"I had to get out of my comfort zone" - Akasa on her new song with Aastha Gill

Continuing her reign of delivering back to back hits such as “Thug Ranjha” and “Maaserati,” Akasa is back with “Naagin” in collaboration with Aastha Gill. Produced by PURI, a Dutch producer with Indian roots and penned down by Vayu, this one will definitely heat up dancefloors!

If you are wondering how Akasa made it till here and how was her experience working on this track, we got you covered!

Continue reading to know what is Akasa’s biggest challenge yet to overcome, how she overcame her biggest challenges and her live show experience.

Hi Akasa! How are you and what have you been up to recently?

Hellewww! I have been amazee and have been up to lots and lots of werkinnn! Music- shows- etc!

We love your latest track “Naagin,” tell us about how the song came into existence.

Thank you! This is Vayu’s magic mixed with the killer beat that Akshe aka PURI created. I remember when he played me the demo of the song I was literally, like “okay, this one isn’t getting out of my head soon.”

What does “Naagin” represent to you as an artist and as a professional?

I think the best part about “Naagin” is the collaboration of two girl pop artistes. Aastha and I – at 3 am one night – post a crazy long bike ride were chatting for a while on how cool it would be to come together on a track. We had no clue “Naagin” would happen so soon but it did and we are extra-kicked about being on it together.

At this point, in my career, every single track or project I do is significant to me as my goals are way too high so these are all essential stepping-stones. I had to get out of my comfort zone of being bubbly and cute and get a different Akasa out in the video. I guess I discovered I could do that too and that was amazing.

Did you learn anything new while working with Aastha, Vayu, and Akshe on this one?

Definitely! Every single person on this journey has taught me something big and small. Vayu teaches me how to keep calm, worry and be lost in nothing but music; and really be lost in it. Aastha is so similar to me, which is why I immediately grew fond of her, and yet she has a carefree lovely persona that is infectious. PURI is such a badass and that style and his distinct signature sound are super inspiring!

You’ve worked with Vayu previously, what makes him one of the most popular songwriters amongst the millennial audience in your opinion?

Vayu always thinks out of the box. I am yet to figure out where his whacky magic comes from but I’ve realized he has this vision while he writes that is quirky and young, and that’s what makes him such a hit.

From starting your career as a singer on Mika Singh’s stage shows to collaborating with Ricky Martin and breaking into Bollywood with Himesh Reshammiya to releasing non-film tracks, how have you grown as an artist and as a person?

I’ve answered this question so many times and yet it’s as difficult. I’ve grown as a person, my art has expanded. Because of so many teachers starting from home; mum and dad being artistes, to Mika Ji, Himesh Ji, I’ve collected so much knowledge and it’s made me versatile. Even as a person, all the experiences I’ve had have enriched me as a human being and I’m forever thankful and learning!

You were a part of a couple of reality shows that helped you kickstart your career. If we have to get an insight into your experience on “how real are reality shows?” In what way would you summarize it for us?

I don’t know about all but the three that I was on were as real as they get. Again, I guess you could say I was lucky?

What if you were never a part of reality shows; do you think you’d be in the same place that you are today?

Honestly, I don’t think I can tell. Maybe if I wasn’t on reality shows I’d be working on my own music much earlier? Either way, the hustle would be as much.

You have lived through and experienced things that most people can only dream of — performing in front of hundreds of thousands and topping the charts at such a young stage in your career. What part of the job gives you the most joy, satisfaction, and happiness?

As cliche as this sounds, bringing joy to people, especially my folks. I’m so very lucky to have been born with a gift and when that makes other people happy and entertains them, that’s the best thing I could ask for.

With hundreds of shows under your belt, we want to know what goes into a typical Akasa live set? And, someone who hasn’t gotten an opportunity to see you perform live, what have they missed out on?

My set is usually a party. I always want my audience to have a good time so it’s usually a dance set with a lot of Punjabi bhangra. However, I love experimenting and improvising on stage. I add on songs according to the audience’s mood and that is the most fun!

When playing shows, do you find it challenging to mix the experimental side of your music with contemporary sounds that the audience is more likely to enjoy?

Definitely. I think currently, I’m still a growing artiste. Perhaps once I gain the love and the kind of popularity, audiences will be more open to my experiments. Right now, I am happy obliging in making sure they have a great time!

What inspires you to create music?

I cannot pinpoint on something. At the beginning of this year, I discovered the lyricist and songwriter in me, and it was all thanks to a bunch of amazing artists and the vibe they had created. It is a subjective process.

How would you like your music and your brand to be remembered in 10 years?

I have always wanted my music to make people feel. Whether that may be euphoria, sadness, happiness or just make them feel like grooving, it doesn’t matter. As long as it touches them in some way.

Is there a song you haven’t made, but hope to make one day?

I’m waiting to write a heartbreak ballad. I’ve made one but added a bit my own fun element to it. Maybe I’ll release it soon someday!

What’s been the greatest challenge you’ve overcome so far?

I guess the biggest challenge has been facing failure and rejection. It’s a rat race out there and one often gets tired and finds it easier to give up. The trick is to keep on going regardless.

What’s the biggest challenge remaining in your way?

Having my parents say “Akasa, you’ve made it! Now you may go on whatever trip you want without our permission!” 

Can you share a personal experience that readers might find inspiring, motivating, and fuel for them to face the challenges and obstacles along the way in their own personal journeys?

I’ve had my fair share of filmy moments where people have rejected me in the past and then suck up to me a few years later. I feel that I need to just keep working relentlessly and that’s all there is to it. If you keep working hard then one day, you’ll prove everyone wrong and that satisfaction should be your driving force.

If there’s one thing that you want your fans and listeners to take away from your music, what is it?

As long as they take something positive away from it, then I will consider my job done!

We’re seeing global collaborations happening all around us, what are your thoughts on cross-pollinating elements from two different worlds and introducing the South Asian market with international content with an Indian flavor?

That’s exactly what we tried to do with “Naagin,” PURI is a Dutch producer and is making a name for himself in Europe. He’s laced the track with sick beats and has elevated the melody of the track to another level. I think the time is right for such cross-pollination because not only are artists willing to experiment but the audience is also excited and open to such collaborations.

Alternatively, how do you think these projects and collaborations can take Indian sounds as well as culture to the rest of the world?

Indian sounds have always been a source of inspiration to artists all over the world and more people are curious about our culture as well. The music video for Coldplay’s “Hymn For The Weekend” was shot in India. I hope that I will have the opportunity to take an Indian track I have created and make it popular all over the world. Maybe someday!

If you had an opportunity to work on an international collaboration, who would you want to work with, and why?

That’s the hardest question ever and the dream that I can only dream of would be Beyoncé or Adele. I’m loving what artistes like Camilla Cabelo, LAUV, and Shawn Mendes are doing (and he’s cute too!)

Closing this conversation with your thoughts on your favorite music trends of 2019 in the and what can we expect from you in the coming months.

I love how Indian music is killing it with international production! My favorite trend (and this might not be the correct reply to your question) would be Independent music rising so much and singles being picked up for Bollywood songs – woohoo!

Stream all of Akasa’s hits including “Naagin” only on JioSaavn!