Popular Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, known for chartbusters like "Baby Doll" and "Chittiyan kalaiyaan", says she faced severe criticism at the beginning of her career for being a bad live performer, but she worked on her craft to master the art.
As an artiste, she says she strives to establish a deeper connect with the audience.
"I am working hard constantly… Like a contestant of life in the journey to know music better. I do not have any ego to listen to criticism, and learn something from there, so that I can work on my craft," Kanika told IANS in an interview here.
"Now I am not only a playback singer, but also a performing artiste. But at the beginning of my career, people said on my face that I am a ‘sh** performer'," she added.
Kanika chose not to make it an ego issue.
"When I came to sing in Bollywood and my song became a superhit, I performed live on stage, and I was a bad live performer. Then, I learned the art of stage performance and now I am doing Kanika Kapoor Live across the globe."
"I took years to get it right but I did not give up. Neither was I disheartened. I think that is the way of surviving, by learning constantly," shared the singer, also known for the song "Da da dasse".
Currently, the singer is busy in grooming new talent for reality television show "The Voice of India – Season 3", which will go on air on StarPlus from Sunday.
She, along with Adnan Sami and Armaan Malik, are working as voice coaches on the show.
What's her definition of a perfect voice?
Kanika said: "Perfect is a myth. Nobody is perfect… It is about the connect, the human connection. If you are an artiste — whether a storyteller, a singer, a dancer, you are the best when you are engaging with your audience."
"If you are singing a love song, the listener should feel like falling in love… and feel the emotion through the song."
Citing an example of an old song, she said: "I do not think Reshmaji was a pitch-perfect singer, but whenever she used to sing ‘Lambi judaai', people used to feel and miss their loved one… It always touched our heart."
"Whether as a professional singer or as a listener, that is what I look for always… connection."
Born and brought up in Lucknow, Kanika is trained in Indian classical vocal music. At a young age, she got married and shifted her base to London with her husband in 1997.
After spending substantial time and giving birth to three children, Kanika separated from her husband and returned to India.
She has gone through a tough time in her personal life and yet maintained her love for music. What kept her going?
"I think I have a deep relation with pain… I really have seen a lot in life and I am usually not a person to sit down and cry."
"I do not complain, and rather try to find a way to resolve things. Finally, when I was on the verge of giving up, God gifted me with the opportunity to sing ‘Baby Doll'. So yes, then I had no reason to give up!"
"You cannot live a perfect life where there is no struggle and sorrow, so instead of complaining, I take them as part of my journey and till the time I am breathing and dealing with the situation to gain my peace of mind, I am happy."
By Arundhuti Banerjee