When did you decide to pursue singing as a career?
Ever since I can remember, music has interested me. Even as a child I would keep humming tunes of songs. One-day dad heard me and loved my voice. He suggested that I take up singing professionally. I was just 6 years old then but I knew I wanted to be a singer. I started learning from the Suresh Wadkar Academy and now for the last four years Arvind Jha has been my guide.
How supportive was your family about this decision?
It was my father's dream to see me sing. Even my mother has consistently encouraged me and helped me to remain focused.
You started off with devotional songs. Why the shift to mainstream songs ?
I come from a very religious family and as a person I am religious as well. I first wanted to seek the blessings of God before kick starting my career. That's why I got into devotional songs. I have sung for around 6-7 devotional albums. Also I have done a lot of remixes and sung numerous cover versions. So I wanted to experience the whole gamut of songs before I actually get into mainstream songs.
Will devotional songs take a back seat?
No, not at all.
Which is the first Hindi film song you recorded for? How was the experience?
The first ever song I recorded for a Hindi film was the title song of the T-Series film, Hum Ko Deewane Kar Gaye. Anu Malik who has scored the music for the film was very patient and made me feel very comfortable. I sung it along with Sonu (Nigam). The song has shaped up really well and is rocking the charts!
Who is your favorite singer?
From the previous lot of singers, I adore Lata Mangeshkar ji and Asha Bhosle ji. From the current period I really like Sonu Nigam.
Which is your favorite song?
I like all the songs by Lata ji. But my favourite is Chand Phir Nikla from the movie Paying Guest.
Any role Model?
I look up most to my brother (Bhushan Kumar – Head of T-Series). He has worked very hard from a very young age and surmounted a lot of difficulties single handedly. He has inspired me to work hard too and make it on my own merit.
I have sung a song Mohabbat Ke from Aksar, which has just released. Although I sung first for Hum Ko Deewna Kar Gaye, the song for Aksar released first. It's with Himesh Reshammiya who has sung and composed it. It's a very soothing number and is sure to mesmerize the audience. My track from Tom, thingy & Harry has also just released. I am also singing for Priyadarsan's Chup Chup Ke, releasing on June 9.
You've sung Anu Malik & Himesh Reshammiya's version of the title song of Humko Deewana Kar Gaye. Which do you prefer?
(Laughs) I really like both of them. Both these composers are such big names and I'm glad I got to work with them at the very start of my career!