‘It makes me so happy to see the love pouring in’
A chat with hitmaker Jonita Gandhi about the trending song What Jhumka? from the upcoming release Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt.
With a signature Dharma Studio touch, the makers of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani have given homage to the iconic song Jhoomka Gira Re sung by Asha Bhosle with the peppy number What Jhumka? by Arijit Singh and Jonita Gandhi. Jonita Gandhi, the voice behind chartbuster tracks like The Breakup Song (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil), Sau Tarah Ke (Dishoom) and Halamathi Habibo (Beast) has taken music lovers worldwide by storm. TMS speaks to the versatile singer about her latest hit What Jhumka? and more.
How did the song What Jhumka? happen?
I have had the pleasure of working with Pritam da for several years now. Similar to the other times that I’ve sung songs for him, I got called in to record a song one evening - I went in, not knowing what the song was for or what kind of song it was. When I heard it, I was super excited because the groove itself was incredibly infectious.
The song is receiving lots of love. What was your initial reaction?
I was overwhelmed by the number of reels and tags coming in for content being created online to the song. Since the hook refers back to a song that we all have loved for years, composed by the great Madan Mohan saab, it was an easy song to fall in love with. I’m so glad! It makes me so happy to see the love pouring in.
You seamlessly move across genres. How do you prepare & train yourself?
That’s quite a compliment, thank you! I’ve been exposed to a lot of diverse music growing up in a multicultural city, and I used to sing along to the things I heard and liked. As different genres grew on me, I would practice the techniques I found interesting and incorporate them into creating my own sound. I like using my voice as an instrument and adapting to different genres and situations with my voice. I try to channel the vibe and mood of the song to help me determine how I’m going to deliver each part of a song appropriately.
Who’s your favourite among the legends such as AR Rahman and Pritam ?
Every music director is unique and the experience of working with each of them has helped me become who I am today as a singer. I would never choose one over another! I’m grateful to them all for all that I have learned about myself and about music while working with them.
What inspired you to become a singer initially?
I was surrounded by music and music lovers my whole life. When I was a kid I used to sing and dance around the house, until my parents realised there was something there worth honing and signed me up for lessons. I was super shy at first, but as I kept singing I realised how much I loved it and it just became a part of who I am.
How has your journey been?
It’s been such a learning curve every step of the way, but I’m so grateful for it. I still can’t believe sometimes that I’m doing what I love for a living. I’m looking forward to the future and what’s yet to come as I choose new skills and new directions to explore!
What was the most challenging experience?
Throughout my career, I’ve had several ups and downs. There’s never a dull moment when you work in the entertainment industry. I think over time I’ve trained myself not to dwell on the “bad times”. But it was definitely extremely challenging to move away from my family and create a new support network for me in a place so far away from home.
Do you have a bucket list of artists you want to work with?
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Aujla, Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Bruno Mars are amongst a few of the artists I think I could have amazing songs with!
What are your future plans?
I’ve been writing and recording some new music that I’m really excited about sharing, so keep an eye out for announcements about those!