Any incident that made you choose music as a career?
There is no one such incident, but from a very young age, I have been comfortable being on stage and taking over a microphone. My mother says I seldom cried as a toddler. Instead, I used to hum! But, I never planned on being a professional playback singer.
How did you become a part of the music industry then?
I had been the lead singer for two bands in Delhi; Crimson, which was a rock band, and Level9, which mostly played pop/blues. While hosting the Jack Daniels Rock Music Awards in 2007, I met Ehsaan (of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) and the trio asked me to come down to Mumbai to record a song for High School Musical 2. Soon after, Amit Trivedi attended a gig of mine in Mumbai and that is how I landed Yahi Meri Zindagi from Dev D.
Having sung in more than 25 films in over six years, what kind of changes have you undergone?
Like many other artists, I have moved away from my hometown, family and friends. Having faced all of this, I have undergone a series of emotions, adjustments and phases that I am still working on. But the goal is to try and be a better person, as well as a better professional.
Which artists/bands have influenced your music?
I have been moved by a lot of artists and bands from time to time. Those who have influenced me include U2, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. From Bollywood, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Dadlani, Shankar Mahadevan and Sonu Nigam have made an impact.
Tell us a little about your band Groove Adda.
Groove Adda is a five-member band — Vishal Mehta (drums), Bhaskar Gurung (guitar), Prabir Sekhri (keyboard) and Gaurav Balani (bass). Our band mostly plays Bollywood tracks and we have been together for almost five years now.
How do you interpret competition in an industry where new talent emerges every second day?
All of us have a unique style, which remains with us, regardless of who comes and goes. In fact, I share a very friendly relation with most of my contemporaries. We party together and I have even cooked for a lot of them.