Relevance Is A Challenge For Every Artist: How Asees Kaur Sang Her Way To Bollywood

Asees Kaur recalls her childhood musical inspiration, her journey in playback singing, her representation of women in music, and how she pushes boundaries for herself. 

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Asees Kaur Interview
Growing up, Asees Kaur sang Shabads in Gurudwaras after her father encouraged her to learn Gurbani. While it set the tone for her to find the value in her voice, her urge to get into music professionally first stemmed in the sixth grade as she watched Madhuri Dixit dance to the tunes of songs in 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!'

Years later, Kaur earned her first big break and recorded her first Bollywood song 'Dildara' for the movie Tamanchey. She has several popular songs to her name including people's favourite 'Bolna' and is presently working on bigger projects. Kaur's latest 'I Don't Give A' is the representation of a bold woman, who is unapologetic to make choices for herself irrespective of what society says.

In an interview with SheThePeople, Asees Kaur recalls her childhood musical inspiration, her journey in playback singing, her representation of women in music, and how she pushes boundaries for herself.

Asees Kaur Interview

How challenging was it for you to break into the film industry initially, and now that you're a top name in the industry, what are the current challenges?

Coming from a non-film background and without any connections in Mumbai, my journey to becoming a playback singer was extremely challenging. The most difficult part was getting my first song because I had to meet numerous music directors to showcase my talent. Although everyone liked my voice, it was not until Tanishq Bagchi and Azeem Dayani gave me the opportunity to sing '">Bolna' that I finally got my due recognition. Despite the difficulties, I enjoyed the process and was determined to work hard and achieve my dream of becoming a playback singer.

The current challenge for any artist is to remain relevant, which requires understanding what people enjoy while still staying true to oneself. Simply following trends is not enough; it is essential to resonate with the audience while staying authentic to one's own personality.


Please tell me more about your latest single ''I Don't Give A'.

'I Don't Give A' is about empowerment and self-confidence, and it's something that I feel a lot of people can relate to. The lyrics talk about not caring about what others say or think, and just being yourself and doing your own thing. The music video for the song is also something I'm really proud of. We shot it in a really cool location, and I got to try out some new dance moves, which was a lot of fun. Overall, I think the song and the video both have a really positive and uplifting message, and I hope that people enjoy it and can take something away from it.

What is your creative process like?

As a singer, my creative process starts with finding the right song or melody that resonates with me. Sometimes, I collaborate with music directors who give me a rough tune or lyrics to work with. Once I have the basic structure, I like to work on the lyrics and melody simultaneously, making changes until I am satisfied with the final product. During this process, I also experiment with different vocal techniques and styles to see what works best for the song. Once the lyrics and melody are finalised, I work on the arrangement and production with my team to create the final track.

My creative process involves a lot of trial and error, experimentation, and collaboration with other artists to bring my vision to life.

What would you say had a significant impact on your growth as a singer?


For me, the most crucial aspect of my growth is the constant feeling of improvement with every song. I prioritise comparing my current work to my previous ones, striving to make each new song better than the last. This inner competition with myself is what motivates and inspires me to continue to improve and grow as a musician.

How has social media impacted you professionally?

When the COVID pandemic hit, I wasn't very active on social media. However, when I found myself with a lot of free time at home, I started using Instagram to engage with my fans, and I began to enjoy it. Interacting with my fans gave me an instant connection with them, and I realised the importance of social media. Now, I use Instagram to get feedback from my followers.

Do you feel like the dynamics are evolving within the music industry in terms of outreach? In a sense, with digitalisation, anyone can have access to and build an interest in diverse music culture today, which was not the case earlier.

In my opinion, digitalisation has greatly benefited the music industry. It has enabled us to collaborate with artists from any corner of the world. Moreover, many listeners have diverse tastes in music. For instance, if I look at someone's playlist, I might find both Adele and Emiway songs. This diversity helps people to broaden their musical horizons, and as artists, it allows us to see what other musicians are doing in different parts of the world. If we find a match in our creative frequencies, we can collaborate with them. Therefore, I believe that digitalisation is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Drawing from your experience, do you feel dynamics have changed with respect to Indian female voices getting more representation and an equal platform today as compared to a decade ago?


The music industry should put more emphasis on featuring female voices. Often, in a song, the female vocals are only introduced during the antra, without a proper hook line or mukhda. Occasionally, female singers get to sing the hook line, but not always. I believe that female singers should be given the opportunity to sing the hook line so that they can feel a deeper connection to the song.

Although there has been some progress in recent years, there is still room for improvement in terms of how female voices are utilised in the music industry.

How do you push boundaries for yourself?

I have high standards for myself, and this is evident in both my personal fitness and my musical training. When I was preparing for the ‘I Don’t Give A’ project, I adhered to a strict diet and workout regimen to ensure that I was in top physical shape for my on-screen appearance. Similarly, in my music practice, I am very disciplined about my daily vocal training (riyaaz), making it a top priority in my schedule. I believe that self-improvement is crucial and that we must take ownership of our own development. Hard work is something we can always rely on and take responsibility for, and it's essential to keep striving to do our best.

Is there a project or concert performance closest to your heart?

I derive immense pleasure from singing on stage and connecting with my fans. The performance at the Dubai Expo was very special to me as I had wished for it to happen, and it did come true after a long wait. It was an incredible feeling to perform there, where artists from all over the world were showcasing their talents. I had prayed to perform at the closing ceremony, and it was a blessing to be given the last slot. This performance will always hold a special place in my heart. I am now eagerly waiting for my first UK tour in July, which is very important to me as I am putting a lot of effort into it.

Any musicians who inspire you?

During my childhood, I listened to the music of greats such as Noor Jahan ji and Lata Mangeshkar ji, and it had a profound influence on me. Presently, Arijit Singh is a source of inspiration for me. I greatly admire his work ethic and all aspects of his profession. I believe that every musician brings something unique to the table, and I try to learn from their strengths and incorporate them into my own music.

What is your advice to aspiring musicians?

The most important advice I have for aspiring singers is to take your Riyaaz (practice) very seriously. You must practise every day because your voice is what truly matters in the end. It's not about your social media following, your appearance, or your personality, but your voice that will ultimately take you forward in your career. I genuinely believe in the importance of Riyaaz, and if you skip even one day of practice, only you will know. If you skip a few days, your music director will notice, and if you skip practising for fifteen days, it will be apparent even to a layperson that something is off. So, make sure you prioritise your practice and do it regularly.

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