VJ-turned-actor Ayushman Khurana has had a noteworthy journey from theatre to films. The Chandigarh-based actor hit the silver screen with Vicky Donor and has been recently nominated under the Best Music Debut category for his song “Pani da Rang” at the Global Indian Music Awards (GIMA). Ayushman, who says he is still surprised at the success of the song, describes his policy as one of not expecting “too much from life” and never having “preconceived notions about things”. Thus, while working on the song, though he had a feeling it would go down well with the audience, the GIMA nomination came as a welcome shocker. Excerpts from a chat with the versatile star:
After going from theatre to T.V and then films, how did singing suddenly come about?
I have had a bent for music since my school days. Besides acting, I also used to write and sing for the theatre group. I can recall we once did a musical play based on “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and I sang the songs for it. Also, I hosted many singing shows and there was always a feeling that pushed me to give singing a try. So, it was somewhat gradual. I wanted to come up with a complete performance that would appeal to the masses and luckily it came out with “Pani da Rang”.
Have you taken any formal classical singing lessons?
In school, we used to have our vocal training classes but I never took them seriously as my main focus used to be on acting. Now I regret not taking them seriously. Also, my family was connected to a ‘guruji’ who was trained in classical music but at that point of time I didn’t understand the importance of learning classical music, which I regret the most now. I have started taking music lessons now.
So without vocal training, didn’t you face any problems while recording the track?
I did have problems while recording the song. I used to be shy in the initial stages while performing in front of the director but gradually it came off. I am not a professional singer, so facing such problems is quite obvious. I think it’s just about confidence. If you have a general sense of music you can overcome these initial difficulties.
Were you the first choice for singing the song or did the director approach other singers as well?
I have written and composed the song, so there were no two ways about me singing it. Wherever I go, I carry my guitar with me. While we were on the sets, I strummed a few notes of the song and showed it to the director. The song is not peppy, but a soft Punjabi number. The moment the director heard it, he was like, “We are keeping this”.
So, now can we expect to see Ayushman singing for more projects?
I want to go slow. I will never think about hurrying things up but rather I would prefer coming up with one beautiful song per film. I have always dreamt of being an actor first. So, being a singer will always be a second priority. I would never want my singing to be dominant over my acting.
I would prefer coming up with one beautiful song per film.