Being in the industry for several decades now, singer Sunidhi Chauhan has the words of wisdom which every aspiring artist needs to hear – ‘be real, and do not become a part of the crowd’. Since the mid-90s, Sunidhi, who has sang for over 600 films, has now become selective in picking up songs and making a conscious effort to not repeat herself. The singer who recently performed at Red Bull Off The Roof, sat down exclusively with News18 Showsha, where she opened up on her journey, staying relevant in the world of social media trends, and how she reflects on her growth as an artist and most importantly as a person especially after embracing motherhood.
It’s been really long that we have heard your voice in a Bollywood movie…
I’ve been singing, but obviously if a song becomes a really big hit, that’s when you notice it. So Pushpa, I sang ‘Saami Saami’ which was the last one. I have been singing and I’ve been doing some really good songs, the kinds of songs I like, but you know, every song is not a major hit. So you wouldn’t know. There is a constant conscious decision of singing. I am being a little selective about songs, because I don’t want to repeat myself. There are many genres that I have already sung in so there’s a possibility that you end up repeating yourself or so it’s better that somebody else would sing them. I like to accept challenges, I like to sound different each time. So, I am a little selective right now, in terms of choosing what kind of songs I want to sing.
How was the lockdown for you? For an artist/singer to be out on the stage or field has always been liberating…
It was a difficult time, in general for everybody. But I think lockdown was a little bit of relief for someone like me, because I have been working since the time, I was four years old. And I don’t remember taking a break ever. So we were forced to have a break. But even being at home, doing all the household things, I was working in my head. I did record a few songs from home. That was a different kind of experience, not going to the studio and not being in front of your music director, but still working from home. And I honestly enjoyed that me time, and also realized a lot of things, got a lot of clarity about what I want to do in future, how I want to approach, how I want to go further as a human being, as an individual and as an artist. So it was in a way, a very good time for me.
You’re performing for Red Bull Off The Roof for the first time…
I am super pumped and excited. Red Bull talks about power and energy. And it is true. At times I have taken a sip or two before going on stage. I am so happy that I’m associated with it. And that too for this college fest.
What were your biggest takeaways from the music industry and showbiz?
I don’t look back. I only look forward and I am only grateful and thankful to the Almighty and all the people who have showered so much love and affection towards me for so many years and they’re still continuing. I can’t ask for more. I am just in this bliss of being around love and so much attention, and that only gives me more boost to get better and do more challenging things. Things that I’ve not done before, and I even I don’t know what I have not done before. I’m still figuring out what I want to do in future. I have a fair idea, but I’m not so clear. So, I guess I take a day as it comes in and go by the flow. Yeah, that’s what I believe in live a day. Each day counts for me.
Nowadays, many songs are being composed for a reel format, so that it gets popular. Do you feel social media trends often tend to kill creativity or is it a new way to sustain oneself?
Well, not only social media, there are various platforms where creativity is being killed and it starts from the time when a composer is asked to compose a song. Because that composer is given so many instructions, that we want a song like this, a song like that. So the creativity is hampered from the very word ‘go’. There are people who come out stronger from that situation, they still make sure that they create something new. And so this happens, but I guess we just have to keep going forward, we have to keep the hope on that that there will be a time when I would come up with something so nice and so new, that it will be accepted.
Trends are good, you like to see them you like to be a part of them for a bit. But then yeah, they have a very short life. So as long as the content is good, if it’s good, honestly I as an artist don’t care about the you know the time span if it’s for one minute or three minutes of course I would love to enjoy a good three four minute song or maybe a six minute song. Sometimes the songs are so good, you realize it later that it was a lengthy son.
I don’t think we can figure out, what works and what doesn’t. All we can do is, keep doing what we do best either sing or compose, and share to the world. People say often say, that I am working on a viral song, or making a hit song. It doesn’t happen like that. You just work on a song and that’s it.
When you started out, you were probably the only one with a different voice. Now there’s a big crowd with new singers coming up each day…
It’s great. Thanks to social media, thanks to internet, the whole world has opened up you can listen to anybody from any part of the world and you can work with anybody in any part of the world you know, it’s not that you see so many remixes happening. People are remixing songs with somebody who sang a song from some other so I think this exchange of cultures and music and coming together and just doing music for the love of it or doing dance for the love of it is a great time for everybody. And the more the merrier. So if you have so many good singers now I think it’s only a very good thing. But yeah, in this race of so many singers, you think that everything is kind of okay, and you don’t want to get better than the other because there are so many. But I think as an artist, I would just advise to all those people or rather suggest that you keep that fire on, if you have something different, you will still stand out and shine. So don’t become a part of the crowd.
So how does being a mother change you as a creative person and artist?
Motherhood has changed me to a better person I feel more sensitive about things. I look at life from a different perspective now and it’s a great thing. I just do not think about myself, but I do think about many people and many things around me. And they give me a lot of happiness. So motherhood has been a blessing.
On a closing note, is there anything you want to say to your younger self?
It’s okay, little one, if you didn’t get time to play with your friends, it’s okay. If you didn’t get to go to college, because what you’re doing today right now has given you so much in terms of happiness, not just success and money. There’s this satisfying feeling as an individual as someone who’s born to do something in this life, and your life is not wasted you are serving in the entertainment business and you’re serving yourself lots of happiness. So it took for all that you, you know, sacrificed. That’s what I want to say.
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