#KetchupTalks: Naagin singer Akasa talks about her passion, music and upcoming projects

Smrithi Mohan
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We had a conversation with Indian singer Akasa and here is her take on music and a lot more. Read on as we indulge in a candid chat with the artist!

The Indian music industry is growing and making its mark with many young and talented singers. One among these gifted artists of talents is Akasa who has made her place in the industry with her own music. The singer who made her debut in the Bollywood industry with the song Keech meri photo from the 2016 movie Sanam Teri Kasam'garnered her own fanbase with the song. She went on and created the pop song,Thug Ranjha which also became a major hit among the masses.

From being the only woman in the all-boy band of Mika Singh to making covers on Youtube to debuting into Bollywood, Akasa has carved her way into the industry on her own terms.

Here's how our candid chat with Akasa went...

1. Congratulations on the success of Naagin. Are you excited about the response? Does the feeling ever get old?

"No, never. I don’t think it will ever get old. Every time someone appreciates the song or has covered it on social media, you know when someone tagged me in the song, I had the same kind of expression."

2. What was the idea behind Naagin? Or what inspired you?

"I think all of that was Vayu Ji he actually was the sole reason of Naagin because he wrote and composed the song. The producer of the song who has given the beats and all, DJ Puri has flown down to India from Holand and Vayu and he were sitting and jamming anyway. And Vayu’s brain is like a whole multi-universe and he is so creative and I don’t know what made him think this line ‘It's been long...Teri been sune pardesi’ and he was just humming it. And he was humming it as a joke and Puri said, whatever you are doing it's sounding really good let’s record it. I think that is how the song happened. I think at that time Aastha was there because she was working on something with Badshah. So she happened to be there, and Vayu was like why don’t you treat it like a female song why don’t you put down the vocal and it sounded very cool and on the other hand a few weeks before me and Aastha were talking about how cool it would be to have both of us on a track together because you know its not been done in India before and both of us really follow international popstars. So happened that both of us were signed and we came up with this idea of why don’t we collaborate in this song ‘Naagin’ because it will turn into a very cool female-duo song."

3. The song is all over the internet and many have grooved to it too. Have you seen any of those performances?

"You know, I have seen each and everyone, it’s just that they were very actively following the song and there are so many of them that I was like wow, I can’t select one of it. I was very intimidated by the amount as I like and comment on each one of them and every cover as well. You’d be amazed by how creative people get."

4. Who would you say is your favourite artist in India and/or Internationally?

"So, the ultimate is always Beyonce. All of us have always, I mean every singer will tell you that. But I am also very very motivated and inspired by the new ones, they are really cool. Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello they are really changing the game. And even 'Thug Ranjha' was very much inspired by that. The whole idea was to get pop to India like if you see their videos are so amazing they work so hard on themselves. Apart from the music, they look the part as well. That is definitely the inspiration, the new generation artists like Dua and Camila."

She further adds, "And I have actually grown up really really really looking up to Sunidhi Chauhan. And how she was also a complete package and still is. Obviously she took a break for a year for her adorable son, but you see her perform even today it's the same kind of energy in the dance moves. So yaa, these have been my inspiration."

5. Your song Naagin is a non-Bollywood number and yet it has been received so well. What do you think makes a song a sure hit?

"If I knew the formula, I would make hit after hit and completely start selling my songs and become a billionaire over-night. I don’t think there is a formula. It’s the audience, sometimes they like a song. At times I listen to a song and I'm like, ‘Yeh kya hai?’ but two days later I know that it is a number one hit and I’m like okay! So you never know the audiences. I think what you can do is do whatever is in your hand. It is really keeping in-trend with what the audience is liking and a lot of times that maybe something that you really don’t want to do. For example, I was given a choice to sing Punjabi folks songs or heartbreak songs but I know that the audience really takes fast numbers. Even Thug Ranjaa, if you pay attention to the lyrics is supposed to be sad, not actually sad, but about a breakup. But celebrating it is so much better than making a sad song. So, I think as long as you keep up with what the audiences like, what is trending. The main ingredient is really giving it your all and to hustle till you get the results."

