April 21, 2017
Ash King speaks about his latest song ‘Baarish’ in Mohit Suri’s upcoming film, being open to reality shows and more…
After crooning for some soothing romantic numbers like ‘I love you’ and ‘Te amo’, Ash King is all set to recreate the magic once again with his latest track in Mohit Suri’s upcoming film starring Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor. While the song ‘Baarish’ is already topping the music charts, the singer, in a candid chat, opens his heart out about the inception of his career, his love for Indian music, background and upcoming projects. Excerpts from the interview…
Your song ‘Baarish’ is already creating waves at the music charts. How does it feel?
I have been working on the live streaming a lot and now it is great to be singing for Bollywood. I have worked with most of the biggies in the industry and now new biggies are coming up. So it is really nice to sing for them as well. Mohit Suri, Tanishk Bagchi and other are a great team.
How did ‘Baarish’ come your way?
‘Baarish’ came randomnly at the last minute to me. I was called five days before the song release. I thought this would be a song for some NRI but they told me it is just the opposite. And the guy in the film doesn’t even speak English. So I was confused as to whay are they calling me. I thought I will use this opportunity and try and sing the song. And obviously they liked it. I was not sure that this would happen because I come from a western background. But I am also come from a very Indian background as well. My family has been associated with music from like seven generations. My father used to assist many music directors, my grandfather used to teach music in the school of Rabindranath Tagore.
You got your first break in Bollywood from AR Rahman. How and where did he find you?
AR Rahman was in London at the time for Slumdog Millionaire. He was looking for a new talent, which he usually does and I was introduced to him. He asked me to sing a couple of lines and asked me if I would like to try and Indian song and I was great! Then I got my first song in Delhi 6, ‘Dil gira dafatan’. Bcause of that song Pritam got to know about me and he gave ‘I love you’ and ‘Te amo’. Also, I got to sing ‘Aunyiji’ of Amit Trivedi’s composition. Because of all this put together I got ‘Baarish’.
Do you always wanted to be a singer?
My dad was into music so I used to go with him and watch him compose and his atristry, the people he was associated with and because of all this it was always inside me. I didn’t know what I wanted to be but I knew it will be great if I will be able to sing. The only way you come to know if you are doing well is when people tell you. Singing for Bollywood and receiving feedback on video sharing platforms and social media tell me that I am a good singer. The only way to do good singing is by connecting with people. Baarish has not started in Mumbai as yet but I hope when it does, this song becomes the theme song for the season.
You have had the privilege of both singing in the studios and performing live. What do you enjoy the most?
I have to say I enjoy performing live the most. Performing in front of a person gives you a certain vibe and energy. At the same time, there are moments in studio where it is just your song and you. For example, when I sang ‘Te amo’, it was just my song and me. But performing live beats everything, hands down! You are in front of the people who made your career.
Despite of not been trained in Indian classical music, you have done some wonderful work in your career. How do you look at your journey?
Being trained in Indian classical music is a great thing. I think I am really lucky to be in an age where natural style of singing is accepted. Otherwise, it is really very difficult to be a singer. Nowadays the voice can be edited, I might sing one line and then another and then put it together. When you are in a studio, you put yourself in the composer’s hands.
Any actor you think your voice suits the best?
I think my voice suits to Aamir Khan the best. But the thing is that I have never sung for him. I would love to sing for him as I am a huge fan of his work. I love Andaz Apna Apna, my favourite film is Rangeela. As an actor he is just over the top. I have already sung for people I wanted to sing for. I have sung for Salman Khan in Bodyguard, Hrithik Roshan in Bang Bang!, Ranbir Kapoor in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and also Ajay Devgn in Drishyam. Drishyam was special because Vishal Bhardwaj is one of the top most composers we have. That is like an achievement and an award for me.
Do you have any acting aspirations?
No I can’t. Acting for me is an art. It is not just being casting a film. It has to be properly done. There are some wonderful actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Boman Irani, Aamir Khan and others. I also liked Salman Khan in Dabangg. I do not want to disrespect that industry. But I would like to make films one day. I would like to be part of the team someday. I have a huge interest in making of the films.
Have you ever been approached to be part of reality shows?
The time I was asked to do so, I wasn’t ready. But in future I would love to coach aspirants in shows like Sa Re Ga Ma or The Voice or Indian Idol. I am the only singer from the west who can give them a different perspective. There is a show called the Stage where people sing in English. Being the only Indian singer from England I can do something like that. I can be of some value. The way I have received guidance and advice from AR Rahman and others, I would love to be of help to upcoming singers.
So what apart from ‘Baarish’?
Apart from ‘Baarish’, I have sung a Marathi song which will be releasing next month. It is a really nice song. It will be my first Marathi song. I have some collaborations and I am also doing some singles now. It is fun experimenting while making your own song. I am also working on an NGO. When you work in such an environment, you get inspired to write song about that experience. And then to put that into a song is all independent music is all about.