Nikhil D’Souza is a singer-songwriter who made his Bollywood debut as a playback singer with ‘Shaam’ from Aisha, in 2010. He has had several hits such as ‘Gubbare Gubbare’, ‘Parinda’ ‘O Gujariya’ to his name. Recently, he released his first indie single ‘Sitaare’. Metrolife caught up with the singer and spoke about his journey as a musician, the new album, and upcoming projects:
Tell us more about your journey as a musician.
I was around 25 years old. I had worked some three different jobs in just three years at that point, and none of them interested me. I had given corporate life a shot and I decided that I should give music a try, while I was still young. The music scene wasn’t that developed back then. There were a bunch of cover bands performing at restaurants, and that was about it. There wasn’t any original music being made. I started out by singing jingles for ads. My first one was for Airtel, and soon I was called to sing for movies. It was a little bit of right time at the right place, and well the right kind of effort, I guess.
What was the inspiration behind ‘Sitaare’?
As a singer in Bollywood, I have only sung for other people. I have been writing songs for a while now, but I wanted to write a song that connected with the people and reflected me as an artist and not a performer. It took me a few months to be able to compose a song that fit all these ideas. I asked Pinky Poonawala to help me with the lyrics. We sat and discussed the song to the T. It was an interesting experience. I have been bitten by the writing bug now, so I am going to keep making more music.
How did you decide to feature Kalki Koechlin in the video?
I have known her for about seven years now and I have come to know the kind of person she is. When we started contemplating about the video, it became clear that it had to feature a couple, and featuring Kalki seemed to be the unanimous choice. If you watch the video, it will become obvious, that the song was just written for her face.
What was the lyric-writing process like? Was it difficult to get your vision and Pinky’s creativity to match?
Before I approached her, I was very clear about what I wanted from the song. I always knew that there had to be some wordplay around ‘sitaare’ and that it had to embody the message that we are all made of stardust and our destinies are written in the stars. Since I was so sure about what I wanted out of my song, the rest quite easily fell in place.
What is the significance of the artwork in the video?
We wanted to try something different. Since the song has this sense of vastness and intimacy about it, it just seemed like it could be personified into something bigger. We approached Rupesh Kamble and let him have his way. The balloon represents the innocence of the relationship, set against this expansive universe. We had this mural painted on SV Road and Carter Road in Bandra, Mumbai.
Any projects in the pipeline?
I am constantly working on something or the other. The indie scene is so prominent now, and I want to make my mark here. I am just working towards that.