A candid chat with singer Ankit Tiwari
With the two love anthems, Sunn raha hai na tu and Galliyan, behind him, singer-composer Ankit Tiwari gears up to prove his mettle to the audience, finds Deepali Dhingra
You are at a concert, listening to your favourite musician sing your favourite song. Would you sing along or lose yourself in the moment? By singer/composer Ankit Tiwari’s own admission, the latter is the more common of the two reactions every time he croons the song Sunn raha hai na tu at a concert.
Tiwari, who burst onto the music scene with the love anthem from Aashiqui 2, explains that he is greeted with deafening silence while singing the song at an event. “Everyone is too busy paying attention to the song or taking a video on their mobile. It’s wonderful to get that kind of appreciation from the audience,” says the Kanpur-based musician, who settled in Mumbai six years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. During that time, he composed two of the biggest chartbusters in recent history — Sunn raha hai na tu and Galliyan from Ek Villain.
The initial days
Few know of Tiwari’s life and struggles before he entered Bollywood. “I used to work as a production head at a radio station in Gwalior before coming to Mumbai. I composed a couple of background scores for television programmes before getting a break with Do Dooni Chaar and Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster,” says Tiwari. But the projects did nothing to propel his career.
And then, Aashiqui 2 happened. Although all songs from the movie garnered a lot of attention, it was Sunn raha hai na tu that went on to win hearts, awards and accolades. Tiwari, who also composed the song, believes that it was all God’s will. “Bhatt sahab heard me sing and said that I should sing in the movie. Then he took out his mobile phone, clicked my picture and tweeted it,” he laughs.
Struggles of a different kind
Tiwari was in the middle of enjoying his next big success — the hauntingly melodious Galliyan — when he got accused of rape in May this year. The case is still being heard in Andheri metropolitan magistrate court, but the 24-year-old has taken the incident in his stride. “There are ups and downs in everyone’s lives. Sometimes, the downs can be really low. But I had the support of my family, friends, media and even the industry. I was back in the studio, working, a day after I returned home. My work didn’t stop and now, my work will answer all these questions,” says Tiwari.
Composing music remains his first love, but Tiwari has also lent his voice to a couple of songs. “I sung for the movie The Exposé and have also sung for Ram Sampath, in the movie Ekees Topon Ki Salaami. It feels good when other music composers call me to sing for them,” he says. As a composer, he now has movies such as Roy, Mr X, Khaamoshiyaan and Hamari Adhuri Kahaani lined up. “People usually call me for love songs or songs of separation, which I love composing. But I don't want to restrict myself to a particular genre. I am doing a variety of songs, which I hope the audience will appreciate,” he smiles. Music lovers, sunn raha hai na tu? Are you listening?
Ankit's all-time favourite love anthems
>> Chupke se from Saathiya
>> Zara si dil mein de jagah tu from Jannat
>> Dard mein bhi yeh lab from The Train
>> Maula mere maula from Anwar
>> Haan tu hai from Jannat