From Gurbani to movies

Singer Asees Kaur started singing Gurbani at the age of five. She is also the voice behind songs like ‘Ikk Kudi’ and ‘Bolna’.

Asees Kaur

She was five years old when her father made her take up singing. At that tender age, Asees Kaur started singing Gurbani and soon carved her way into the movie industry. 

She is the voice behind tracks like ‘Bolna’ from ‘Kapoor and Sons’ and ‘Baarish’  from ‘Half Girlfriend’. Her recent tracks — ‘Jaanisar’ from Kedarnath and ‘Tere Bin’ from Simmba — have received critical acclaim and brought her fame. Her duet with Arijit Singh for ‘Bandiyaa’ is also climbing the charts. In a conversation with Surupasree Sarmmah, Asees talks about her musical journey and future plans. 

What was your childhood like, considering you started singing when you were five?

Most of my time would be spent listening to ‘Shabaz’, a world-dance musical trio based in San Francisco. I used to try and replicate them. Else, I would be busy with my studies. So, I never really got enough time to play. 

Do you come from a musical background? 

Music in our family started with me. My family has been into business from generations. However, after I started singing, my brothers and sisters have taken to music. 

‘Ikk Kudi’ and ‘Bolna’ probably strengthened your fan base. Any memories attached to these songs?

‘Bolna’ is very special to me; everybody got to know about me only after this song came out. After that, when a music company approached me to sing a different version of ‘Ikk Kudi’, I instantly agreed. It is a beautiful song and I am very happy I did a cover. Both these songs have given me many fond memories, a big fan base and I still get requests to sing them whenever I am performing live. 

The reprise version of Tamanchey’s song ‘Dildara’ marked your Bollywood debut. How did that come your way?

Anurag Bedi of Zee Music had heard me sing before; he suggested my name to Arko Pravo Mukherjee, who is the music director of the song. I was also featured in the video. 

Your favourite genre and a song from that...

As a musician, it is difficult to pick one genre as my favourite. I love listening to all kinds of music — Sufi, Western, rock or jazz. Having said that, I grew up listening to Punjabi and Sufi music a lot, so I enjoy that a little more. 

You were also part of Indian Idol, what do you think of music reality shows?

These reality shows play a good part in grooming a singer. Most of your time is spent in riyaz or preparing for the songs you are going to perform. Gaining popularity is another plus point of these reality shows. People start to recognise you for what you are good at. The game starts only after the reality show — maintaining your fan base and maturely handling the popularity is a learning experience. 

Five songs on your playlist currently?

‘Jaan Nisaar’ from Kedarnath, ‘Aankh Lad Jaave’ from Loveyatri, ‘Daryaa’ from Manmarziyaan, ‘Tere Bin’ from Simmba and ‘Lost Without You’. 

What are your future plans?

2018 was a great year for; now I am looking forward to this year’s releases. There are many songs on my plate as of now, but I can’t talk about them at the moment. This apart, I am coming out with my singles, which is also quite exciting for me. 

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