She’s been making her place as a singer in Bollywood since just the last two years, but has already given her voice to some big banner films with songs like Laila main Laila, Sharm laaj, Sahiba and Sweety Tera Drama, etc. What has perhaps helped her is her positive attitude and her patience which encouraging and something also very rare among the current ‘instant’ generation.
In an exclusive interview with Hot Friday Talks, Pawni speaks about her journey from her stint as a contestant of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as a 14-year-old to landing some big songs in Bollywood.
Your Bollywood journey as a singer has just begun, tell us how it all started.
My Bollywood break happened just two-three years back. It all started with Raees where I sang Laila Main Laila, then I got Sweety Tera Drama, after that, I sang for Phillauri, for Blackmail I sang Bewafa Beauty and now I’ve just sung for Bhaiyyaji Superhit.
Has this whole thing been a struggle for you, knowing that you were part of a music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa before you started your career as a singer for films?
It definitely hasn’t been very easy for me. I am now a part of the jury of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and that’s exactly what I tell the contestants, that you have to be prepared for the struggle and also consider it as a part of your life. Even in the show when they get eliminated from the show, they start crying and feel low and stuff but they have to be ready to face failures.
That’s how you think now, did you think the same way when you were a participant yourself?
Yes, even then I was always prepared for it that’s because I was fortunate to have my parents there with me and they never pushed me and always told me that there would be a next time. When Armaan Malik and I both got eliminated from the show both our parents kept telling us that it is a part of life and not the end of the world. We both had a similar upbringing and thanks to our parents we always took things positively.
Armaan and you were in the same show, do you guys meet often, how about your other co-contestants?
Armaan and I stay in the same city and our families are friends so we meet often on festivals and occasions like birthdays etc. but most of the other contestants were from other cities so we don’t really meet but I try and be in touch thanks to social media and the phone.
As a singer what are the qualities an aspiring singer should have?
In today’s scenario, I think patience and perseverance are what one needs the most besides talent. One also needs to put in a lot of hard work, at the same time one should have loads of patience.
Do you relate to those old songs from yesteryears or prefer the new songs being made these days?
Honestly, I am an old soul trapped in a young body. When I am alone, in my own zone most of the time I end up listening to the old songs. I love listening to R D Burman, S D Burman, Madan Mohanji, etc.
Among your fellow singers who do you think is tough competition?
I have never been very competitive, I believe every singer has their own potential and especially in today’s times where the industry is more sound-oriented and more tone oriented. Everyone is looking for that unique tone that suits the character, so I don’t think there is any space for competition there. Like if there is a particular character where Palak Mucchal’s voice might suit more and there will also be some character where probably my voice might suit best so it’s all about the requirement of the character, which is fantastic. Today there is space for multiple talented people out there.
What are the preparations or homework you do before you go to perform at a concert?
I try to keep a balance of melody and dance and some fun. I also like to include a bit of folk inspirations depending on the area I am going to perform in. Like if I am going to Rajasthan or maybe Punjab I like to give the local touch or folk element from that region to my performance. I try to keep it fresh and interesting and make sure there are dance tracks too as I love dancing.
What would be on the top five favorite old songs and new songs on your list?
That is difficult to choose but let me give it a try. Among the old songs, it would be Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho, Tere Mere Sapne Ab Ek Rang Hai from the film Guide, Ghazals by Mehndi Saab, Faasley Aise Bhi Honge by Ghulam Ali Saab and Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi. Among the new songs, I like Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye, Jee Le Zara, Ye Fitoor Mera, Chupke Se and To Se Naina Lage.
Anything besides music that you love doing?
I would have probably have been in the defence, maybe a pilot if I were not a singer. But other than that I love dancing.
Do you have any celebrity crushes?
Oh Yes! The biggest one ever is Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, and Ranbir Kapoor.
Which Bollywood female actor would you love to sing for?
It would be a privilege to sing for Rekhaji, Deepika Padukone and in the current lot, I would love to sing for Alai Bhatt.
Well, we sure hope your dreams come true really soon!