After churning out some of Bollywood’s chartbusters like ‘Raabta’, ‘Dhoom Machale’ ‘Dilli’, ‘Offo’ among others, singer Aditi Singh Sharma has had an impressive run in B-town. While others strive hard to make it big in Bollywood, Sharma, who is known for her ‘powerhouse performances', has ensured a place for herself in the music world! In an exclusive encounter, the ‘Rockstar’ opens up about her journey, upcoming projects and her insane love for Badshah Shahrukh Khan and heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor in glamsham’s special section Music Mania.
What inspired you to be a singer?
I have been singing since I was a baby. Also I was a rock singer in Delhi. So I really didn’t have any inspiration as such because it is something that I have always done.
So how did Bollywood singing happen to you?
I met Vishal (Dadlani) and Ehsaan (Noorani) during JD Rock awards which I hosted for two years in 2007 and 2008. There they heard me sing English songs and that is when they asked me ‘Do you sing in Hindi?’ to which I said yes and sent my CD. Ehsaan played the CD to Shankar (Mahadevan), who called me up and said we should work together. That was a big moment for me. Eventually I came down to Mumbai and sang for HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2. After that I had two gigs with my band where Amit Trivedi had come for one of those shows. He too offered me a song and I visited his studio. I tried it without knowing what song was it and finally it came out at as ‘Yahi Meri Zindagi’ from DEV D.
How do you prepare for your songs?
Most of the times when I have recorded, I have done them on the spot. Lot of times what happens is we record the song and then they do one more take the next day. Then obviously in those situations you know what kind of song you have to sing so you can probably prepare for it.
Any particular song which required some kind of special preparation?
I worked very hard on ‘Raabta’. Lot of time it is not just the singing but other things which need to be taken care of. In ‘Raabta’, because it was a soft song, the feeling had to come, so that song I had to work hard on. I think the effort was more because I had to get the feelings and emotions right. Even ‘Heroine’, ‘Dhoom’, ‘Offo’, the feelings had to come right because somewhere you know it that you are singing the title track or the main song of the movie. There is lot of pressure because the actors on whom it is being featured, they are so good, so if I don’t sing it properly then it will not look good on-screen.
Were you nervous while singing ‘Dhoom Machale’, keeping in mind its grandness?
Yes I was. But that wasn’t because of the grandness, but because the two people whom I really look up to in the music industry, Sunidhi Chauhan and Vishal Dadlani, they had sung the previous versions. For me Lata Mageshkar ji is legendary but my singing style isn’t like her. You know what I mean. So for me to follow someone, it had to be close to the kind of singing I do. So the automatic two choices were Sunidhi and Vishal, when it came to my style. So there was no pressure for ‘Dhoom’ but there is this feeling of being aware. It is a different feeling altogether.
You have become synonymous for singing energetic songs. Do you think you are getting stereotyped?
Not really, but I don’t know why I get energetic songs. I have also sung ‘Raabta’ which is loved the most by my fans. I feel I have a mix voice but yeah you are right I have more of energetic songs. But I have always been singing these types of songs. Even when I was in Delhi, I have sung rock songs. That is something I have always been singing so it is not that I have been consciously looking out for powerful songs.
Which is your personal favourite genre?
There is no personal favourite genre because I feel the same joy when I sing ‘Raabta’ that I feel when I sing ‘Dhoom’. And they are two totally different songs. But in terms of flavor they add distinctiveness. But I definitely can’t pick one. It is like choosing between your children.
You have worked with an impressive list of music directors. How has been the experience?
I feel blessed and privileged every single day to work with so many people. For me it doesn’t matter if someone says that your song with someone wasn’t a hit or the film didn’t do well. The point is that I got to work with all of them. The variety of people I have worked with is huge! I have worked with Salim-Suleiman, Himesh Reshammiya, Sohail Sen, Pritam, Vishal-Shekhar, Ram Sampat, Amit Trivedi among others. So dude what else do you want?
Now that you have a series of hits to your credit, do you think you have made a place for yourself in Bollywood?
I am not sure if I have made my place but I have definitely ensured that some part of the industry will know my existence and my style. They may not call me for their songs but yes they know my presence. Also there are so many other good singers coming up that I can’t expect to be the only choice for composers. But yeah definitely, in terms of style, I have my own identity.
So who’s next on your wish list in terms of music composers?
Yeah I have almost worked with everybody the only person I haven’t worked is Mr. A.R. Rahman. He has been on my number one for long time, since I haven’t worked with him. And I haven’t worked with Sajid-Wajid, Sachin-Jigar and Meet Brothers. Of course there are a lot of new people who have been coming up. Palash Muchhal is also new, but I have worked with him as well.
In an interview you once said that you wish to sing for Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra. So it is two down, one more to go? When do we see it happen?
Yes… It is two down, one more to go. But since Priyanka has started singing herself so I do hope I get to sing for her. Also I would love to sing for Deepika Padukone because thankfully God has been kind and my wish for Katrina and Kareena has been fulfilled, for whom I have sung more than one song. In the new lot, Alia Bhatt is an amazing actress and I got such an amazing song to sing for her (‘Offo’ from 2 STATES). Also I got the opportunity to sing for Sonakshi Sinha in HOLIDAY, and the best thing is that we share the same birthday. So it has been a great experience!
So yes, Deepika and Priyanka are someone for whom I want to sing eagerly. But the thing is that now it is difficult to say I want to sing for this one or that one because everyone is doing such great work. For instance, Kangana Ranaut was great in QUEEN, Alia Bhatt in 2 STATES etc. So yes, cannot pick and choose one. Also I wish I could sing for Ranbir Kapoor!
Though not singing, you did get an opportunity to share screen space with Ranbir Kapoor. Tell us about your star-struck moment…
I couldn’t have asked for more. I love him so much and everybody knows. I’m telling you God has been really kind. The next time I meet him, I’m definitely going to tell him that if he can pull off a female role I would like to sing for him. Though in YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI, I have sung a background score piece for him, in which he is packing for Paris. It is a French song. That is as close I could get to singing for him.
You also had the golden opportunity of singing a tribute for Badshah Shahrukh Khan. How was the experience?
Oh My God yes! I had this amazing opportunity to sing for Shahrukh Khan. I wasn’t nervous but I just felt like going and jumping on him. But I had to behave myself over there. You know, there are just two people whom I love insanely – Ranbir Kapoor and SRK. I have been a big SRK fan. He is my inspiration in everything I do.
So has SRK inspired you to step into Bollywood?
SRK has given me a lot of inspiration. He has also come into the industry without any film background. He belongs to Delhi and started his career from scratch so I always used to feel very connected to him. So when I got to pay tribute to him, alongside such great artistes is definitely an honour! The only regret that I had is that I wanted to say a lot more things to him. Nonetheless, I feel that I put my heart into that performance! It is one thing that I will always cherish. And there is this picture in which he is holding my hand and I am bowing to SRK and he too is bowing to me. That is like my ghar ka backdrop.
Apart from singing, you are great at cooking. Are you a born chef too?
I started cooking when I was a teenager because everybody in my family is a kickass cook. Kickass means restaurant quality. My mom, sister, brother all of them are great chefs but they all specialize in different cuisine. So that works as an inspiration. The first thing that I ever made was cheese omelet and it was just perfect. But now my hobby to cook is getting a little problematic. I like posting the pictures of what I cook on social media, so it has become a sort of problem because people keep asking me every day when I go to studios, Arre kuch laayi nahi hai tu? When are you calling us over for dinner/lunch? Hamein kab khilayegi tu? Also, I feel that I make some decent stuff out of the available resources, which is indeed a talent!