‘Freedom’ Song

jonita-gandhiSinger Jonita Gandhi talks about her journey from recording covers on YouTube to going behind the mic for Bollywood. She discusses her latest song Gilehriyaan from Dangal

 Gilehriyaan is a mischievous song in Dangal, backed by the mellow vocals of Jonita Gandhi. The singer says she had sung the song in November last year and is excited since it features in Khan’s film. “I had sung this song long ago. After that, I kept asking them when it was releasing. They told me the song would release in December 2016. Anything can happen during that time and I tried to take my mind off the song because, sometimes, songs can even get scrapped from a film. It was only a month ago that I learnt that the song was still alive,” she says.

The song celebrates the freedom of Geeta Phogat as she enjoys her urban space. “Thanks to its arrangement, the song has a very breezy feel. I was told that the actress in the film on whom the song would be picturised was experiencing freedom for the first time and everything was new in her life. She is rediscovering the world around her. I tried to sing the song with a lot of freshness because it’s a very breezy song,” she adds.

Gandhi says she was guided by Pritam, Akashdeep Sengupta and Kaushik Das. She prepared for the song in the sitting room, just to get the hang of it. “When I sang on the mic, everything came together and the song was recorded smoothly.” On working with Pritam, she says, “It was an amazing experience, he is so versatile. I sang Sau tarah ke, then The break up song and then Gilehriyaan. All these songs are so different and I love singing different styles and being versatile. Working with Pritamda is like a dream come true because, just like me, he too is very different when it comes to a song. The feel of his songs is completely different. I love being associated with such a versatile composer and I want to be a versatile singer,” she reveals.

On the positive response she is receiving for her vocals, Gandhi remarks, “I have grown up doing covers and the type of singing I have done in Gilehriyaan is similar to the singing I have done for covers, very breezy and light. Songs like Sau tarah ke and The break up song did not bring out that side of me.”

On her fairytale journey, from YouTube to Bollywood, Gandhi says, “I had never imagined that YouTube would bring me this far because when I started, I never intended to become a part of Bollywood. There are so many singers and the competition is intense. I just thought I should upload videos on YouTube and see what happened next. Slowly, the songs were recognised and I met musicians like Vishal and Shekhar and Salim-Sulaiman. I am also grateful to my parents, who let me do the videos. So far, the journey has been good and I hope it takes me far.”

Gandhi has recorded a few more songs for films and is busy with live concerts. “Once I am done with my concerts and when things cool down, I will get back to YouTube and upload more songs,” she smiles

Sayali Parab
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