6. What are the genres and kind of songs that you generally connect with the most?

"I am really very attached to Punjabi music and you know I sing a lot of it but I don’t really have that image of Punjabi folk or Sufi singer. But I am really fond of tracks such as a soulful slower paced Punjabi song or Hindi for that matter."

7. A lot of singles and pop songs are being created with artists as the face these days as opposed to the early 2000s. Do you think this revival is going to help artists grow and get due recognition?

"Yaa, definitely. More than a revival it's more like a conscious effort that everybody is making, it goes beyond that ‘Acha aaj kal yeh chal raha hai’ . A lot of artists are actually taking that next step and creating their own music, being in their own music video. Definitely, it is a conscious effort and it is already bringing the true identity of the singers who used to be just, you know, just voices back then. Now the kind of following that they have, like Neha Kakkar and other such artists, it's their face, they are being followed. It is definitely bringing about a new much-needed era."

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8. Do you think that India is also going to have a proper, established music industry as we see in the West?

"It's already there. It already started. Obviously reaching that level of the West will take some time but I don’t think it’s far away. Also, newer talent is coming out every single day. Toh shuru toh ho hi gaya hai."

9. So, Akasa, you're a singer, but you also have a great sense of fashion and beauty and you're a Biker too. So, how do you manage to keep the three balanced? Or does singing take precedence?

"I don’t think I have to make an effort. All the three things that you mentioned, biking I literally don’t take the car and take the bike wherever I go because it also helps in the traffic. So, I would love to go on a ride to Ladakh where there is no Mumbai traffic but main Mumbai ke road pe hi kaam chala leti hu. In terms of fashion, I never realized that I was very passionate about clothes because I was never brand conscious, I never had any expensive bags or shoes I was never girly. But what I didn’t realise is I was always very particular about how I look. I love dressing up every day, you know I actually make an effort. It comes hand-in-hand with my singing. I am lucky that I am from a field where fashion is a part of this world. What I wear also matters so I don’t have to wear anything that kills my fashion, so yaa that’s how it all works out."

10. Okay, and what are you working on next?

 "I have been in talks with people for a while and I have my next single ready. It’s a matter as to which one will be coming out first and I’m very excited because I got to do a different kind of music. I always wanted to do that and it will be out soon. I hope that the fans will be surprised because I don’t think they have heard; I mean I have sung and released songs which are slow but not a lot of people are aware of it. But I have got a lot of reverts asking for the same. I have sung various covers on Youtube, and people have been asking me why don’t you do such songs. I hope, finally, people like it."

11. Talking about covers, there are many people who do covers on famous music. Your thoughts?

"I think the covers are great. I think every artist who does their own cover of a song gets a chance to give the song their own touch and we get different variety and variations of the same song."

12. Bollywood has been into remixes for a while now. What do you think about the trend?

"Remixes... I guess the audiences like them. I dance on remixes. Audiences are loving remixes toh vo bante jaa rahe hai. Agar vo hit hote rahenge, toh vo bante rahenge."

We also had a rapid-fire session with Akasa and here is how she responded...

  • Your favourite band of all times?

"Certainly the ‘Yellow Diary' and all times ‘Cigarettes After Sex’ is a very favourite of mine."

  • Your favourite song of all times?

"Nahin Samne from Taal."

  • Would you rather give up singing for a year or sing everytime you say something?

"I’d rather sing every time I say something. Expect people will stop talking to me."  

  • If you ever get a chance to jam with your idol, which song would you sing?

"That is a very broad question. I have way too many idols. I got a chance to be on a show with Sunidhi Chauhan so that was a big opportunity, I got to sing her song in front of her. But a duet with Camila or Dua will be so cute."

Before our chat ended, the singer also told us that there is an interesting project that she is very excited about, and hopefully, her fans will get to jam on it soon!

We certainly can't wait to hear Akasa's next song, what about you?

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