For vocalist Sukhwinder Singh, the music of Kolkata is as pleasing as its best confections
FANS still recall compulsively grooving to the hit track Chaiyya Chaiyya from the movie Dil Se, which saw Malaika Arora dancing on top of a train, alongside Shah Rukh Khan. Sukhwinder Singh, the voice behind the song, has earlier spoken of his love for Kolkata, and the people’s knowledge of music. In the city for a concert recently, the versatile singer chatted with Indulge about Salman Khan, SRK, Kaushiki Chakraborty and more…
You love performing in Kolkata. What is it about the city that attracts you?
Kolkata is a hub of music. People here understand classical as well as popular music, and appreciate all genres of music. Also, I love Kolkata’s heritage, and I have travelled extensively with my friends. The city’s 200-year-old architecture is preserved with great care. I have been to Kalighat and shopped for bangles for my friends. People talk about Kolkata’s mishti doi and rosogolla but the city’s music is as sweet. Also, the women of Kolkata are so beautiful!
Any plans of collaborating with musicians here?
There is one person with whom the entire film industry would like to collaborate with, and that is Kaushiki Chakraborty. She is the best. Her father Ajay Chakraborty is a university in himself. Also, Rashid Khan is one of the best in the country. I would also like to do something on the late RD Burman.
How was the year 2018 for you?
It was a productive year. I sang for 15 films. But my success doesn’t lie in counting the number of projects I do, rather it’s about how much the audience loved my work. I got good feedback for my song Zero and I must appreciate Shah Rukh for taking my songs to another level on screen, with his energy.
How have you evolved as a singer over the last two decades?
More technology is used now to create music, and one has to adapt to the new methods. I accept the changes without giving up on my individuality. There should be a healthy balance. New technology is like a pickle that enhances the taste of the food, but cannot replace it.
What is your mantra of surviving in the industry?
Humility goes a long way. Whether you’re an experienced composer or a rookie , I appreciate new talent and don’t shy away from learning a thing or two from them. I sang three songs last year with newcomers. Kar Har Maidan Fateh is by a new composer, Vikram Montrose and so is Ek Ladki Ko Dekha to Aisa Laga (Rochak Kohli). We should encourage new talent. I don’t wear a tag — rather, I work with them freely.
How has it been working for Salman Khan’s Bharat?
He is a spirited guy. I’ve sung for so many of his films, and I remember he threw a party when I sang Tere Naam. Bharat’s songs are emotional and will create history. What are your upcoming projects? I am on board for Sonchiriya by Abhishek Chaubey and Soumik Sen’s Why Cheat India. Apart from films, I am also releasing an album in February, which will be something very different.