In Conversation with Aditi Singh Sharma

Not so long ago a lot of music aficionados were grooving to the tunes of No One Killed Jessica, particularly the one that opened with the tongue-twister-esque Da.Da.Da.Da.Da.Da.Dlli Dilli. The girl who sang this tongue twister, Aditi Singh Sharma has spent a major part of her career singing such attitude-loaded songs, both in Bollywood and off it, where she has part of rock bands and the like. We decided to catch up with the lady in between her madly hectic schedule and know more about her. And here is what we found.

Your repertoire so far is primarily comprised of western-flavored songs. And you seem to be naturally fluent with such songs. Has it to do with the training you might have received? Have you trained in Indian classical?

My mother got me trained in Hindustani classical when i was 4 years old. i dont remember much of it, but i had performed on stage in school etc when i was 5 and used to sing ‘raags’ (which i have no recollection of). when i was in 3rd grade we moved to Russia (Moscow) which is where i got my Pop influence from. also, listened to a lot of international music in general. all this mixed together is what has translated to my current work.

How did you end up in Bollywood? Tell us about your journey that got you here. Have you been part of some band before this?

I’ve been a front woman in a band called CRIMSON which was a Delhi-based Rock band. after which, I sang in a band called LEVEL 9 which was a Delhi – based Blues/Pop/Rock band with whom I performed at the GIR (Great Indian Rockshow). we opened day 2 & I’m one of the few lucky female rockers to have successfully set foot on the GIR stage. after which, currenly im with my Pop/Bollywood/Dance set-up GROOVE ADDA. It’s great to be performing my own film songs too =)

I never thought I would end up being a playback singer, when i came back from Russia i wasnt very fluent with Hindi & my singing always had a big big western influence. I worked on it gradually and am still working on it. I had met Ehsaan (SEL) at the JD Rock Awards 2007 if I remember, thats how I got my first trip & song in Mumbai called Chhoti Si (Highschool Musical 2) and was priveleged to have stepped foot in Mumbai & kickstarted by working with Shankar Ehsaan Loy.

At one of the Level9 gigs at Zenzi, Bandra, Amit Trivedi was there to watch us gig. I asked him if I could come over to his studio to play him my work .. which is how I landed up giving a shot to ‘Yahi Meri Zindagi Hai’ which pretty much changed my zindagi haha.

You have sung a fair number of songs for Amit Trivedi.

To tell you honestly, I still wait for a call from Amit to get a chance to work with him. I’m such a big fan of his work. Fair number of songs? Really?  Just Yahi Meri Zindagi Hai, Aali Re, Dilli & a small part in Meri Rooh (Admissions Open). I dont think these are enough =)

Many of your contemporaries have made inroads into other industries, primarily South. Have you got any offers?

I’ve been good with languages since I’ve been travelling so much. I went to kinder garten in Poland (Warsaw) then back to India then travelled a lot to Canada since my siblings live there, then lived in Moscow for 5 years. I’ve sung in French, Japanese, Spanish & Russian. in India, I’ve sung a rock song in Marathi which is yet to release and I’ve sung a few of my ads in 7 or 8 different languages. I’m still looking forward to getting a chance to sing in all other languages.

You were one of the singers in the recent Ram Sampath ad for Airtel. Tell us a bit about your ad side of things.

I travel a lot with Groove Adda and sadly many times I’m not in town when I’ve been called for work. That’s a battle for all singers who juggle between the stage & studio, but I’ve still managed to sing on a few ads. Airtel, Lotus Herbals Safesun, Ponds Dreamflower, Ponds no soap wash, Sunfeast cookies just to name a few.

Remember seeing your name at an unexpected place recently. As lyricist, that too Russian lyrics, for Darling from 7KM. Tell us about it. How did that come about?

Haha. Oh ya. I had worked with Clinton-Hitesh on a track earlier on & wrote a small Russian rap for it. It sounded way cool, so they thought of me while they were working on Darling since its based on the russian song ‘Kalinka’. I tried to write a small part for it, I think it sounds way cool !!

Do you do composing too, given your experience of having worked with various bands? Or were you just into vocals then?

I haven’t found much time for composing yet apart from the time that I’m at a studio and am working on a part either I’m writing or freestyling on. Right now, just happy travelling with Groove Adda & working on the various film songs, ads & getting to share stage with super artistes. i just opened for Mohit Chauhan in Australia & New Zealand. also, just played 2 shows with Agnee in Delhi & Mumbai. have had the awesome experience of sharing stage with Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Amit Trivedi, Parikrama, Them Clones etc. to name a few.

Upcoming projects? Private album plans?

I have had 11 film song releases this year. I feel very fortunate and blessed. Upcoming projects – nothing yet. But am still happy in my head with the 11 film songs this year & the few ads & the many stage shows & the insane travel.

Singing in movies, singing for ads, singing for your rock bands. Which would be your choice? And how would the three compare? Obviously there are differences? 

Singing in a studio & performing on stage are 2 totally different things. I always say that we singers, are actors too. singing for ads & film songs is always fun because there is so much to work on in terms of your texture and diction and pronunciation and style and I’ve been so fortunate that my listeners have liked all my work & some of them think I’m versatile and I’ve gotten great support & feedback for all my work.

Being on stage for me is an unexplainable feeling. I’ve been on stage for so long now & it really feels like home!! It’s comfort, madness, crazy, happy, and i LOVE the boys in Groove Adda. My best friend & super bassist Gaurav Balani totally gets me going on stage every time and the rest of the boys are CRAZY – Bhaskar Gurung (guitars), Vishal Mehta (drums), Prabir Sekhri (keys). You should come watch one of our gigs sometime soon =)