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Divya Kumar: ‘I Want to Push More Folk and Sufi Songs in My Independent Music’

The popular playback singer embarks on a new DIY journey

Rolling Stone India Oct 08, 2020

"Here's hoping that people will share the same amount of love for my independent music as they have for my Bollywood career," says Divya Kumar.

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“What I have learned is that patience is the most important part in a human’s life,” says Divya Kumar when we ask him about his biggest learning during the lockdown. As one of India’s most sought-after playback singers and touring musicians, Kumar’s life has changed tremendously in the past six months, but he says there’s a lot to be grateful for. “A lot of us artists have been able to do stuff which we were waiting and wanting to do for a long time,” says Kumar, who is known for hits like “Jee Karda” (Badlapur, 2015) and “Kamariya” (Stree, 2018).

This summer, Kumar made his debut as an independent artist with his singles “Banna” and “Zariya” (both of which he has sung), and more recently, “Sojatiya Sirdar” (which he has composed and sung). Released on his YouTube channel with a DIY approach, the tracks mark a new milestone for the musician.

In this interview, he talks about his new creative journey and the things he is looking forward to the most post lockdown.

Congrats on your new originals. After a successful playback stint, how does it feel to release your own material?
Thanks a lot! It’s a new journey altogether, I must say. The love and respect I have got from the audiences for my Bollywood work is immense and I can only thank each and everyone from the bottom of my heart. I will try and continue to give my 200 percent for future Bollywood projects. On the other side, the independent musical journey is totally different, as I have just started putting out songs that I believe in and want people to listen to. I have always wanted to do some independent stuff and yes, finally it has started on a very sweet note. Here’s hoping that people will share the same amount of love for my independent music as they have for my Bollywood career. I feel good when a song, for which you have taken all the creative decisions by yourself, goes out to the audiences and the way people have responded to them is heartwarming.

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Your original songs have a folksy with modern arrangements. Tell us more about this new sound you are developing for yourself as an independent artist.
Yes. In today’s time, the ‘sound’ of the track has taken over the melodies in most cases. But for me, melody and the lyrics will always be a priority. I am a music producer and a musician, so I, too, know how the track should sound. I really want to push more folk and Sufi songs in my independent music and also not get bound to just these two genres, but yes, I connect with these genres more. Now that I have started my journey as an independent artist as well, I would want to explore more genres and sounds of music. And yes, all my songs will always have live elements and not only programmed sounds. I feel more relaxed and peaceful when I hear the actual instruments playing in the studio. It gives you much more to explore and also every song is a combined effort of melody, lyrics, arrangements, musicians, engineers, and the singer. When all these people get together to make a song in a studio, then it’s a different feeling and aura! Your song starts getting bigger and better for sure.

As a touring artist, how has the lockdown changed perspectives for you?
It is a really tough time for all the artists and we are not even being considered as an industry that needs to get back on its feet. Lockdown has its negatives and positives, both health-wise and work-wise. A lot of us artists have been able to do stuff which we were waiting for and wanting to do for a long time. For me especially, I have wanted to get started for a long time, so this lockdown has given me time to relax and think about what I wanted to do! But then traveling is the most amazing part of an artist’s life and it is being missed tremendously. Yes, earning is one of the most important things, but not the only thing. Also, we could get to travel places, perform for the audiences live, interact with fans — all that connectivity is missed.

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What I have learned is that patience is the most important part of a human’s life. If we find peace and calm in our lives, then this time too shall pass and we can look on the brighter and even more positive side of this world, where people might start to respect each other more and be more loving and caring towards everyone around us. And most importantly, we would start caring more about Mother Nature.

What are you looking forward to the most post lockdown?
Of course, more music, more traveling and more and more live performances. It will be an emotional moment for each and every artist, who will be going on that stage after such a long time! Ultimately, that’s what artists are born for, to go out and perform their hearts out.

Tell us more about your upcoming songs.
Can’t tell much, but there are some nice Bollywood songs waiting to come! And yes, more independent music from me and my team, for sure!


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