Kanika Kapoor of Baby Doll and Chittiyan Kalaiyan fame speaks to Manju Ramanan on her new collaboration with Arab artistes, her love for Dubai and most of all the clarity of thought that 2020 brought about!
You were one of the most googled celebs in 2020?
2020 has been much of a bitter sweet for me. It has taught me lessons that will stay with me for a longtime to come. It was sometimes very hard and sometimes very relieving. Much like the rest of the world, I am also altered by what this year brought to me. But on the sweeter side, it has gifted me clarity about life and what I want to do with it. We need to be kinder souls. I wrote a few 100 tracks so it’s also brought a lot of music into my world. I have started presenting that work in 2021.
Your first visit to Dubai was at 11 years of age. Share with us some memories of the UAE and the audiences here?
Dubai has always been a super special experience for me. I have fond memories with the family. My early performances as a singer were also in Dubai and you cannot imagine the love and acceptance I instantly received. It’s my other home between India and London. I visit with my kids and friends very often. In fact, very soon you will be hearing of some collaborations that I am making with local artists. I am excited for it. It’s about time we did this.
How did Baby Doll happen and then the euphoria, the fame and the song that is always requested to you.
I was a basement singer for many years in my life. It is not hidden that I fought my way to become a singer so when Baby doll happened, I gave it all my might. I sang with vengeance. It’s unreal to see how people still react to the song so I don’t mind singing it at all. It picks up the mood in a room. For me, it was my first moment of feeling victorious as a talent. I still remember the feeling.
Do you enjoy playback singing or live concerts? Which is more challenging?
If there is one thing I know I was meant to do in my life is sing. It didn’t come to me easily so honestly, I do not really have a favourite between the two. It’s a completely different experience for me. One would think live singing is more difficult but when you have a few thousand people in a room, the energy carries you all the way. Even though a recording studio has more control environment sometimes getting the right sound can take forever and be very hard. I like a bit of both. What I do love a lot and not get to do as often is the classical music. My training and foundation are all classical. I used to rehearse for hours each day since I was a child. I want to present that part of me now.
Who are your favourite yesteryear singers?
Your favourite composers and lyricists?
Composers – AR Rahman
Lyricists – Javed Akhtar
How do you manage your lows?
I love to see my kids and their faces turn all lows into highs. They make it all worth it. The fans make it all worth it. I do not have many lows. I am fortunate enough to realise how lucky I actually am to do what I want and get loved for it. Great Indian khana and some shopping are fun things to do in my free time
What about your collaboration with Arab artistes?
So, you’ve heard! Yes, it’s big and it’s coming soon. Wait for it!
What are your future film projects?
Yes, the film work has begun. The projects aren’t announced yet but I have song a few fun dance tracks to be released later this year
Do you children sing too and would we see them in an album with you someday?
I wish, it would be so much fun. I haven’t thought so far. I give them space to do what they want and how they want. They are teenagers and allowed to change their mind. I will support their plans in whatever they do.