BENGALURU: Regardless of how far away from home you travel, you can’t get rid of your roots, proves singer Jonita Gandhi. Born in India, she grew up in Toronto and moved back here in 2011. At her recent live show at Phoenix Marketcity, she took us through her musical journey.
Gandhi grew up in an musically-inclined family, with her father, also a musician, pursuing it as a hobby. Naturally, it was a big part of her life, and after completing her education, she dived right into music, starting out on YouTube. She moved to India to pursue music, where she had to adapt to the new country. “Growing up, I used to follow Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, AR Rahman, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera. My personal style is an amalgamation of different styles, because my upbringing itself has been so diverse. It is a combination of RnB, hip-hop, soulful, semi classical and western classical,” says Gandhi, who sings in English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Bengali.
Talking about her struggles as a singer in the competitive industry, she points out that the heavy focus and limelight on actors is not equally shared with the rest of the production crew. “The life of a musician isn’t as fancy and glittery as it is perceived. Musicians fight a weak battle to make their mark because Bollywood is so big and runs on the success of actors and not singers,” she adds.
Despite her struggles in the industry, the young singer has managed to achieve her dream. Her advice to aspiring musicians is: “Work on your brand along with your talent. It’s not just about putting up music, there is a need to keep it in line with your personality. People need to know you as a person and not just a voice.”
On her visit to Bengaluru, Gandhi said she loves performing in the city, which is a melting pot of languages and cultures. “A lot of people in Bengaluru have come from outside the city, so there’s a diverse and musically-discerning audience. The kind of songs I would sing here are not the ones I would sing elsewhere. I usually incorporate Tamil and Kannada as well while performing here,” she says.
Woh Tho Yahin