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Siblings on a song

The two Kakkar sisters — Sonu and Neha, the voices behind these songs respectively and many more, tell CS about their journey from singing in bhajan sandhyas to playback singing:

Sonu and Neha Kakkar
Who: Sonu and Neha Kakkar
What: On their musical journey
PIC/ Satyajit Desai

When dreams come true
Sonu: I had a dream to become a playback singer while growing up in Rishikesh. I used to participate in local competitions and bhajan sandhyas. Then I asked my parents to shift to Delhi because I felt there was more scope for a career there.
I started performing for shows. Then I happened to participate in a music reality show and Sandeep Chowta, who was a judge there noticed my voice. He promised to give me a chance and that’s how I got my first song — Babuji.
Neha: The moment I started speaking, I started singing. We used to sing in bhajan sandhyas together. When I turned 16, I took part in a music reality show and was one of the top finalists. Then I did some more reality shows. In between, I kept singing for films. My moment of recognition came with the title track of the show Na Aana Iss Des Laado, and more recently with Second Hand Jawaani from Cocktail.

On our wishlist...
Sonu: I have a dream to sing for Vishal Bhardwaj. I had a dream to sing with Rahman sir which has already come true. I wanted to work with Ilayaraja and that too happened. Now I’m dying to work with Vishal sir. I think his music is divine.
Neha: At this moment, I would love to sing with all of them!
Sonu: I once got a call from Salim Merchant who told me that he has a song in mind with me and Abida Parveen ji. I would have loved to sing a duet with her! But somehow that song didn’t happen and I couldn’t work with her and Salim.

Taking inspiration
Sonu: My inspiration is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahib. He’s like God for me. I have been listening to his music since childhood. And of course, there is Lataji and Ashaji. They are the goddesses of music. Among the current singers, I really admire Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chauhan. They are extremely talented.
Neha: My inspiration is Sonu didi.
Sonu: How sweet! (smiles)
Neha: And it’s not just in singing but even when it comes to dressing and make-up, she’s the only one I look upto.  

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