Nikhil D’Souza, Indian singer-song writer and Bollywood singer has unveiled the video for his most recent song, Sitaare featuring Kalki Koechlin, a National Award-winning Bollywood actor and theatre artist acclaimed for her unconventional and experimental body of work in the Hindi film industry.
Sitaare, which is Nikhil’s first non- film song in Hindi, composed by him and written by Pinky Poonawala. Sitaare brings together two beliefs - first, that we’re all fundamentally stardust and second, that our destinies are written in the stars. The song is an ode to the idea that it is preordained we will meet certain people in our lives - whether as lovers or friends or enemies. Some might call them soulmates.
“When we were thinking about a music video, there was only one person I could think of to be in it. Kalki is an extremely versatile and effortless actor and I've known her for years, and that played a part in me being comfortable in front of camera. She put me at ease - I'm a bit awkward otherwise. This whole video and process has been a labour of love, with friends pitching in to direct and shoot it at no fee. Big love to all of them.”
“This music video is a labour of love. Nikhil had a story to tell and we made sure he very well did. The brief was clear and we knew we had to marry the song with the mural which is also the album cover. Building up on the most strongest sense of touch, we journeyed into a love story Nikhil narrates, paralleling with Kalki painting a picture through the mural.
Circumstances break their relationship and the chaos begins. The first touch to loss of touch, making of the mural to the balloon leaving the mural, them sharing space to isolating themselves - was a clear contrast consciously created to depict the graph of the ups and downs of a modern relationship.”
Sitaare, which is his first non- film song in Hindi, composed by him and written by Pinky Poonawala. Sitaare brings together two beliefs - first, that we’re all fundamentally stardust and second, that our destinies are written in the stars. The song is an ode to the idea that it is preordained we will meet certain people in our lives - whether as lovers or friends or enemies. Some might call them soulmates.
Nikhil D'souza on Sitaare
In my musical career so far I’ve either sung for Bollywood films as a pure playback singer or written my own songs in English, releasing them in the U.K. through Warner Music. Sitaare is my first non-film song in Hindi, composed by me and lyrics written by Pinky Poonawala over several of our coffee infused discussions.
I wanted to write a song that brought together two beliefs - first, that we’re all fundamentally stardust and second, that our destinies are written in the stars. The song is an ode to the idea that it is preordained we will meet certain people in our lives - whether as lovers or friends or enemies. Some might call them soulmates. Initially I only had the verse and chorus and it felt enough. After all it was an innocent tune - a simple song and lyrics. Later I realised it needed another part to take it further and give it depth and Pinky wrote one of my favourite lines which became the bridge section. We only stopped working on the lyrics when we had something we absolutely loved and the message was clear.
The next step was recording the song and I finally had the chance to work with one of my favourite producers in the Indian indie scene, Rohan Ramanna, who instantly understood the vibe of the song. We quickly completed the recording process at Island City Studios and Rohan took it to the next level, producing a song that I’ve been played on loop ever since we finished it in July.
Nikhil D'souza on the murals
My manager Ryan Thomas had the genius idea to combine the song with art and we got in touch with Chal Rang De who have been doing some incredible work all over the country with wall murals, both conceptually and artistically. We knew the art had to capture the infinity of the universe along with the innocence of love between two people and I’m glad it has turned out as exactly that owing to the talents of the gifted artist Rupesh Kamble. I hope people see this song as we see it, not just as a song but a feeling captured in words, melodies and paint. I also hope that as opposed to most modern day songs that remain on the airwaves for only a few days to a month, this song will leave a lasting impression on the people who hear it and see it as a work of art. Nikhil D’Souza and Chal Range De have painted two murals in the city of Mumbai, one at SV Road and Carter Road in Bandra
Some more on Nikhil D’Souza:
Nikhil released two songs in 2017, ‘Beautiful Mind’ and ‘Still in Love (acoustic)’. Beautiful mind made the playlist on BBC radio 2 and was critically well received. Then in 2018 he released ‘Silver and Gold’ and ‘Blind’ both of which made the radio playlists. This was followed by fan favourite ‘Love is a Liar’, and later the ‘Simple Kind of Love’ EP.
From his decidedly non-musical early career path as a geologist, Nikhil has come a long way to playing massive stages at the BBC biggest weekend festival, Live at Leeds, Great Escape, support gigs for Zac Brown, Striking Matches, Lizzie and Xavier Rudd at some of the biggest venues in the U.K. – the O2 institutes, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, as also selling out his own headlining shows at The Waiting Room and St. Pancras Old Church. To top off a good year, two of his unreleased songs - a remix of ‘Blind’ by EnginEarz and ‘The Fire’ written with Nitin Sawhney - were used in the trailers of the popular Netflix Tv show ‘Selection Day’. The year 2019 has seen him being selected as a headlining artist for NexaMusic – a nationwide talent hunt for English indie music fronted by A.R. Rahman. Alongside this he has also been the voice behind current chartbuster 'Vaaste' alongside Dhvani Bhanushali.
No stranger to Bollywood, he has sung hits like Shaam (Aisha), Mere Bina (Crook), Har kisi ko nahin milta (Boss) and O Gujariya (Queen), and the recent popular hit song Vaaste with Dhvani Bhanushali, besides many others. In his musical career, so far, Nikhil has either sung for Bollywood films as a pure playback singer or written his own songs in English, releasing them in the U.K. through Warner Music.
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.