Jonita Gandhi pauses to contemplate immigrating to Canada and auditioning for reality shows
We talk to the artiste about her trending song, Sitara
Jonita Gandhi's ethereal vocals soar to celestial heights in the official music video of her single, Sitara, featuring a harmonious blend of freshness and novelty. Collaborating with rapper Divine (Vivian Wilson Fernandes) both on vocals and lyrics, they unleash an exhilarating pop anthem that exuberantly comes alive. In a candid interview that peels back the layers of her past, she reminisces about her days as a wide-eyed aspirant on Canadian Idol, dismantling the prevailing misconceptions around reality shows. A lot more is revealed about her discography when she lets us in on the highly anticipated official music video of the trendsetting hit song.
What were the first Indian musical notes that you picked up as a child?
I picked up my first musical notes from my dad. I grew up hearing him sing around the house, and my parents played a lot of old-school Bollywood music at home.
The new non-film music, Sitara blends your bluesy voice into Divine’s hip-hop/ rap style — two polar opposite musicality...
Sometimes, the best ideas are born out of experimentation. Both Divine and I knew we wanted to work together for a while even though our styles are polar opposites. We bounced ideas off each other, fine-tuned the melodies and crafted lyrics that reflected our shared experiences and passions. Music is all about connection and when we joined forces, our individual strengths amplified each other. The fusion of rap verses with melodic hooks is a style that has always resonated with me.
You auditioned for the Canadian Idol as a teenager. What do you think about talent shows from the perspective of a contestant?
Creative dreams deserve support. I don’t think anyone is trying to hurt aspiring artistes. Sometimes people don’t know how to provide constructive feedback, but more often than not, reality shows provide a platform for people to grow as artistes and get valuable mentorship whether it’s on-air or off-air. Reality shows can be tough but at the same time, they contribute to the overall growth of the artiste community and serve as an inclusive space, celebrating various art forms even besides music - like dancing and acting.
You started out by putting up self-shot YouTube videos and have become a sensation ever since. If you had to go back in time and select a favourite cover that you put up back then and even performed live, what would that be?
I think it would be Yeh Honsla. I just love that song. That style of singing was very dear to me. It’s very soulful and I think a lot of people refer to me as a soulful artiste and singer. It was the first cover I did with Aakash Gandhi and has a lot of sentimental value for me. The response to that cover and being acknowledged by the original composer Salim-Sulaiman made me feel a great amount of confidence, and that was one of the first projects I felt that way about.
Sitara is streaming on all platforms. chokita@newindianexpress. com @PaulChokita