VJ turned actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who made a place for himself in Bollywood with his portrayal of Vicky Arora in the hit film, Vicky Donor, has a special passion for singing. When the 27-year old Chandigarh dude is not facing the camera, he loves to devote his time to music. "It is a big stress buster for me, especially singing. I think music is something that takes a human being to a higher pedestal and helps him evolve."
But when did his love for singing began? "I discovered my love for singing much early in life. I must be in kindergarten or nursery when I sang for the first time. At home, dad, who plays the flute, has a great sense of music. Later, the passion continued as I started school.
I was part of the school choir and later became the co-curricular captain," says Ayushmann. "I remember that while I was in class 10th, I took part in the musical - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I remember singing the Benjamin Calypso, a musical segment from the same, along with dancing in it. The passion continued as I founded two theatre groups while at DAV College in Chandigarh," he adds.
As for his favourite genre of music and singers, the composer-singer of Pani Da Rang says, "I love sufi and alternative rock. Internationally, I like John Mayer. I also love the singing style of Shafqat Amanat Ali and Sukhwinder Singh."
Though he is currently busy with his film projects, Ayushmann still practices singing for at least 10 minutes daily. "Though acting is a priority, but if I get more offers to sing or compose, I would surely give it a shot. In fact, I want to be known as an actor who can sing. Hopefully, I'll sing in every film I am part of, at least a couple of songs. After Vicky Donor, I am singing in Rohan Sippy's Nautanki Saala," he says.
Singing has also played a big role in Ayushmann's personal life, as he uses it to woo his wife. "Yes, I do sing for my wife Tahira. I love old songs, especially the ones sung by Mohammad Rafi. One of my all time favourite is Ae Dil-e- Nadan. I have my own rendition of the same, which I love singing to my wife. But, as my father-in-law is also a singer, my wife is quite critical of me," he says.
Not only can Ayushmann sing, he also knows how to play many musical instruments. "When I was very young, I started playing bongo. Later, it was harmonium. When I joined college and met my friend Rochak, I started learning guitar. Now, I carry my guitar in my vanity van everyday and play it whenever I get time. I think I sing much more for others than for myself nowadays, especially with songs like Paani Da Rang," he says.
The other side
Ayushmann composed the now famous Pani Da Rang way back in 2003, while he was studying at DAV College, Chandigarh. He created the number along with his friend and collaborator, Rochak Kohli. He still has around 10 compositions that are still to be recorded.
The filmy side we know
Ayushmann won the second season of adventure based reality show, Roadies, way back in the year 2005. After this stint with adventure and more, he started his career as a radio jockey at a FM station. Then, he became interested in anchoring and went on to host a number of reality shows, including India's Got Talent and Rock On.
He made his Bollywood debut this year with the hit Vicky Donor opposite actor Yami Gautam. The film was produced by actor John Abraham. His portrayal of a guy next door from Lajpat Nagar and the realistic acting seemed to strike a chord with one and all. His upcoming projects include Nautanki Saala and Hamara Bajaj.
Ayushmann started singing quite early in life. However, his commercial Bollywood singing debut came this year with his song Pani Da Rang, from the film Vicky Donor, which became quite a rage. Now, he plans to sing at least one song in every film he acts in.
The beat master
Ayushmann can play many musical instruments, including bongo, harmonium and the guitar