‘Unconventional is in’

Trained at Hindus-tani classical music, Akriti Kakkar started off her musical journey with grooming sessions at ‘Little Stars’ under veteran music composer Anandji (of the Kalyanji-Anandji fame). The lissome lass then went on to win the TVS Sa Re Ga Ma National talent hunt and also the prestigious award from Sangam Kala Group. She has lent her voice to the Hindi version of popular American musical High School Musical 2 and also collaborated with Shankar Mahadevan for MTV Coke Studio.
Her solo album named after her won the GIMA Award in the Best Non-Film Popular Album of the Year category. She has also composed and sung the anthem called Angel for a cervical cancer awareness drive. Currently tapping musical talents, Akriti is all set to host the revamped version of very popular show Antakshari — to be aired on Zee TV’s International channel.

Bitten by music bug:
“I started humming casually at home when I was barely four years old. At an uncle’s sangeet ceremony, I tried out my vocal chords and that’s when my parents realised I was keen on music,” she recalls.

Firm Foundations:
“The first guru in my life is my mother Mrs Nirmal Kakkar. She instilled the basic rules and ethics of riyaaz (practice) in me and taught me sargams (seven notes of a music-scale).” In her formative years, Akriti enrolled under the able tutelage of Shri Byomkesh Banerjee who remained her guru for the longest time. “Whatever little I can sing today is entirely due to him.
He trained me in diverse genres from classical to popular forms. If the roots are strong then the tree survives longer and firmer. Stressing upon this, my guruji always believed in holistic singing so that I could cope with any kind of challenge,” she elaborates.
Bollywood debut:
“When I moved to Mumbai, neither did I have a sugar-daddy nor a clue of how to further my CV. I randomly picked up music directories and called people. Vishal Dadlani was kind enough to entertain a rank newcomer and heard me out in his studio. Just imagine my luck when he got back and asked me to join him for Chhamm Se Woh Aa Jaye from Dus. In hindsight, all thanks to composers like Vishal-Shekhar, I could debut in this industry.”

International Collaborations:
“The current cauldron of music is such an alluring place to be in. Am looking forward to an exciting tie-up with a genius from the UK Punjabi circuit for a single. I’d love to work on more such collaborations with a bevy of fusion musicians and artistes.”

Up next:
Akriti is tight-lipped about most of her upcoming movie releases as she cannot divulge many details now. “You know, it’s amazing to see audiences becoming so receptive to a slew of unorthodox sounds and experimental voices in Bollywood. Unconventional is in,” says the talented crooner.

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