He has given remarkable Bollywood numbers like Shubhaarambh, Jee Karda, Aafaton Ke Parinde, Sun Saathiya, and many more. He is famous for his raw, strong and versatile voice which has made him sing in different genres. In such a short span of time, he has worked with the veteran composers like Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Amit Trivedi, Sachin-Jigar among others. He shot to fame with the peppy Punjabi number ‘Hawan Karenge’ from the National Award Winning film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Devoid of all the starry tantrums and vanity, Divya Kumar has turned out to be an extremely down to earth person. In a candid conversation with Harsha Prerna, he spoke about his love for music, social media addiction, musical journey of his latest song Kaavan Kaavan from Lucknow Central and a lot of tech trivia, obviously!
“ I still believe if your work is good it will reach places and you won’t have to rely on anything. ”
Exhibit: What is your style of Music?
Divya Kumar: I love folk and Sufi, and I love listening to all types of music but folk is where I connect.
Exhibit: Your thoughts on Social Media, Music Promotion, and Digital Streaming.
Divya Kumar: It is doing good for a lot. People have found mediums to be an overnight star. It’s the future of any source of entertainment which is believed by many. I think, way back artists were not relying on anything to be known, they could actually concentrate on their work and then rest would follow. Now-a-days, we are more concerned about our Facebook status, our Tweets or whatever and some are just doing that instead of getting their jobs done up to the mark..
I still believe if your work is good it will reach places and you won’t have to rely on anything. Also, yes I’m on social media, it’s fun sometimes to connect to people who appreciate your work and I love talking to them.
Exhibit: Describe Divya Kumar’s relationship with technology?
Divya Kumar: I like to learn about things on my own. I’m a lil slow on them but finally I can be a lil friendly too. Slow-n-steady works for me with any technology or gadget for that matter.
Exhibit: Who is your inspiration in the Music field?
Divya Kumar: It’s very difficult to pick one. I belong to a musical family so inspiration started from home. My grandfather Pt. Shivram who introduced music in our family, my dad Bhagwan Shivram who’s worked in the industry for over 35years now, musicians I have known from my childhood till now, legendary artists in the 90’s where I found my connection to music listening to Jatin Lalit songs, Nusrat sahab, Sukhwinder Singh and many more. Basically, every day we get inspired by so many different types of music and musicians!
Exhibit: The best and the worst thing about being in this profession? How would you like to describe the life of a playback singer?
Divya Kumar: The best thing according to me is I get to learn about my work every single day and then also get paid for it. We travel, we meet new people, we make new friends, we connect people through our music, and music is a never ending journey so it will Stay forever. The worst part is there are still so many places left to go but my music will take me there I believe.
Exhibit: What do you do when you’re not dubbing or doing a gig?
Divya Kumar: I do nothing when I’m not dubbing or doing a gig. Just lying around watching old cricket matches on the TV, movies and sometimes I love to cook as well. I’m a house bug but I can’t stay away much from music.
Exhibit: Recently, a lot of actors have been trying their luck in singing. What are your thoughts on that?
Divya Kumar: It’s always gonna be hard luck. Haha. It’s been rightly said, “Jiska kaam usiko saajhe”. I think you can’t expect someone to be a singer or an actor overnight. It takes a hell lot of hard work, practice and most importantly talent. So audiences know well, auto tune can only correct your pitch and not your soul or skills.
Exhibit: One thing you’d like to change in the current music scene?
Divya Kumar: If I had the power then a lot of changes would have already been done. But for now I think independent music should be taking place, and more original stuffs should be created. There’s so much to offer in music and I believe that change will happen and will be for good.
Exhibit: Are you a social networking addict? How many times in a day do you check updates?
Divya Kumar: A lot of things get you glued to your phone. When I’m at home, sometimes everyone is sitting around but are glued to their phones and that’s bad. So, I’m looking forward to connecting with people who are around me in the real world rather than the virtual world. Trying, seriously! Haha
Exhibit: If given a chance to invent a gadget, what would that be?
Divya Kumar: I would like to invent a Time travel gadget not for the future but for the past. It will be really interesting to know how it all started.
Exhibit: Tell me about a time when you had to handle an unruly audience member.
Divya Kumar: I used to hear a lot about UP and Bihar audiences. I have even performed there, but surprisingly nothing serious happened. In a recent gig in Allahabad, one guy from the audience threw a bottle on stage to my colleague. That was a college gig, so we stopped the show and walked off the stage. Then the dean came and apologised to us so we started again. The thing is people around the world have different nature and temperament, but you should know how to deal with it. : How often and for how long do you practice your craft? I practice music on a daily basis. I keep listening to songs and sing along. That’s all I do.
Exhibit: If you weren’t into this field, what would you be doing?
Divya Kumar: I don’t know what I would do without music. If not a singer then a drummer for sure, But, I would have been doing something in the music industry itself.
Exhibit: You’re famous for your energetic and bold voice. Recently, you proved your singing prowess in Kaavaan Kaavaan from Lucknow Central. Tell us your journey of working on this song?
Divya Kumar: We never actually worked on this song. It’s one of the most favourite songs of mine. Personally, I’m not a supporter of recreating stuff so I was a little worried about crooning this one as Guruji had already sung it. But, the track was very nicely done by Arjunna Harjaie. He did not go far from the original vibe. There are just some lyrical changes by Kumar Paaji and the folk element of the song was really what I was looking forward to. We kept it simple and tried to stick to the vibe of the original classic. Kaavaan Kaavaan is a song which I would have loved to sing and I’m so glad that people took it positively.
“ Autotune can only correctyour pitch and notyour soul or skills. ”
Exhibit: What can we expect next on the cards?
Divya Kumar: Like I said we need independent music, so I’m working on it. Sooner or later I will announce them. Also, some interesting songs are releasing next year. The work is under process!
- Instruments you play: Give any percussion to play I can manage, but drums are my passion
- One favorite track sung by you: Aafaton Ke Parinde, being my first big break the experience of this song is unforgettable
- Most useful tech gadget: A Smartphone
- Best piece of advice given to you: You’re a good singer, so never smoke!
- Favorite app: Instagram
- Phone you’re using currently: OnePlus 3
- Among your contemporaries, you admire: Arijit Singh is God!