Kashmir born Nilofer Wani on making singing debut with ‘Kahaaniyaan’ in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-starrer ‘Jazbaa’
With a multitude of budding artists foraying into Bollywood, it’s hard to set foot in the industry, let alone remain afloat. For Nilofar Wani, who debuted with the song Kahaaniyaan from latest film Jazbaa, lending vocals to none other than Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was nothing short of a dream come true.
The Kashmir-born singer said the opportunity was a surreal experience. “Getting the opportunity to work with a superstar was magical. I was thrilled when Aishwarya congratulated me on the track,” said Wani, as she sang praises of the actor whom she considers as the epitome of beauty.
Wani embarked upon a musical journey after she was approached by composer Arko Pravo Mukherjee and film director Sanjay Gupta to feature on the movie’s soundtrack as a playback singer. “One day, I met Arko and Gupta and they informed me that they had a great offer in store for me.” She said Gupta felt her voice would fit the song perfectly. “It’s a motivational and cheerful song based on hope and I didn’t have to imitate anyone’s singing style.”
Read: Aishwarya Rai turns playback singer
She said the Kahaaniyaan team was the best a budding artist would want to associate with. Wani holds it’s the confidence and belief she has in herself that have been key in making the impossible possible for her. On whether she expected such a raving response from the audiences, she stated, “I certainly did. One should be confident about oneself. Everybody has their own singing scale, so there’s little to worry about. All you have to do is do your thing.”
Wani said she belongs to a conservative family, which made it all the more difficult for her to gain their approval for the Bollywood stint. “It was a big no from my [family], but I was persistent and ended up convincing them. As a child, music was something I really enjoyed. I was married at the age of 20. Soon I got busy with my two sons but at the back of my head, I always knew I had to pursue this,” she added.
It was only a year-and-a-half ago that Wani started taking singing lessons and polishing her skills, which helped her. “I practiced classical music and sang thumri with my teacher Ustad Zamir Khan, who hails from the Moradabad gharana. His teachings turned me into a whole new singer.”
Read: Aishwarya to make her singing debut with Jazbaa
Of her future projects, she said without divulging much, “I am working on a Kashmiri folk song and I want to shoot its video in the picturesque valley.” Extending a piece of advice for her fans back home in Kashmir, she said, “One should break all shackles and chase one’s dreams. It’s never too late. Every day is a new chapter and a new beginning.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.
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