KOCHI: Remember listening to Jonita Gandhi singing the cover version of ‘Pani da’ and sitting in awe exclaiming she should be playback singing for Bollywood movies? Well, that is exactly what she is doing now, that too under some of the most senior composers of the industry.
This YouTube sensation from Canada won the hearts of music lovers in India through her rendition of popular Bollywood songs in her own style. Jonita was in the city last week to perform at Tathva ‘14, the tech fest of the National Institute of Technology, Calicut.
“Awesome!” is how she explains how she feels after working with A R Rahman and her new-found fame.
Born in Delhi, Jonita later shifted to Canada with her family. Jonita’s life always revolved around music. Speaking about her journey from being a girl who loves music to her hit YouTube channel, Jonita says, “I grew up singing. My dad is into music, not professionally, but he always encourages me to perform. I used to have my own YouTube channel earlier, then I met Aakash Gandhi back in 2012 and together we started making cover songs. But it was the cover we made for ‘Pani da’ from the movie ‘Vicky Donor’ which got the maximum likes on YouTube. ” Some of the hits on her YouTube channel are the cover versions of ‘Someone like you,’ ‘Pani da,’ ‘Tujhko jo paaya,’ ‘Tum hi ho,’ ‘Suhaani raat’ and ‘Yeh honsla.’
The regular followers of MTV Coke Studio must have come across her performing the song ‘Pinjara’ with Clinton Cerejo. What most of you don’t know is that her first break was the title song of the movie ‘Chennai Express.’
“My first playback was the title song with S P Balasubramanyam in July last year, but my first biggest break was the solo song in the movie Highway, ‘Kahan Hoon Mein.”
A R Rahman had discovered her through her YouTube channel and had also re-tweeted one of her songs.
“He had seen a few videos of mine and he re-tweeted the Christmas carol ‘Silent night’ which I had sung. The funny part is that I wasn’t even following him. It was my friends who informed me about it.” she explains. Sharing her experience of working with AR, Jonita says, “He is the most epic music directors to work with. I would always love to work with him.”
When asked if there was any music director she was looking forward to work with, she says, “I wish to work with all of them. Had this question been asked before I had worked with A R Rahman, my answer would have been him!”
With a degree in Health Science and Business, Jonita had recently relocated to India to find a job.
Fate however had other plans for her as now she is one of the most sought-after singers in B-town.
From doing cover songs to singing original compositions, Jonita says, “Singing a brand new song is definitely not easy. Mostly because there is no point of reference for the singer unlike while singing cover songs. But I am looking forward to working with all of them. I have been singing so many songs for so many different music composers now, I don’t even know which movies they are for,” she says with a smile.
Her other most noted songs are ‘Dil Chaspiyan’ from the Hindi version of ‘Kochadiiyaan’ and ‘Meri Manzil’ and ‘Maloom’ from the movie ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil,’ both composed by A R Rahman. Jonita, the young new voice of Bollywood, is an example for upcoming talents, she being one of those lucky few who found her way into successful playback singing through outstanding talent and social networking media.