Ipsitaa on her debut single 'First Kiss' and working with Yo Yo Honey Singh
Her debut single, First Kiss, in which she was introduced by Yo Yo Honey Singh, has taken the Internet by storm. The Yale University graduate who has majored in Economics and Psychology, not only matched steps with one of the top pop singers of the country, Honey Singh but also accompanied him on the vocals. It's her refreshing looks and screen presence that have added to the success of the song. In an interview with Indulge, Ipsitaa reveals more about herself and how the song First Kiss happened. Excerpts:
Tell us about the first meeting with Honey Singh. Did it come as a surprise to you? Did you think you would be spotted on YouTube and launched like this?
Yes, it did come as a surprise. I had never expected such a big collaboration. At the first meeting itself, I was blown away by his humility and fun personality.
How was it to work with someone as popular and established as Honey Singh, was it more like a collaborative effort or you worked completely under his guidance?
We had a great time jamming and coming up with the song. It was a collaborative process for sure. Although he had written the lyrics with his team, I got to improvise and play around a lot with harmonies and vocal styling. Learning a new dance form at the Big Dance Centre in Delhi was a huge part of the process as well. I’d say First Kiss has been a product of amazing team efforts across all departments: music, costume and styling, choreography, direction, production, and post-production.
You are also a trained classical dancer... How has your training been helpful?
Yes, I’ve been training in Kathak for over 17 years now. Being an Indian Classical dancer always helps with learning any other dance form but it was still quite challenging to learn urban and hip hop initially!
First Kiss is shot quite beautifully, and definitely has the '90s Barbie Girl song's vibe to it. Was this the first idea or did you guys have something different in mind and then you arrived at this?
This was always the idea. Fun, colourful, young, and vibrant.
You are also studying some serious subjects -Economics and Psychology - while also pursuing music... so what is your passion really? How important is college education and why do you want to complete it?
I am passionate about both academics and music. I believe that all too often, people limit themselves and feel the need to pursue just one passion. I believe in constantly pushing my boundaries and exploring all my varied interests in as much depth as I can. I finished my double honours in Economics and Psychology at Yale last year and I am now pursuing an MSc in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics (LSE). I think that education is the most empowering force in the world. Because I study human behaviour, the knowledge I am building will be important no matter what industry I work in. It’s not separate from my performing arts interests because I am always drawing on behavioural insights that help me write music and poetry and understand character motivations (in acting/theatre and dance alike).
It appears like you are an extremely disciplined girl... is this right? Could you tell us how do you manage to study and pursue music?
Thank you, I’d like to think so too! I’ve balanced academics and performing arts my entire life so it comes naturally now. But as I have a genuine passion for both, I make sure to plan and organise so that I have the time to do both.
Who are your influences - in music and acting?
I have been influenced by many musicians including the divas of the '80s — Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, pop icons like Adele, Sam Smith, Colbie Caillat, Christina Perri, Michael Bublé, and Jason Mraz, the beautiful storytellers such as Sara Bareilles and H.E.R., and the legendary opera singer Maria Callas. Among actresses, Meryl Streep and Emma Watson have influenced me a lot.
What's your fitness regimen like?
I work out 5-6 times a week. This usually involves a mix of strength training, HIIT, and Body Combat which I’m really enjoying at the moment. Dance classes and Kathak also contribute as well.
What are you most comfortable wearing…
Hoodies, leggings, and chunky sneakers.
What's your idea of a holiday?
To be honest, any COVID-fear-free getaway right now with my family would make for the perfect holiday.
What are the three things you hope to achieve in 2021?
Release more of my music, finish my MSc, and hopefully perform in a live concert.
Your advice to people your age who want to achieve what you have achieved?
All I would say is: keep following your heart and don’t kill your dreams because of what others might think or say. Be focused, stay grounded and work hard. Be open to new opportunities and make it a point to step out of your comfort zone as often as you can; whenever I struggle to do that, I always think of the lyrics by Coldplay, 'if you never try, you’ll never know, just what you’re worth'.
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