EXCL: It's all about better beginnings for Sanjeeta Bhattacharya as she releases her first track of 2023

Member of the Grammy-nominated global music album Shuruaat, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya talks to us about her first release of the year, XMTS, an introspective ballad she wrote during the pandemic
Photo Credits: Spotify
Photo Credits: Spotify

A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya is a face you must have seen in the iconic musical tribute paid to the legendary AR Rahman. The viral medley, which has over 3.6 lakh views on YouTube as per the last count, had Sanjeeta on the vocals. That was the young artiste’s first brush with success and ever since, as a singer, songwriter and actor, Sanjeeta has never had a dull moment. And whenever she does, she turns to music.

With her latest offering, X Marks The Spot, Sanjeeta bares her soul and embraces vulnerability. She reveals to Indulge in an exclusive chat that XMTS is a ballad she wrote in 2019 when her life took a beating and her spirits came crashing down. It is, as Sanjeeta suggests, like a diary entry that she just added melody to.

“I wrote it during a period of general turmoil in my life. Everything in and around me seemed to be crushing my spirit and I wrote this song as a note to self. I was going through my first bout of chickenpox, and the news reports said that the Amazon Forest had been on fire for three weeks, my personal relationship at the time reduced me to feeling unsure about myself and I felt vulnerable, small and lost,” shares Sanjeeta.

Talking to us about the title, the singer reveals that when she was writing this song, she was suffering inside out and it felt like everything was targeted at her heart marked X.  “It seemed like I had been shot in the lungs. XMTS is me putting those incredibly frustrating emotions out onto paper,” she adds. Even the artwork is an oil painting extension of the track. You see a figure, facing backwards, submerged in water and engulfed in fire symbolising the calm that follows the storm of grief.

Sanjeeta further shares that the track lies within the realm of rock ballad and she credits her inspirations like The 1975 and Aerosmith for the same. The conversation takes a little detour when she gives an insight into her early musical influences and talks about being a metalhead through and through with artistes like Zeppelin, AC/DC, Tool, Slayer, Rammstein and Metallica being a part of her playlist.

“My earliest influences have been everything that both my brothers introduced me to – which was a lot of rock and metal. I remember the three of us yelling the lyrics in the car on our way to school. Then my taste slowly changed towards pop and R’nB. Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera were my favourites through middle and high school,” she says.

<em>Sanjeeta Bhattacharya</em>
Sanjeeta Bhattacharya

But music is not the only thing that excites Sanjeeta. She has also dabbled in acting with web series like Feels Like Ishq and now, she’s all set to make her Bollywood debut with Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawaan.

Right before concluding the conversation, we get the artiste to talk to us about working with the film’s stellar cast also featuring Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi and she says, “It’s dreamlike. There are lessons in humility to be taken from everyone on set and I have so much respect for Nayanthara. On set, everyone is in the same boat. I think the biggest gift I am taking from the sets of Jawan is a group of genuinely kind-hearted, goofy, talented, funny people I now call friends.”

On the music front, Sanjeeta looks forward to a lot of releases this year. “I plan on putting out three more singles, all compiled into an EP titled Dear Diary. I also have The Broken News Season 2,” she signs off.

XMTS is streaming on all major platforms.

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