mu­sic?

For me, my fa­ther has been the big­gest in­spi­ra­tion as a per­son. Even though he didn’t have a fam­ily back­ground which could sup­port him, he did very well in his life, and cre­ated a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties for me and my sis­ters. I have a black belt in mixed mar­tial arts so I could be a mixed mar­tial arts guy, a busi­ness­man or a politi­cian. I have done na­tional shoot­ing as well so I could be a na­tional level shooter, but pick­ing some­thing from scratch and build­ing up on it, I think that’s the right way to go about it. Truly self-made, that’s my vibe.

Can you share a mem­o­rable story be­hind any of your songs? Or a star-struck mo­ment that you’ve had?

Yes, there’s a song which is close to my heart, Zindagi kuch­to­hbata from Ba­jrangi

I just want to be hon­est to the work that I’m do­ing.”

If I feel like I’m not con­nected to the song, I tell my di­rec­tors ki it’s not work­ing.”

Bhai­jaan. It was a turn­ing point for me, where a small-time singer turned into a main­stream voice. Pri­ta­mda was happy with my ini­tial dub. But it was Kabir Khan’s project and I was work­ing with Sal­man bhai for the first time! Sal­man Khan, ac­cord­ing to me, is the big­gest star. And get­ting to work with peo­ple I’ve only seen in news­pa­pers all my life, I wanted that song to be more than per­fect. And that lead me to dub it 6-7 times. (laughs) So, Pri­ta­mda would say Ho gaya hai dub! Jao ya­han se! And I would say thoda aur dub karenge, thoda aur!

Ma­hesh Bhatt’s Jalebi has you croon­ing Tumse. Tell us how you felt record­ing the song and your ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with the com­poser duo Sa­muel-Akanksha.

First of all, Sa­muel-Akanksha are the cutest mu­sic di­rec­tors I’ve met. They’re hus­band and wife and their chem­istry comes out beau­ti­fully through mu­sic. Sa­muel and I go way back. We had dubbed Tum se hi back in 2012-2013. When I met Sa­muel again and asked him what had hap­pened to that song, he told me that he was still work­ing on it. Maine kaha let’s dub it, Bhatt sa­hab would be the right per­son to play it to. So we met, we dubbed the song and played it to Bhatt sa­hab. And Bhatt sa­hab has a lot of knowl­edge about mu­sic. Jab woh koi bhi gaana sunte hai, woh usko per­fec­tion pe le jaate hai. Maybe that’s why he likes work­ing with me be­cause mere main bhi woh keeda hai, per­fec­tion ka. We would dub a song over and over again, lis­ten­ing to all the takes through­out and then de­cide which one was bet­ter.

Have there been in­stances where you’ve not re­lated to a song?

Many times. I build my­self with the song. I try to say it more than I sing it; it’s more like a mono­logue for me rather than a vo­cal take. If I feel like I’m not con­nected to the song, I tell my di­rec­tors ki it’s not work­ing, I’m not con­fi­dent with the song. There have been big songs that I’ve dubbed but I pulled out from them be­cause I wasn’t happy with what I’d done.

Do you ever re­gret those choices?

There’s one thing that Ju­bin Nau­tiyal be­lieves in - ‘I sing but I never re­gret.’ I know my jour­ney, know my­self and my mu­sic and I’m sure of what I want.

Tell us some­thing about your song in Lover­a­tri.

Chota sa hai, a cute duet. It’s a good song. Tan­ishk and I go way back, so even if he calls me for a ran­dom track, it’s al­ways go­ing to be some­thing in­ter­est­ing be­cause we share that chem­istry as a com­poser-singer. When Azeem called me for Love ra­tri, I was quite ex­cited.

What are your thoughts on the ‘re­make’ trend that has gripped the Bol­ly­wood mu­sic in­dus­try?

