Humbleness often translates into words for a few. Those who would know about the recently released single ‘Baadshah’, would also know that singer Pratyul Joshi has been through a lot tough times, and that has shaped him into becoming what he is today. This singer now recollects all those memories in his exclusive chat with us, and from the looks of it, he’s surely humble and grateful for his fate.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Q1: How was your journey from a street singer to a new Bollywood sensation?
Hi! I think it’s still very nascent to call me “sensation,” but I wouldn’t want to restrict myself just to Bollywood or independent music. It’s been a long journey – sometimes heartbreaking, but every experience helped on developing a calmer stronger mind. In the end, I believe it isn’t the talent that survives, but a mentally sound mind.
Q2: How was it working on your own music single, Baadshah?
The song ‘Baadshah’ was created 11 years ago by me with group of friends in college. For me, to re-record it at the famous YRF studios, with one of the most prominent music producers K.J. Singh at the helm of it, and it being mastered by legendary John Davis was itself too good to be true. If that wasn’t enough, Abhishaik Desai, the founder of Timbre Entertainment, pulled off a most out of the box music video of our times; and for it, words would fall short of my overwhelmed mind right now!
Q3: As you have just started your journey in music industry, do you have a dream team to work with in this industry?
Many… too many to name… But, AR Rahman, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Pritam to Karsh Kale and Zakir Hussein… and if I can’t restrict myself to borders then all my idols across the world! I believe, anyone who can give me a something to learn, I would be game to work with him/her.
Q4: If you get the opportunity to come ahead with an International singing project, how will you go ahead with it?
I studied music production at AME Chennai and then did my masters in Sound Engineering at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). In both these places, I was exposed to a humungous amount of international cinema and music. Lot of my influences are international artists and world music(ians). So if I were to be composing or singing an international project, my approach would be as it is, till now. I think people world over relate to soul and emotion equally irrespective of language culture. So, I would stick to my experiences of life for the soul and music /audio education for execution.
Q5. Do you plan to work as a Bollywood playback singer?
Yes! Though I don’t think, I plan a lot in life. Being in the moment and executing it, has always worked for me in life and in music… Music and singing doesn’t change whether Bollywood or independent music, so, doesn’t my preference for anyone. My love is for music, wherever it takes me…
Q6. With which music composer you are eager to work with?
A R Rahman tops my list because I have been extensively listening to his multilingual music, since my days in Chennai. He is rare combination of music technicality, soul and yet commercial, which most musicians barely can manage one of the three.
Q7. According to you, which is the most promising singer in Indian music industry currently?
Oh! Too many. We often underestimate Indian music and sometimes are blinded by talent in the west. Sometimes, we are too harsh on our own talent. I really love Mohit Chauhan. Maybe partly, because he belongs to the mountains as I do (I am from Dehradun)… Apart from him, Papon, Mohan (Agni), Atif Aslam and Kailash Kher… they all have great technique and soul.
Q8. Who is your inspiration?
It has kept changing as life progressed… If we don’t restrict this question just to music, many greats have had huge impact on me… Mahatma Gandhi, Sachin Tendulkar, the pursuit of happiness the movie has always been one of the inspiration and so was film maker/actor Dev Anand … Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and late Chester Bennington have been musical inspiration… But most inspiration has been from real life people.
Q9. An incident where you encountered something weird?
Again too many… 2007 I thought I had life changing experience at 2 am at night on Laxman Jhula at Rishikesh… just above river Ganga… can’t exactly explain in words …
2009 I was supposed to join the company I was placed in campus placements at my engineering college and pay package was great… I had dropped the idea to pursue music… and that was the year of great IT recession and the company never called… with no job, I put my faith in music and left Delhi (my college was based there) to pursue it … 2011 I came to know of the existence of famous FTII and I give the national exam for it just for the heck of it … I get questions which were almost meant for me!!! … I top it all India rank 1!! And no, I was never a very good student … 2012 I am broke, and after 7 months in Mumbai, I decided to leave. Later, I got a call from NSPA the same day, and they asked if I was interested to perform as a street performer!
Q10. An incident which became memorable when you used to gather audiences?
One was at the Bandra station and other was at Churchgate; both the times I was a street performer … At Bandra railway station, a beggar stopped by to listen me sing, and it was a crowd of 50-60 people … At the end of the set, the beggar tearfully gave me one of the two coins he had and said keep it always… I was speechless that he gave away his money when he was in the dire need of it
At Churchgate, after a set, an old lady requested a Bollywood song and till then I never sang a Bollywood cover… I sang for her and she teary eyed put her hand on my head saying “my husband sang that one too.”
There were many praises and applauses too but those weren’t but somehow these two are stuck in my head.
Q11. How easy/difficult was your journey?
It’s been difficult, and yes, I can’t lie there… It wasn’t the way I thought it would be… But music gave me everything… Everything required to live… Yes, I faced a difficult life in last ten years… broke, sometimes difficult to pay for meals and rent… but then I got more from music than I expected it too… here I am not referring to opportunities and fame and money… I am referring to people who helped and supported and became friends, a strong mind that now doesn’t break down at difficult moments and an undying will to keep moving ahead…. That is enough to survive an entire life I believe 🙂
Watch his ‘Baadshah’ video here: