Music Jubin Nautiyal on music and his love for Kolkata
If there’s one name that has made a splash in the music industry throughout the pandemic, it’s Jubin Nautiyal. Previously known for his hits like Tujhe kitna chahe aur (Kabir Singh), The Humma song (OK Jaanu) and Zindagi kuch toh bata (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) … 2020 and 2021 have been heights of a different genre for the Indian singer who has performed back-to-back Bollywood and indie hits like Raatan lambiyan, Lut gaye, Tum hi aana and Dil galti kar baitha. Other than that, the “pahad“The singer was an active member of the music industry who did everything to help people during the pandemic. During his recent visit to Calcutta for An Evening with Jubin Nautiyal hosted by Whats In D Name, in association with t2, we caught up with the singer to talk about music, his love for Calcutta and his music transcending borders.
Your music is loved around the world. We couldn’t stop watching the video of a Tanzanian duo (Kili and Neema) lip-syncing with Raatan lambiyan on Instagram. How does that feel?
It’s beautiful, it’s an example of the power of music. Music is one of those languages that connects other languages, across race or religion across the world. I think it is the language ek lauta hai jo insaan se nahi, insaan ki aatma se baat karta hai. Aur, it’s upsetting to see people in Tanzania… the beautiful duo… they’re amazing and the chemistry is so good and how he lip-syncs and smiles doing that. I am in contact with this boy and this girl. They wrote to me via Instagram and we had a little chat and then I visited one of the shows they were on and surprised them. I think they need all the love… they are good human beings and unke aankhein bayan karti hai. So yeah, I’m pretty happy that my music is making waves (smiles) around the world.
Romantic songs suit your voice. Always wanted to explore this genre?
I think all kinds of music have some kind of romance. It can be romance to your country, girlfriend, wife, love to your family… whenever love is there the music is there so I think by default romance will definitely do. part of everything I do. The only thing I was particular about were the lyrics. I always wanted to have songs that made sense ultimately because beech mein ek daur aagaya tha when chhote chhote bachche kuch bhi gaa rahein the. Kuch bhi bol rahein the and it was not a good phase for the music, I think. The children didn’t even know what they were singing. Like, simple gaane aagar kids singing, I think ma-baap khush honge gaane sunke.
There is black in your voice… and as they say, the pain in the voice comes from grief. So, is there something personal that inspires such intonation?
Mujhe lagta hain jab tak insaan tees (30) saal ki umar cross karta hai, uska dil toot chuka hota hai, kuch log ka several times toot chuka hota hai. All art comes from emotions, like pain and everything, and all artists have to feel all the emotions to play it and be able to present it as art. So, rahi hain sabke aapne aapne kahani… (smirks).
You rocked the year with Raatan lambiyan. Did you see it coming?
Honestly, kisi bhi gaane ke liye nahi lagta hain ki yeh gaana kuch kar dega. When we sing, we sing with so much love that it feels like yeh purey desh ko rokh dega. So definitely both things … what you and I are talking about is validated here. Raatan lambiyan certainly had a major hit chart and a lockdown from purey ka baad, shayad shershah aisi film thi jo iss graph pe chali. Baat sirf Raatan lambiyan ki nahi hai but it’s about the whole album of the film that is fabulous. The film was about a very solid subject of Captain Vikram Batra; he was a hero and the film was very well executed. I think it was a team effort that brought the album to where it is with a billion streams, which is unheard of in India.
Lately a number of songs have been recreated. What is your view on the subject?
Dekhiye, personally mujhe kuch galat nahi lagta iss mein. Kya hai ki ek generation thi jinhone good music enjoy kar rehe le. And, ek generation hai jo shayad uss music ko kabhi sunegi nahin. Artists like me take this detour and remind young people that we had great melodies back then, and I think it worked really well. For example, I have a nephew … a seven year old child, he would never have heard the song from The Humma, he would never have heard as many songs as we have. But today he knows the song and its lyrics.
Which of the recreated songs is your favorite?
I was really fascinated by the song Dil galti kar baitha hai… the common thread of the song comes from Pakistan, a very Sufi space… abhi tak roots generates nahin ho payi ki composer kaun hai. But iss gaane mein itni depth hai ki puri duniye ek taraf and yeh gaana ek taraf. It is quite special.
We are approaching the end of the year. What were your personal ups and downs in 2021?
I think through my ups and downs I only kept one thing in mind, and that is … for years to come … (pause) that I learned to be humble about my ups and graceful during my downs and how every year should be and jab tak woh insaan gracious hai and humble hai, i think life will be bright full of sunshine.
You have collaborated and presented many actors and singers in your songs. What would be your dream collaboration?
Main thoda West ki taraf jana chahta hoon finally. There are a few collaborations that I am working on, something special and very original, which is coming very, very soon. I’m working with this international rapper and it’s amazing what we’re going to come up with.
Do you think an actor perfectly matches your voice?
I have a few names. I think Sidharth (Malhotra) carries my voice very well, Salman (Khan) carries my voice very well… Akshay paji (Kumar) does it very well. Yaar, yeh sab actors bahut khatarnak hote hain, and kuch karhi lete hai meri awaaz mein kuch na kuch. Hrithik (Roshan) is amazing! Woh jab Kaabil hoon gata hai, that’s amazing. We have the impression that he sings it, it’s so cool!
What makes you Mr Popular, a singer who has managed to have such a large fan base in a short period of time?
I’m 31 and yes I’m successful, but it took a while to get to where I am and the journey started very early.
Do you miss a normal life, a life you would have had if you weren’t so popular?
Yes, I honestly do, a lot. But we’re living in the corona (virus) era, so I wear a cap, put on my mask, my sunglasses, and go to random clubs and party. So next time, if you see someone wearing a cap, sunglasses, and a tall guy who looks fishy and dancing in a corner, it’s me! (Laughs)
You have had many hits. What are some of the songs worthy of a milestone?
So many of them! I think Zindagi kuch to bata was a turning point in my life. Ek mulakat was a very, very big turning point. Tum hi ana… then the confinement arrived and then Meri aashiqui was a major turning point in my independent career, Lut gaye and then today Raatan lambiyan is a leading world song. Accha hain India ke songs all over the world itne bade bade hits laga rahein hain. Maar rahein hain billboards. And becoming the face of that is awesome. I think the Indians are ready to switch next year.
You’ve been to Calcutta before. What do you think of the city?
Dekhiye, haar jagah log concert dekhne aate hain but Calcutta mein log sunne aatein hai. Here we have real music lovers jo sangeet sunte hain aankh bandh karke which is very special. I spent a lot of time in Calcutta without work. Yahan ki biryani bahut zaada famous hai, kitni baar yahan by pyatish-challish (35-40) kilo biryani jaati hain in Bombay. We have a really big fan base for the biryani and the music… and the beautiful, adorable girls smiles (smiles).
His music, his feelings
Rataan lambiyan: It’s my current state of mind, how I travel and do concerts every night. Sari raatein lambi hai aajkal.
Lut gaye: With this song, I think of the whole nation because it literally stole everyone’s heart.
Tum hi ana: It was my arrival in the big leagues. I think the titles of my songs have become a simple title of life.
Ankh lad jaave: Very romantic song; it reminds me of someone I’m always looking for.