When did you first engage with music?
My parents had a music group called Raju Suman and Party. My mother sang at jagrans and Mata ki Chowkis. Sometimes I would tag along during practice and that is how I got my training under Vinod Kumar Dwivedi. My baba, a very good dholak player, would often remark, “He has learnt music in his mother’s womb.” So it is fair to say that music runs in our blood. My parent’s inclination towards it has nourished my penchant for music.
How has your journey been from Kanpur to Mumbai?
I still remember the date; it was 6 December 2007 when Kurla Express dropped me at Mumbai railway station. It has been 7 years since that day but my struggle has not yet ended. Moving out of your comfort zone, leaving family and friends behind, is just the beginning of the struggle. There have been projects I composed for but never got the credit, and this happens to be a frequent occurrence. It made me become more vigilant and serious to what is happening around. But hard work, honesty and dedication is what I continue to believe in.
How did you get to compose for Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster?
Ever since the days of Haasil, my brother and I have been admirers of Tigmanshu Dhulia. So when we heard that he is making a new film, we dug out his contact. With Do Dooni Chaar to back me up, we approached him and I bagged the project.
Is success and adoration overwhelming?
My writing, compositions and singing are true to my feelings. The love I have received pushes me to work with more humility and dedication in the future.
Did the recent rape accusation impact your work and life?
The episode had no bearing on my professional life. It would be a lie to say that I wasn’t hurt. But the unexpected support from everyone around me, especially the music fraternity certainly diminished the negative impact of the episode.
Who is your support system?
My elder brother Ankur is the anchor in my life. During my initial years, he would commute through the Mumbai locals so that enough fare could be saved for me to take a taxi. He struggled along with me and has made me what I am today.