Interview with Nikhil D’ Souza
Q. If not a singer, what would you have been?
A. Difficult question, I tried many different things. I was a geologist, but I wouldn’t be doing it. I would rather work on my cooking skills and be a chef. A secured job is not my thing. It’s kind of being part of a system that’s very predictable, for me I just always want to break out of that. For me the kind of mental flow of this world is not about restricting yourself to a certain time frame of the day to be busy. It’s about expressing yourself more and more every day.
Q. Since you spoke about expressing yourself, so why do you restrict yourself to alternative rock and electric guitar pop, and not try other genres like Arijit Singh, Vishal Dadlani, Amit Trivedi etc?
A. I just do what I like doing and thankfully it has paid off so far.
Q. So can we expect anything like that from you maybe ten years later?
A. Yeah, maybe. I might be a different person then. I mean if I look back ten years back, I was a completely different person, I was a lot shyer, I wouldn’t be sitting here and give an interview. What I mean is, asking yourself the question where will I be five years from now I think is not always the right thing to do, because in doing so you kind of put a restriction on yourself saying that this is what I am going to be. And in doing so if you don’t get there, there’s a lot of disappointment that comes along. You should just be open to things that happen to you.
Q. Okay, so do you mean to say that we should not have expectations?
A. No, I should say that you should really work hard. A lot of people look at a rock star on stage and say I want to be that. So they look up to the final result and say that’s what I want. But they don’t see the (twenty) years of playing guitar and all the hard work. The people who get to that point are the ones who love the process. You look at a guy with a gym body and think I want to be that, but do you love the pain that comes with it? That guy does.
Q. How hard is it to write a song? As we know you are putting in a lot of efforts for song writing, and a singer related to self-written songs, how difficult is it being for you to do that?
A. On some days it is as easy as breathing and on some days it is really difficult, it is like you just can’t write a word. There are so many song writers who reach a writing block, they just reach the block and can’t write anything more. I face a lot of days like that too. But I find that when I go to America and I have someone I write with over there, we just click really well, there’s a real chemistry when we write and we come up with better songs every time we do that.
Q. What led you to take up a career in music?
A. There was no particular inspiration along the way. It’s just that it was the only thing that made sense after trying a whole bunch of things. You know, like you keep coming back to something, and sometimes you need someone to point that out to you. I remember while I was going ahead in the oil field industry, a good friend of mine took me aside and told me that maybe you should just do what you want to do.
Q. What would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10?
A. 13, maybe!
Q. What is that one thing that separates you from the others?
A. The ability to really feel, the lyric
Q. How would you place yourself around singers like Arijit Singh, K mohan, Paapon, Amit Trivedi ?
A. I feel I am not as technically sound as most of them, they are definitely very well trained singers, but I have my moments too when I can sing a song better than some of them on some lines.
Q. Name some of your favourite female singers.
A. Some of my favourite female singers have been Neeti Mohan, Shilpa Rao. Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chauhan are of course flawless. For me the ones I can really listen to, I think Shilpa Rao is someone who stands out.
Q. How have you liked our campus so far?
A. Oh it’s amazing! It looks like a resort and it’s a pleasant surprise to go to a room somewhere in this campus and it’s like a five star room.
Q. You liked the crowd?
A. Oh yeah! You saw what happened out there, it’s beautiful. It’s a good thing that it started off with everyone sitting down and then it was a different thing after what, half a song!
Q. Any message for all those people out there?
A. Enjoy this campus, enjoy your life here because it’s beautiful, it’s like being in Hogwarts or something. It’s a beautiful place to be in and these are great memories that you will treasure for the rest of your life. And the friends that you have here now are going to be there for the rest of your lives. Make great memories, that’s all I am going to say!
Interviewed by: Noel Roychoudhury