Music

The ‘buzz’ around Aastha Gill

With a large fan base and her latest single out now, there is no way but up for the singer

With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and stints at an advertising firm and a news channel, Aastha Gill’s journey to becoming a popular singer has not been conventional. The voice behind hits like ‘Buzz’ (which has racked up over 205 million views on YouTube), recently released a second single ‘Saara India’ (with over 30 million views), ‘DJ Waley Babu’ with mentor Badshah and Bollywood numbers such as ‘Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai’ from Khoobsurat, was in the city for a performance at Opus Club, Sarjapur, recently.

Dressed casually with large rose-tinted sunglasses that framed her face, the cheerful 26-year-old is all smiles as we sit down for a chat before her show.

After some bonding over Bengaluru’s weather and traffic (‘I love the weather! So good. But traffic. So bad!’, she says), the conversation moves to how she forayed into the industry. Singing is in her family, she claims and says, “Both my grandfather and father, Jaspal Singh are music directors. I worked in the studio when I was six or seven. But never thought I would get into the industry. I thought ‘no, there is too much competition, who gets a chance!’. Everyone thinks like that but this is something I have learned. You should never be scared of failure or challenges. Do what you like. I ended up here because I loved it. The day I got a choice between advertising and music, I chose music. I literally got fired the day I got my first song. My boss said that I had to finish the project. I said, ‘I can’t! I have a Bollywood song in hand!’ Opportunity never waits. When it comes, it comes.”

And that opportunity came when rapper Raftaar heard her singing in a college competition.

“Raftaar was my senior in college. He heard me singing and then asked me if I wanted to record with him. I was like ‘why not!’. Then he introduced me to Badshah who took me in as part of his crew. We started performing together and have done more than 600 shows worldwide in the last five years. He gave me many opportunities and that is how I am here. I will never forget that,” shares Aastha. About performing in front of hundreds, she says, “There is no stage fright at all. I love being on stage. I feel like when I am on stage, it is the real me.”

The song that people most identify with her is ‘Buzz’, she adds. “That was my identity. I recorded so many songs but my face was not established till ‘Buzz’. That was my début as a solo artiste. People even call me ‘Buzz girl’.”

Being a singer, the question then follows as to who are her influences and who does she like listening to. “ Whatever pleases my ears, I just go crazy for it. Internationally, it is Beyonce and Rihanna. In India, it is Sunidhi Chauhan. She is my idol. I have been following her since I was a child and love her vocal texture. When I met her, my hands were shaking. It was my fan moment.”

As for her own music, she does not want to be boxed in. Aastha says, “I have learnt piano and have a taste for jazz and hip-hop too. I listen to music depending on my mood.”

The videos for her two singles were very different conceptually. While ‘Buzz’ had a futuristic look, the video for ‘Saara India’ favoured wide, open spaces.

The ‘buzz’ around Aastha Gill

“We worked hard on the videos for ‘Buzz’ and ‘Saara India’. The entire team and I sat together and decided that the video should look international. Then we worked on other things like making sure my costumes were in place. After everything, I take it to Badshah. If he feels there is something wrong, then there is something wrong. He is the master.”

As for her collaboration with TikTok for a song for the World Cup, she says: “The World Cup is the only time I watch cricket. I wait for it because it is that vibe of India! India! I can’t give anything more than singing. I would love to sing for them so we recently released ‘Jeetega Saara India’.”

Aastha has 450k followers on Instagram. “I think it is an important medium to stay connected with my fans. This person is taking time out of his/her life to know what is happening in mine. It is a responsibility so I make sure I stay connected.”

Her future plans include a couple of collaborations and her next single, which will be out in a month.

“One thing I can promise, this year, you will see a lot of Aastha Gill,” she laughs.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:50:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/the-buzz-around-aastha-gill/article28262154.ece

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