We caught up with the blue-eyed singing sensation, Kanika Kapoor…
With her sensuous blue eyes and melodious voice, Kanika Kapoor not only looks the part, but can make any song a huge hit – and that’s exactly what happened when she sang the super duper hit Baby Doll and has since dominated the Bollywood music scene, with equally catchy numbers Lovely and Chittiyan Kalaiyan. But there is more to this serenading beauty than meets the eye – she may be known for her catchy hits, but her singing variations are so much more refined than that, as we found out before Kanika performed on stage at Battle of Bollywood…
What made you decide to become a singer?
I was six years old when my parents sent me for dance, music and art classes and I think by the time I was eight years old they realised that I was singing well. Then, by the age of ten I was in the middle of all of these interschool competitions and I was winning them. So that’s when they realised I could sing. I was a child artist at the age of 11, I also did my masters in music and have done classical vocals. Everything I did was to become a performing artist.
Having classical training must have helped you to enhance your vocals.
Yes, Bollywood is all very commercial but being classically trained just helps me to sing anything as it just gives my range different variations.
Has singing been something you always wanted to do?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a performing artist.
How did you get into the Bollywood music industry?
It just happened, I was working on some music and it became quite popular. I was invited to do a trial for the song Baby Doll, so I went to Mumbai, did my trial and they loved my voice so they chose me and that’s how it happened!
Do you think it’s harder for a British Asian singer to break into the industry?
No I think it’s much easier because there is so much more acceptance from people with new voices and new styles. They need to just work hard and do their best.
Have you got any exciting future plans coming up?
Loads! I have a portion of music coming out; I’ll be announcing a very big international collaboration that you guys will love, British and American. I’m sticking to Indian music though, so it will be exciting.
You’ve travelled around a lot, where would you say was your favourite country to perform in?
I think it was fun to perform in the US. I was on the Slam Tour with Shah Rukh Khan and it was really fun. It’s really great touring around the world - I’ve done Australia, Middle East, Europe. So many places!
How do the crowd’s reactions differ from place to place?
Different cultures and different places like different things. Some are very mild, some are more enthusiastic. I’m an entertainer - I want people to be a part of my act, but not everyone is open to that as they just want to sit and listen.
Tell us something interesting about you.
I think if you get to know me and talk to me I am a funny person. But only if you know me! People tell me, ‘oh you’re very quiet’ and that is not true, I have verbal diarrhoea!
What advice can you give to others trying to make it in the industry?
Work very hard, practice a lot and be very patient. You have to sing from your heart.