Unapologetically Niki: Nikhita Gandhi on her brand new EP of 'Bura Na Mano Yaara'

Nikhita Gandhi on her brand new EP of three songs and how she deals with social media trends.
Nikhita Gandhi.
Nikhita Gandhi.

Nikhita Gandhi has always been full of surprises. The Bollywood playback singer, who hails from Kolkata, studied Dental Surgery in Chennai while she was trained in Hindustani Classical music at AR Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory. The multilingual artiste, who is known to straddle genres effortlessly, started her career with Ladio in Tamil.

Having worked with the likes of Amit Trivedi and Shankar Mahadevan, 29-year-old Nikhita recently released her single 'Bura Na Mano Yaara.' The mellifluous voice behind Raabta, Burj Khalifa, etc., the singer chats with us about the making of her new EP and what it takes to make indie music:

How long did it take you to put your new EP together?
I wrote Pitch Black Dark randomly one day about a month ago when I was jamming out some ideas and then the other songs followed that week.

What is it that holds these three songs together?
The sound, the intent, the emotion... I feel like apart from a homogeneous sound production and scape, the EP emotionally also has a similar style of writing… all three songs, especially Khushnaseeb and Dark have a sort of similar style of writing where the person grows through the song from someone with an outward co-dependence to a sense of self-realisation.

What’s the inspiration behind the lyrics?
Most of it is based on life experiences. Saazish explores the classic ‘weak in the knees’ emotions when you see the one you’re attracted to. Khushnaseeb was really special for me; it explores a complex ‘catch 22’ situation in life. All in all, the writing has been ‘unapologetically Niki’… I have not stuck to a specific language and flowed in and out of English and Hindi; like my thoughts.

How has the world of music changed post the lockdowns?
This era we now live in has brought a little fearlessness in the art world, which is amazing. People are putting out more music, being themselves, and not trying to stick to stereotypes and trends… though that exists too, but there is a lot of path-breaking stuff as well.

In a world of social media trends, do you feel the pressure to ensure your work is part of it?
All the time! I constantly have to ‘strive’ to be an influencer because of data science that favours numbers, but I’m always trying to pull myself away from it because I never want any of it to take away from the purity of being an artiste.

What next?
I want to explore a larger project… maybe an album! Though, I don’t set goals like this because I feel the music should dictate what’s next… wherever creativity takes me!

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The New Indian Express