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Royal Touch

From collaborating on wedding and dance songs to bagging her first full album composition with YRF’s Hichki, singer-composer Jasleen Royal talks to Bhakti Mehta about her latest project

After her hit songs like Din shagna da and Nachde ne saare, young musician Jasleen Royal is back with Rani Mukerji’s Hichki. “Hichki is very different from anything I have done before. I have never composed an entire album for a film. My journey with Hichki started when I was at Yash Raj Studios, overseeing the sound mix of Nachde ne saare. Maneesh (Sharma) was there and he introduced himself to me. We were chatting and he asked if I had any songs he could hear.

“Some time later, we connected again and I went to YRF with my guitar and we jammed. He listened to some of my melodies and told me he wanted to make one the theme of his new film. That song is now called Teri daastan. This was how I came aboard Hichki,” reveals Royal.

About the songs in the film, she says, “Initially, there were just three. After the initial shooting wrapped, they thought up a few more situations and added four more. So the album now has seven tracks. It is not the typical one wedding, one love wala song album. It has a very emotional connect in all tracks,” she says.

The story is imperative to get to the essence of the music, says the singer-composer. “I needed to understand every aspect of Hichki to get the music right so I read the script. It is an uplifting and positive film and the songs depict the journey of the character. It is something that connects with everyone. I also did a lot of introspection, and this gave me some inspiration. I lived the world of Hichki.”

On the importance of lyrics in her compositions, Royal shares, “For me, even a party song needs to have the right lyrics but, in this film, lyrics are especially important. I remember being locked up with my lyricist Neeraj Rajawat while writing Teri daastan. We were stuck on one line for four days and didn’t stop until we got what we wanted,” she reveals.

Working with a production house like YRF and biggies like Rani Mukerji can be nerve-wracking but Royal wasn’t fazed. “When I met Rani, I played her a tune and she told me that my music has a European touch as well as an Illayaraja feel. I was so shocked at that statement because it is such a different combination. I will always remember her comment.

“Rani has been very encouraging and told me that the title track, Oye hichki, is her daughter, Adira’s favourite. Adi (Aditya Chopra) and the entire team at YRF including Maneesh and director Siddharth have been very patient with me. When I asked for more time to deliver the songs, they agreed. That is strong support for a musician,” she smiles.

Opening up on her future projects, Royal shares, “I am working on a few movies, including Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas and Gulab Jamun. I am also doing something for Gully Boy, which is very exciting.”

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