In an exclusive interview, Jonita Gandhi talks about her love for music, and how she thrives on social media
Ever since she made her dream debut in Bollywood with Chennai Express, Jonita Gandhi has been in the spotlight. Although she started her career with YouTube, the artiste straddles the worlds of cinema and social media effortlessly. Her latest outing happens to be Evo Evo Kalale from Shekar Kammula’s directorial — Love Story. With the song garnering over 56 lakh views on YouTube, the singer talks to us about her transition from YouTube covers to the big screen.
Of chances and music
Jonita Gandhi debuted with Chennai Express’s title song and tells us that it came to her by chance. “I was visiting my friend Abhishek Ghatak, who was working at Vishal-Shekhar’s studio at the time. Vishal was working on the track when we ran into him. He asked me if I wanted to sing his composition, and that is how I got my Hindi cinema break,” reveals Jonita.
The singer is currently basking in the success of Evo Evo Kalale, a romantic song. Jonita sounds excited as she tells us that the recording process for this track was exhilarating. “I was elated when the music composer of the song, Pawan Ch, a dear friend of mine, called me to tell me that he was making his debut with this movie. I was happy to lend my vocals, and what fun it was to record it with his team in Chennai,” she reveals.
She also shares that at the back of her mind, music has always been her passion. Although she was brought up in Canada, she is multilingual. From working extra hard on her pronunciation to not missing a beat, the singer shares what goes behind singing in various languages, “I learn the lyrics to songs in any language phonetically. Over the years I’ve created a sort of written legend for me to write out the sounds. I rely heavily on the people around me who are native speakers of the language, usually the lyricists, to help make sure my pronunciation is correct.”
The new-age tales
Before venturing into the world of cinema music, she was a well-known artiste in the digital space. She got her ticket to fame by making covers of superhit songs like Sau Aasmaan from Baar Baar Dekho, and Bolna from Kapoor And Sons. So, we were quite curious about what Jonita thinks of the growing social media culture and asked her if she is aware of it. “There are some days where I feel I am fairly well aware of it and then there are days when it still confuses me. The platforms are constantly evolving and it’s a continuous process to understand and use them to our advantage,” says Jonita, and also adds that there are hurdles that come with it, “There’s a certain level of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ in this digital age because we’re so inundated by content, so staying active is important. Social media has become such a game of numbers recently though.” She also thinks that though it’s important to stay visible on social media, one must not put their mental health at risk.
As we near the end of the interview, the singer informs us that she wishes to collaborate with Bruno Mars one day, that her favourite genre of music depends on her mood, and also gives a glimpse of what’s in store for her. “I am working on a few independent singles which are set to release soon. They are in production and I am looking forward to sharing them with everyone,” signs off Jonita.