Though he started out as a playback singer in 2014 with Sonali Cable, singer Jubin Nautiyal (right) really made it big with the song ‘Zindagi’ from Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015). This year, he has sung for a few films, including Fitoor and 1920 London. He also has a couple of projects in the pipeline, including Akshay Kumar’s Rustom and Hrithik Roshan’s upcoming film.
Ask him if it was difficult for an outsider (he is from Dehradun, Uttarakhand) to make inroads into the industry, and Jubin says, “It wasn’t asdifficult as everyone thought it would be. The industry never made me feel like an outsider.” He adds that he didn’t grow up aspiring to become a playback singer. “I just wanted to be a good singer. Bollywood is just one of the industries I am working in. I have sung in other languages and for ad jingles too,” says Jubin.
Award-winning composer AR Rahman played a pivotal role in helping Jubin become a better singer. In 2007, he had advised the singer to learn more. “It was a critical time, and he gave me a direction. I followed his suggestion and realised how accurate he was. He asked me to not let my developing voice lose its originality by entering the industry early. So, I took his advice and travelled to different places to learn different kinds of music,” says Jubin.
The singer feels his breakthrough song, ‘Zindagi’, sealed his place in the Hindi film industry. “It was a big project, and most importantly, it was Pritamda’s (Chakraborty; composer) music. To work with him on such a big project was an exciting and challenging job. I recorded the song six times,” says Jubin.
Recalling his first interaction with Salman Khan, on whom the song was picturised, the singer says, “When I was told that the song will be picturised on Salman, I knew the track will live on forever. I met him for the first time during one of the promotional events in Delhi. He is a great human being. He told me he really liked my song. He also said that I have a bright future in Bollywood.”