Hailing from a small town from the Chittargorh district of Rajasthan, Sahil Chaturvedi always harboured a passion for music. He started performing on stage when he was very young and now, he is geared up to make a name for himself as a singer in the music industry. He has been a participant on the show ‘A Se Antakshari’ (Zee Marudhara) and has a YouTube channel on which he does cover versions of popular Bollywood songs. In this interview, he talks about his journey into the world of music, how the digital revolution has helped artistes, how lockdown affected his work, being a Manna Dey fan and more.
You have been performing since you were four. How did you get into music?
The environment at my home was very musical. My dad loved to sing. I guess that is how I got driven towards music. It started as a hobby, became a passion and now, music is all that I love doing.
You have not had any formal training in music. What did you do to groom yourself as a singer?
I used to listen to music extensively. Apart from film music, I was also inspired by advertisement jingles and remember singing them aloud as a child. I would practice songs of different kinds and genres on my own. My dad used to play the harmonium at home. I started playing it and then, tried my hands at playing the piano as well. I never had any teacher but I practiced extensively on my own. I have a good sense of rhythm and can play a couple of percussion instruments as well. I learnt from a guruji in Ujjain for some time. But since I was based in Indore, it was difficult for me to do it on a regular basis.
What is the kind of education you have had?
I have graduated with a degree in arts. I have done a lot of theatre and studied dramatics.
On 11 October, 2019, you shared a picture on Instagram with the caption ‘Papa Kahte Hain Bada Naam Karega’. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Yes, I did share that throwback picture (laughs). I do not have any long-term goals as such but I want to keep getting better at my craft. I do music because I love it. I hope I keep getting opportunities to grow as an artiste.
You are based in Indore. Would you like to move to Mumbai and work there someday?
An artiste’s final destination is always Mumbai. I have been to Mumbai a couple of times and performed at some well-known clubs. I always got a good response from the audience. Having said that, I am not sure when I will move to Mumbai completely. Everybody has certain responsibilities on their shoulders. I am not any different. I have to earn a certain amount of money every month to sustain myself. In Indore, I mostly perform in clubs and other prominent venues. Things are going pretty well for me here, so I do not want to drop everything and move to Mumbai. I get a lot of work here, so I do not want to leave there. If I get a god opportunity, I would love to shift to Mumbai. Now, I am happy being in Indore.
How did the lockdown affect your work?
Before the lockdown, I was performing almost every day. Lockdown has definitely affected my work. I spent the time doing riyaaz and honing my craft.
Who has been your inspiration in the field of music?
Manna Dey sahab has been my biggest inspiration. I feel his music resides in my heart. I am always excited to sing a Manna Dey sahab number. Mohd. Rafi sahab has also been a huge inspiration. From today’s singers, I love Sonu Nigam, Arijit Singh and Mohit Chauhan.
How do you think the digital revolution has helped artistes?
If the internet was not there, an artist would have nothing to do during this lockdown. He would not have got a platform to express himself. Even if you keep the lockdown aside, this whole digital revolution has helped artistes in a lot of ways. They can put out their work digitally and if their work is liked, they would not need anybody’s support after that. It is great that there are so many wonderful digital platforms today.
You have done theatre. Apart from music, do you also have an interest in acting?
I have had an interest in acting but I am most passionate about music. I want to establish myself as a singer first. If I get some good opportunities as an actor, I would not mind taking them up.