Singer-composer Nikhita Gandhi is one of the few people who have had a fruitful 2020 despite the lockdown and pandemic. She had two of the biggest songs of the year, Burj Khalifa from Laxmii and Guru Randhawa’s Naach Meri Raani, to her credit. Nikhita also released her independent track Jhalle Kalle and Khud Ko Hi Paake, a homage to the LGBTQ+ community. The singer recently added yet another feather to her cap by turning composer with the song, Tabdeeli from Mismatched.
“Yes, it has been an extremely creative year for me and I feel so blessed and lucky for this. I have also worked on international collaborations with popular American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, Pink Sweats, who is known for his songs Honesty, No Replacing You, Drama and At Your Worst. Pink Sweats collaborated with me to revamp his song, At Your Worst. In the remix, we have tried to highlight the universal emotion of love and its implications when things get awry,” she said.
“This is a very personal song, which everyone will connect to instantly. Initially, I was a little surprised and nervous but soon things fell into place. My verse is written and sung by me which was a big high,” she added.
So, who does she turn to, when she is at her worst? “My mom and dad, hands down! Right from my childhood they have nurtured all my interests in dance and music. My dad is a Kishore Kumar fan and my mom has always been the one to give me unbiased feedback,” she pointed out.
Another feather on her cap is Jee Ni Karda, which is the remix version and the recreation of the 2012 track, Dhoor, by Manak-E, which was used for Sardar Ka Grandson. The new version has been sung by Jass Manak, Manak-E, Nikhita Gandhi, and composed by Tanishk Bagchi. It is a peppy Punjabi track with the right combination of dhol beats and some groovy steps. “I’ve collaborated with Tanishk for a lot of songs in the past, and Jee Ni Karda is Jass Manak’s debut Bollywood song and I had a wonderful time working with the two of them. It has a Punjabi vibe and I’m part Bengali and Punjabi, so through songs like these I get to explore my Punjabi side, and I love that,” she said.
When asked about the influence of other musicians in her life Nikhita said, “I remember my first exposure to international music was a mixtape my cousin brother made me of his favourite rock bands like P.O.D, Creed, 3 Doors Down, etc. I started listening to a lot of Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Ella Fitzgerald. Those were my earlier influences.”
For someone who has a PG Diploma in forensic dentistry, Nikhita has come a long way into the world of music. “There was a time when I had to choose between going to Singapore on a half scholarship and studying nanotechnology and fulfilling my dream of being a scientist. I chose to stay in India and study dentistry in Chennai and that’s where I met AR Rahman. So, I guess this was meant to be,” she added.
Talking about her recent number Karobaar Dil Ka, she says that musician Kushal Mangal came to her with the idea. “Kushal is an extremely talented musician and he came to me with Karobaar Dil Ka saying that he really wanted me to sing the last stanza. I fell in love with the simple, yet soulful melody of the song. It’s a heart wrenching track and I hope the audience will appreciate it,” she added.