By Kanika Tandon
LONDON: International Urban Bhangra artist Nindy Kaur is well known for her songs in Hindi films such as Aaloo Chat and Kambakht Ishq (Om Mangalam). She performs with the UK-based band RDB (Rhythm Dhol Bass) and is married to the RDB member Manjeet Ral. She recently released her first solo album Nindypendent.
In an interview with News East West, Nindy Kaur says she is an accidental pop star as she opens up about her career, and her role as a wife, mother and a daughter-in-law.
Q. What’s your album Nindypendent about?
A. This being my first solo album, so a lot of the songs on it represent my own personality traits, I’m independent, bold and ambitious. Nindypendent is a very diverse album featuring lots of different musical styles and some surprise collaborations, such as the up-tempo dance track ‘Save The World’, which will surely get you dancing.
Q. You’ve been successful at carving a niche for yourself in the urban Bhangra scene. Being a woman, take us through your journey and experiences as an artist.
A. I think for anyone starting out in the music industry it can be difficult, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. There are so many talented musicians out there who never get recognised. To be successful, you need a mixture of raw talent, a great team behind you and some luck! I’ve been blessed to be as successful as I am, and I truly cherish my loyal fans as well as my great friends and family.
Q. Family is always a great support in cases such as yours. Who all are your pillars of strength in the family and how do they help you manage a demanding career as well be a family person.
A. Manj (My husband Manjeet) has been the backbone of my music, confidence, voice and support. The RDB boys have been a great support and have recognised my talent and kept pushing me to get into the studio and record. I have been extremely lucky to be surrounded and supported by so many great people and fans which has continually pushed me to try harder.
Q. How many children do you have and how old are they?
A. I have one son and he is six years old. I love my son and I love being a mother. So for me I never find the balance difficult. Being a mother to me is the most important thing in my life and so it will always take priority over anything I do.
Q. A lot of people think of old relatives as burdens. How does your life illustrate that this is not the case?
A. Yes, they are old now but when they were young they brought us up. They nurtured us, loved us, gave us a roof over our heads. So now that they are old and need someone to take care of them so it’s our duty and a way to repay them. It’s the circle of life and we hope our kids do the same for us and that we set a good example for our younger generation to continue for our aging family members. We definitely need our old family members around as we all can use their wisdom!
Q. What’s your style quotient?
A. Casual and chick, basically anything that makes me feel comfortable.
Q. As an artist, what do you prefer the most — performing for live audiences or recording in a studio?
A. When you are on stage in front of so many people it is so great to hear them singing back your track and these are moments in life that I wish I could bottle up! I will never get tired of that feeling.
Q. You’ve also got a huge fan following in Bollywood. What’s on the anvil in there?
A. I am currently working on many more projects and I will be collaborating with some mainstream acts, both nationally and internationally too. So watch this space!
Q. How was it working with Culture Shock?
A. Working with Culture Shock was a lot of fun. They are down to earth and full of energy. We had a great time collaborating on ‘Save The World’ and the end product shows that. The track is high energy and keeps you dancing throughout. The end result was way beyond what any of us expected and the fan response has been overwhelming so far!
Q. Please tell us about your future projects.
A. I’ve got a very exciting year ahead of me which will definitely keep me on my toes. I have my debut album Nindypendent, which will bring to my fans an exciting infusion of my Bollywood roots and my new love of dance beats. I have been so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with some great people on my debut album and my fans can expect an array of exciting collaborations. My debut album will bring to my fans the sounds that they already love and even more fresh, exciting sounds from me with a huge dance influence. It’s going to be brilliant and I can’t wait!
Q. If you were not a singer/musician, what would you have been?
A. I had never desired to become a famous musician. I enjoyed singing as a child and would sing at every given opportunity, in the shower, in the car, but doing it as career is something I had never imagined. I never sought out to be a musician. I was always singing to myself in the car or around the house like everyone else. It didn’t really cross my mind until one day when Manj and the boys needed a female singer and dragged me into the studio kicking and screaming. The song was a massive hit and they wouldn’t let me leave after that.