Bollywood’s popular diva Kanika Kapoor, who recently grabbed an IIFA award for her song ‘Da Da Dasee’ from Udta Punjab, believes there are a lot of people other than just the singer behind a successful song, and it is important to acknowledge all of their contributions. “Success is an extremely individualistic thing", says the singer who is currently facing the camera for the very first time for song reality show Om Shanti Om as a judge along with Sonakshi Sinha, Shekhar Ravjiani, and Swami Ramdev. Here You & I has a candid tête-à-tête with the Lucknow girl on her Bollywood journey and more.
Which of your songs is your favourite?
My favourites are constantly changing, but at the moment it is ‘Da Da Dasse’. Before that it was ‘Baby Doll’ because these are landmark songs in my career. The pitch that I used for ‘Da Da Dasse’ required intense training, and I am so glad that it worked out. It’s also a song that I am proud of because it is a part of a movie like Udta Punjab, which was a long time coming. And once again I have Ekta Kapoor to thank for the same.
Who’s your favourite voice?
This is an easy question for every singer; it has to be Lata ji. Her voice, her charisma, and charm, the youthfulness that is present in her even at this age is unmatchable. That is the reason why she is known as the ‘Nightingale of India’. I am also very fond of Alka Yagnik ji, and I would often listen to her songs when I was in London, and even perform them on my karaoke machine, which was in my basement studio. There is something innately soothing in Alka ji’s voice that also has the ability to touch your soul.
With an IIFA already to your credit, this year’s award for ‘Da Da Dasse’ was an addition to the kitty. How does it feel?
Well, it’s always great to be appreciated for one’s work, and the back-to-back awards were the best way to end the year. It feels great. But there are many people who are behind the song, right from the composer to the lyricist to even the actors and eventually the producer in this case. I have to thank everyone involved in the process. There is also my family, my mother who has enabled me to shine in my career as she takes care of my children, who are studying and living in London.
You had the opportunity to work with Amit Trivedi. What’s the best thing about him as a music director and singer?
When I got a call from him, I was a bit surprised. When I went to meet him, I was nervous and a little intimidated, as I am relatively new in the industry and I have been a fan of his. However, he made me very comfortable. He explained the whole script to me, and we recorded the song on the same day. I called him and said, ‘Sir, I will come back and do a proper recording and this was just the scratch.’ He told me not to worry and that was that; he liked my voice as it was raw.
Having spent three rocking years in the industry, what are your plans for the future? Will song writing be part of it?
Well, I have many things in the pipeline, which also includes releasing many singles independently, a trend from the past that is not very common now.
I have given it my best and I hope it works. I do not plan to get into song writing though.
Now there’s a trend of remaking old songs. How do you see this change?
I have my reservations about remaking old songs, and this is because I feel that it is very difficult to do justice to a remake. A remake will always be on a classic hit number, and it’s a huge responsibility on the singer’s part to recreate that same magic. Hence, one should be very careful when singing for a remake.
You are getting plenty of challenges as a singer. Any offers for acting, too?
Well, I am facing the camera for the first time, as a judge on the reality show Om Shanti Om (OSO). It’s been an amazing experience; it’s challenging to shoot, sing, and record at the same time, which is pretty much what I have been doing so far! I have received offers, but nothing concrete that I want to comment on.
We hear you are planning something special for your listeners around Holi.
Yes, that is true but I cannot divulge in any details at this moment.
Chinese all the way!
Your favourite place in Lucknow?
My home, always!
That one quality you wish the world had more of?
--- Jaideep Pandey
(Connect with him on #Twitter: @PandeyJaideep)