Aishwarya Rai Bachchan got emotional and cried after hearing my song: Vipin Anneja

Singer Vipin Anneja talks about his latest track, ‘Jaane Tere Sheher Ka’, from the film Jazbaa…


How did ‘Jaane Tere Sheher Ka’ happen?

I remember meeting composer Arko Parvo Mukherjee at my friend Shibani Kashyap’s house. I was always a big fan of his music and after talking to him, it seemed that we could collaborate. Arko told me that he would surely call with me whenever he feels that my voice suits a particular song. Precisely a year-and-a-half ago, he called me for a trial version of this song. He loved it and decided to finalise my voice. I am really proud to be a part of a Sanjay Gupta film. I couldn’t be happier as the song features Irrfan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who have a remarkable body of work. I have done playback singing earlier but this film is almost like a new beginning for me in Bollywood.

What was the brief given to you?

I am very comfortable singing ghazals and this song is in the space of new age ghazal, so I connected with the melody and the lyrics immediately. I got a lot of inputs from Arko but at the same time he gave me a free hand to record it the way I wanted to. I remember once the song was recorded, he came up to me and said, ‘Nobody else could have sung this song’. These words really meant a lot to me and made me feel proud about myself. He is a great friend who guides me whenever I need some feedback.

Are you happy with the response?

The song was released two days ago and I’ve received a lot of positive feedback. Irrfan said that he found my voice magical. I remember during the picturisation of the song, Aishwarya got emotional and cried. She actually stopped the shoot and went inside her vanity van for some time. Sanjay has shown a lot of faith in me, which means a lot. Many people have loved the song and I am thankful to Arko who saw potential in me.

How did you get interested in music?

I don’t come from a musical family. Growing up in Delhi, I was always drawn to music but coming from a conservative background, my family didn’t encourage music as a career. I remember when I was four, I started singing and by the time I was eight, I started singing ghazals. I never really took any formal training. I would watch the songs on TV and sing them myself. I participated in a lot of local music competitions. I also won an award at the All India Sangam Kala. But my father always wanted to become a businessman like him and so, I did my Bachelors in Business Administration from New York State University. After coming back from the US, I started an export company but my passion was always singing. I shut my company within six months and decided to live my dream. I met Shantanu Moitra for whom I sang a lot of ad jingles. During the same time, I recorded a lot of albums and started doing a lot of live performance across the globe.

Tell us about your beginnings in Bollywood?

I shifted to Mumbai around five years ago. It was a risky decision as I don’t have a generic voice and wasn’t sure if I would find my space in Bollywood. I met Ankit Tiwari who was also starting off his journey. We connected immediately and started working on a lot of demo songs. One day, Rahul Mitra, a friend of mine from Delhi, called me and said that he was co-producing a film. He introduced me to director Tigmanshu Dhulia. Ankit and I presented a song together and he liked it and gave me a chance to sing the title song of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster.

Any composers that you would like to sing for?

I want to work with AR Rahman. I did performed with him at one of the concerts but I definitely want to collaborate with him for a movie. My next song is with Ankit and I also share a great relation with Arko and Shantanu. Mithoon and Amit Trivedi too feature on my wish list.

What are your plans for the future?

I believe a lot in destiny. Earlier, whenever I would plan something, it would never happen so I have stopped doing it. With a lot of determination and honesty, I have followed my dream and so far, it has been an interesting journey. I will let my destiny take its own course.

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