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In his own realm

He has made his mark in Bollywood, been a part of MTV@Coke Studio — with Hitesh Sonik and Pt Sanjeev Abhyankar — but is bent upon independent original compositions.

brunch Updated: Aug 12, 2013 10:13 IST
Usmeet Kaur

He has made his mark in Bollywood, been a part of MTV@Coke Studio — with Hitesh Sonik and Pt Sanjeev Abhyankar — but is bent upon independent original compositions.


In Chandigarh on Sunday to perform with fusion band, 3 The People, at 10 Downing Street, Nikhil D’Souza says the journey to becoming an established singer has not been easy, but has been worth it.

“I could have either been a 40-year-old executive in an oil company in Muscat or a musician raking his brains over original compositions. The decision was easy,” says Nilkhil.

“I returned to Mumbai from Muscat, where I worked, in 2007, because that was the era when original music started coming up. Initially, I had a tough time convincing people to play with me. So, I started working for ads. The first jingle I made was for Airtel, which was also heard by Amit Trivedi; hence, I got my first break in mainstream music with Bollywood film Aisha. Then, I got a chance to work with Vishal-Shekhar, Pritam and many others.”

Nilkhil is the voice behind songs Mere Bina in Crook, Jannatein Kahan in Jannat 2 and Sang Hoon Tere. Recently, he sung for Murder 3 and D-Day, and would be next heard in the film Boss, an Akshay Kumar production.

His musical inspirations, says he, remain Sting and Jeff Buckley.

His focus, however, will always be original music. “I am coming up with my album, Little Green Man; I am singing the songs, writing the lyrics and composing the music. You don’t get the same kind of joy with playback singing.”

About shows like Coke Studio and Dewarists gaining traction in India, he says, “It is just a matter of time that real artistes get recognition. Nowadays, music producers are looking for different flavours in film music, which gives us a chance in Bollywood.”