It’s fash­ion, baba. I don’t see any­thing wrong with it. I think there are two great things that this trend is do­ing; one is that it is giv­ing all the older melodies back to the younger gen­er­a­tion with a new twist that’s more

I think K-pop is the big­gest sound in the world right now!

suited to their taste. And sec­ondly, it’s urg­ing up­com­ing mu­sic di­rec­tors to come up with bet­ter com­po­si­tions as they’re com­pet­ing with cult songs! I think it’s rais­ing the bar of the mu­sic that we’re cre­at­ing. The recre­ations that I do prob­a­bly work be­cause I don’t recre­ate the song, I just sing it the way I would have wanted to sing it.

The one trend you wish to see in Bol­ly­wood mu­sic?

I was re­ally hop­ing that the whole al­bum time should come back. Ever since I was lit­tle, I’ve writ­ten six al­bums. Ear­lier, peo­ple used to en­joy both the mu­sic and the words, now they just wait for the hook or the drop. I’m wait­ing for the right time, when view­ers and lis­ten­ers will hold a taste in mu­sic to sit and lis­ten, not rush through it. When that time re­turns, I think the al­bums will come again.

What kind of mu­sic do you lis­ten to? What is your favourite song at the mo­ment?

I’m lis­ten­ing to artistes from all over the world be it African, French, Span­ish or Korean mu­sic. Or folk, clas­si­cal, semi-clas­si­cal even opera some­times! I’m re­ally en­joy­ing John Mayer’s new al­bum. (croons) You’re gonna live for­ever in me, I think that’s a beau­ti­ful song.

Hav­ing fo­cused on play­back singing for so long, you

im­me­di­ately cap­tured ev­ery­one’s at­ten­tion with your sec­ond sin­gle Hum­navamere. What do you think the fu­ture of in­de­pen­dent mu­sic is go­ing to be like?

In­de­pen­dent mu­sic is pick­ing up. I think we are go­ing into the Western space again, where we will end up do­ing sin­gles and in­de­pen­dent artistes will show their ex­pres­sions and styles and that’s where the magic re­ally hap­pens. I’m quite ex­cited about the in­de­pen­dent space and we’ll prob­a­bly soon get to lis­ten to those al­bums I have made.

What are your fu­ture prospects?

I have a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­labs. I’m just try­ing to crack the right sound for my next sin­gle. Hav­ing done a sad song, now I want to do some­thing up­beat, maybe pick up some­thing in folk! Since I have a lot of films lined up, I’m fo­cus­ing on in­de­pen­dent mu­sic for now. I’m try­ing to look for a sound that hasn’t been pre­sented in In­dia yet. Maybe K-pop? I think K-pop is the big­gest sound in the world right now!

As you get fa­mous, peo­ple try to drag you down. There was an un­savoury in­ci­dent re­cently that hap­pened in which you were in­volved. Tell us about it?

I’m just a small-town boy who’s get­ting a taste of star­dom now. Bach gaya main toh! It was a planned move. Ac­tu­ally, it was my birth­day party and some peo­ple just came and started mess­ing with my se­cu­rity to get in­side the party. When things got out of hand, my fam­ily and I left from there, but later on those guys started al­leg­ing us wrongly. Things just kept get­ting com­pli­cated but when the higher au­thor­i­ties got in­volved, their ear­lier LIU re­ports came and their whole scan­dals and his­tory got ex­posed and they had to apol­o­gize. Ev­ery­thing was sorted from day one.

Lastly, how do you main­tain the flex­i­bil­ity of your vo­cal chords? What’s your daily mu­sic rou­tine?

I sit with my gui­tar a lot. I spend a lot of time lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and by that, I mean lis­ten­ing to ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pen­ing in it, not just the voice or the melody but also how the song pro­gresses as a whole. That teaches me a lot. I think cu­rios­ity is a big teacher and as long as this cu­rios­ity is in my heart, I don’t think I’m stop­ping any­time soon.

The recre­ations that I do prob­a­bly work be­cause I don’t recre­ate the song, I just sing it the way I would have wanted to sing it.

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