Music Chose Me Rather Than Me Choosing Music – Vipin AnejaAnisha Nandan
nAnisha Nandan | email@example.com
Vipin Aneja is a Bollywood playback singer. He sang the iconic song “Jaane Tere Shehar Ka,” in the film Jazbaa. The film starred Irrfan Khan and Aishwarya Rai. His Bollywood debut came with the song ‘Saheb Bada Hathila’ from the film “Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster”. He performed in AR Rahman‘s ‘Unity of Light’ world peace event and also traveled with the musicians to Dubai and Malaysia, among other places. He also served on a panel of 30 grand jury members at the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs. Vipin Aneja discusses his ideas, his experiences, and his life in an exclusive conversation with Swar Aalap Digital.
You had a degree in business administration, so how did you end up in the music industry? Why did you decide to pursue a career in music, and what led you to make this decision?
I became interested in music at a very young age. Music was very important to me during my formative school years. And since then, I’ve taken part in one or two big competitions. One was at the state level. Another competition was held at the All-India National level, and I won. My close associates were also very supportive and encouraging. But I kept studying because that is what a business family always wants. They want their child to study and succeed academically. But in life, fate plays a very big role.
When I finished my studies and came back to India, MTV, and Channel V were just getting a foothold. Non-film music was just being introduced here. One day I happened to meet Shantanu Moitra. He was making jingles at that time. And just when I started singing jingles for him, we were working on some songs. Those songs went popular. As a result, I got to sign an album that was released in the year 2000. That’s how my live shows got started, and my popularity grew. I believe music chose me rather than me choosing music, and I am still on that journey.
What was your first musical experience like? Please share the story with us.
My first experience of recording in the studio was heavenly. It was because I had never sung inside a studio before that. Secondly, when I saw my song released on a CD, it was the joy of my life. I couldn’t believe it. I saw my name on the CD. This particular album, which was released, was called Club Class. It had me, Shaan, Sagarika, Shweta Shetty, and a lot of other singers. So I had already come into the main league. I was sharing the space with such noted artists.
Another amazing experience for me was when my solo album happened. And all that experience recording different kinds of songs. I wouldn’t say that I was totally trained, or completely ready for it. But I learned on the job. So it was a lot of learning with great experiences. When I shot my first video with Rekha Chinni Prakash for the song “Teri Payal,” it was an out-of-this-world experience. Other Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan were also a part of this shoot, and I was going to shoot the song with them. Another amazing thing is the MD of the company back then hailed from Dubai. So my first concert happened with Adnan Sami and Hariharan Sahab. We all performed in Dubai. Those days were very special.
Apart from the official awards like All India Sangam Kala in India and Azia Dausy, a World Pop Music Festival in Kazakistan, what according to you has been your most prominent achievement so far?
Every stage of my life, from the release of my debut album, “Teri Payal,” to my second album, “Salute to Bollywood,” to my journey as a playback singer. But my greatest achievements are the love and respect that I got. Also, the lot of adulation that I got for the song “Jaane tere sheher ka“. I sang that song for Irfan Khan Sahab for the film “Jazbaa.” This song became viral on Instagram reels. I think more than any award that I got, the award of the people, the fans, and the audience that love my songs, appreciate my efforts, and feature me in their playlists is the biggest award for me.
What catches your interest apart from music and why?
I believe that, after music, dancing and travel are my second loves. At the beginning of my career, albums like “Teri Payal” or the song “Gulabi Aankhe” from the album “Salute to Bollywood” and other songs that I recorded for television had the vibe of being full of energy and dancing. I fell in love with dance because of this. Dance captures my attention mostly because I began doing numerous live shows at that time, and began singing Bollywood music in retro mode and from retro mode to current mode.
Who are your musical heroes and why?
My Musical Hero is Jagjit Sahab. He is my guru. Musician Jagjit Sahab inspired me from a very tender age and pulled me towards him with his every gazal, every concert. He is someone whom I look up to. He is my musical hero as he is the one with whom I have interacted by meeting in person. Apart from that, my brother Sonu Nigam, who was also in my school and was two years junior has inspired me. He is a living legend. Also the Golden Era’s legends like Lataji, Rafi Sahab, and Kishore Kumar Ji. Playback singer, Richa Sharma is like my family. And in the current, we all look up to Arijit Singh and Shreya Ghoshal.
With whom do you wish to collaborate in the future?
I have a long list of people and I am also waiting to record with Amit Trivedi and many more. I have recorded with A.R. Reheman and I would love to collaborate with Arijit Singh as well. Singing with Sonu Nigam and Richa Sharma is also on my Wishlist. We have been very close friends for a very long time. It will be wonderful to collaborate with them.
Can you please put some light on being a jury member in the reality singing show SaReGaMaPa Lil Champs?
After “Jazbaa” happened I got an opportunity to be on Zee TV on that show. I was there for four to five seasons. It was an extreme learning experience. Sitting there as a jury and looking at those kids come and pass through, takes you back in time. It is like you are walking that journey. The moment you hear a child come to sing, it will remind your journey as a child. These kids were not just kids. They were Ustads. They were all very special. I admire this show since Sonu Nigam’s days and being on the show as a jury member was a dream come true. I believe it’s a wonderful show because it promoted great talents.
What are the upcoming projects?
I have sung a couple of songs for movies, and I also have some ideas for singles. Those are already on my record. The concert The Unforgettable – Celebrating Jagjit Singh that Dinesh Ghate has arranged excites me as well. I want to do well there. I hope it succeeds and that similar concerts take place all across the globe.