Practising Your Craft Will Always Reward You - Bhavya Pandit

Mom would make me practice ahead of school, which itself began quite early in the morning. I hated the stringent routine at the time but am extremely grateful for that solid foundation.

1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

It's honestly too vast to delve briefly into but the gist would be that able Musicians, such as the Music teachers at my first school were able to detect my basic ability to sing early in life and my parents were and have always been extremely supportive.

They even relocated from Hissar (Haryana) to Pune and then Mumbai for my sake. So really, their support is why I ventured into Music wholeheartedly even before I really understood what was going on.

Mom would make me practice ahead of school, which itself began quite early in the morning. I hated the stringent routine at the time but am extremely grateful for that solid foundation.

2. When did you first decide you wanted to pursue music and how did you start?

Like I said, my ability to hit the right notes (more or less) was detected when I was 4 or 5 years old. My Parents started getting me trained as soon as they discovered my organic inclination towards Music.

One thing led to another and by the age of 16, I was an Indian Idol (Season 4) finalist. That was the big breakthrough and led to my career as a professional singer.

3. Who is your favourite artist and why?

This is a no brainer. While I listen to, adore and seek inspiration from scores of artists, my favourite is the one and only Asha Bhosle! Anything one can imagine, Asha ji can sing and has sung in her illustrious career spanning so many decades!

She is my ultimate idol because she personifies limitlessness. Having seen and heard her live in concert earlier this year was a dream come true!

4. Can you throw some light on opportunities one gets as a singer?

As someone born in the 90s, I grew up imagining playback singing to be a singer's ultimate destination. Over the last decade though, I've realised there are so many other areas for singers to explore and excel in.

I myself love composing my own tunes over and above singing for other composers. There's also songwriting, digital stardom (say YouTube virality). The most lucrative area, financially speaking, remained — at least prior to the lockdown — live gigs.

Let's hope things normalise soon. As for opportunities, there are plenty of them for those looking for them.

5. Is format training required or can one train themselves purely on the basis of talent?

Format training has no substitute. Any performing art is highly specialised after the point where it ceases to be a hobby. Nowadays, there's a LOT that can be fixed in post-production or in the studio but training shows when it comes to performing live, without any retakes and corrections.

To do well in those circumstances takes streamlined guidance and Riyaz. I'm sure there are some fabulous self-taught Musicians out there, but that's a super special gift. The exceptions and not the norm. Most Musicians you adore (especially LIVE) are most likely well-trained and practice regularly.

6. What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring artists?

Continuing from the previous answer, I would reinstate that there's no substitute for Riyaz. Practising your craft will always reward you. Do look for opportunities, yes. Focus on marketing aspects, yes. But only after you have given enough time to your CRAFT first.

7. Which is your favourite book and why?

I spend most of my free time reading and it's awfully difficult for me to choose one favourite book. I enjoy reading absolutely anything written by PG Wodehouse. Find me more perfect sentences than the ones he constructed!

I must also mention An Equal Music by Vikram Seth. There's a poetic quality even to the prose that Mr Seth pens. An Equal Music is especially exquisite for readers who are Musicians themselves. No spoilers here.

I only beseech all Musicians or indeed all avid readers to spare some time for this modern masterpiece.

Interview By - Shruti Kaval

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