Sushant Divgikr Takes the Lead on New LGBTQIA+ Song ‘Jashn-E-Bahaar’
The actor-singer teams up with queer reps including DJ-producer Ma Faiza, singer-songwriters Prachi, Shubhangi, Rushik Thakkar and producer Rtunjya for ‘MTV Beats Love Duet’
After many years of regularly surprising the unsuspecting masses (celebrity actors like Ranveer Singh included) with his distinctively shape-shifting voice, singer Sushant Divgikr has released his debut song “Jashn-E-Bahaar” as part of MTV Beats Love Duet. The music project includes a total of three songs by LGBTQIA+ artists alongside Divgikr, including seasoned DJ-producer Ma Faiza, producer Rtunjya, young singer-songwriters such as Rushik Thakkar, Prachi and Shubhangi.
The first single also marks Divgikr’s first studio material in Hindi. While he’s prominently known for his covers in which he can soar as a female powerhouse voice as well as dig into a lower octave for a male range, “Jashn-E-Bahaar” is different. He says, “Everybody knows that I sing pop, soft rock, jazz, that’s my forte. But in this one, I’ve gone semi-classical, I’ve really gone out of my comfort zone and it sounds absolutely amazing so I’m very excited and I want people to know that this is an album which stands for ‘Love is Love’ and I think more people should walk the talk and support LGBTQIA+ artists. I’m not saying give us extra of anything, just hold our hand and give us the opportunity and I’m sure that we will not disappoint you.”
Even then, Divgikr is his inimitable self when he says with a laugh about how it will be received, “There are jitters, butterflies, elephants, everything in my stomach.” Promoted as a “gender-atypical album,” Divgikr has also written his own lyrics for the celebratory coming-out song that’s “Jashn-E-Bahaar.” The way he sees it, India is due for a wide-reaching, peppy and radio-friendly Hindi-language song for the LGBTQIA+ community to sing along to. Interestingly, he worked with Swedish composer Petter Wallenberg for the 2019 song “I’m Coming Out,” released under the label of Rainbow Riots and promoted as India’s first pride anthem. “But there was no Hindi song which people can put on television or on the radio that has been a song that can be the anthem for the community, by the community. So I think this is great,” he says.
Not just the lockdown, but also MTV Beats Love Duet has spurred Divgikr on to writing more of his own material. There are three English songs with his band Top Storey already recorded and many more solo songs on the way. As for this current project, two more songs — “Teri Meri Baatein” and “Ishq Karle Tu” — will release this month, which marks two years since the historic Supreme Court of India verdict which diluted Section 377 of Indian Penal Code to decriminalize homosexuality.
Divgikr says with his own work and songs like “Jashn-E-Bahaar,” he’s trying to make people “more empathetic and compassionate” and push for larger listenership for queer stories by the community, like the ones featured on this project. “They’re no different, they also have the dream of falling in love with someone and being loved by someone and this album will achieve that only by the function of it encompassing all these wonderful stories through these beautiful songs and these artists that are the future of tomorrow.”
Watch the video for “Jashn-E-Bahaar” below.