"I wanted to break the monotony" - Jubin Nautiyal on his latest single 'Hai Pyaar Kya'

Growing up in a family of music enthusiasts, Dehradun born Jubin Nautiyal always knew he wanted to be a singer. He started his musical journey at a very young age and stayed devoted to his passion. Jubin made his Bollywood debut with “Ek Mulaqat” from the 2014 film Sonali Cable and he hasn’t looked back since. With his infectious energy and his natural charm, the ever-smiling singer quickly won hearts and made a place for himself in the Indian music industry.

Even after lending his voice to hits from movies like Kabir Singh, OK Jaanu, Khandaani Shafakhana and more, Jubin made sure to not limit himself to just playback singing for Bollywood, and charmed his fans with his independent releases, “Humnava Mere,” “Chitthi,” and his latest single “Hai Pyaar Kya.” Read on to know more about his journey through Bollywood and independent music, his take on reality shows, and more.

We fell in love with your latest release, “Hai Pyaar Kya.” Tell us something about the thought behind this track, songwriting, and production.

Well, “Hai Pyaar Kya” is always going to be a very special song for me. The music of the song is produced by Aditya Dev and the banjo section has been played by Tapas Roy, guitars are by Appai, and the song has been composed by Rocky Khanna and I. “Hai Pyaar Kya” is a special song because we created the song three years back. We’ve made a lot of songs together which were appreciated equally, some of them were released while some were scraped off, “Hai Pyaar Kya” had always sounded fresh & you’d want to hear it again and that is when we decided we should go ahead and release this song.

Sometimes the music our market creates gets repetitive for Bollywood and you need content like “Hai Pyaar Kya” to always create a different sound for the market. Back in the days, when I was growing up learning about life and music, I had great bands and artists to look up to like A.R. Rahman, Silk Route, Lucky Ali and K.K, who were creating a lot of independent music. They were great at what they were doing and I believe that is how all of them made it big into the Bollywood scene. I feel even today the independent stuff sounds highly commercial, sounds very Bollywood and that is fine. But you need to break the pattern and keep doing something fresh & new. That is how I want to grow as a musician and that is what “Hai Pyaar Kya” is, it offers a different take on music. It has a very different songwriting style, production, song structure, and a different melody to it. I think “Hai Pyaar Kya” is going to be a path breaker for me and it is going to create ripples and bring back the nostalgic feeling of the 1990 independent music scene.

It’s a beautiful combination of storytelling and a soulful tune, how important is the concept of having a storyline in a song for you? 

There is a story behind everything. If you see the structure of the song, you’ll notice how it begins and then how we move to the antra, which creates an atmosphere and when you start writing the words along with the melody there’s a story these words are taking you through. So, I feel that music videos also need a story and if it lacks that, it just becomes a set of beautifully shot visuals. For my music video, it was important for me to deliver the depth of the content. I feel it’s essential to have nicely executed videos with a proper storyline. 

As a listener, “Hai Pyaar Kya” stands out for the right reasons for being simple. What inspires you to cut the clutter and put out the music that’s this basic to assimilate?  

Hai Pyaar Kya” will always stand out, it will stand out because it is a unique song. My intention was not to create a peppy dance number that the whole country would dance to, I wanted to make a simple and honest song which is what “Hai Pyaar Kya” represents. It’s a meaningful song with simple words that talk about love. I wanted to break the monotony, which is what I tried to achieve through “Hai Pyaar Kya” 

This might be a blunt one, why do you think people listen to or enjoy your music?

People listen to my music because of the soul I bring to the table with the track I work on. Secondly, I’m honest towards my work and I guess that’s what attracts people to my music, the purity and simplicity. 

Independent music in India has seen a great boost over the last couple of years with a lot of upcoming singers opting to make their debut through independent music. What are your views on the indie music scene and its future in India?

I think it’s a great thing that independent music is coming back. When I started my journey here at Bollywood, there were hardly any independent musicians. I’m happy and excited that with the rise of indie music, more artists will get the chance, as well as a platform to present their music. As the independent music scene is getting bigger, it’s becoming more commercial. I believe that independent music cannot be a recreation or a film song. It is a form of personal expression.   

You’re one of the few singers in the industry who’s dabbled in both, playback singing for movies as well as your own independent songs. How different are the two experiences?

I think my attitude to work on one song at a time or a single project at a time has blessed me. I feel gratitude and love for the opportunities that have been presented to me so far. I have a very playback-friendly voice and I enjoy playback singing. I think Bollywood will always be a part of our existence. The Independent music scene, on the other hand, is booming currently and enjoys a lot of influence in India, which is why I started to work on my expression and create good content.

Did growing up in Dehradun impact your musical journey in any way?

Growing up in Dehradun has impacted my entire life. It has an artistic touch to it. It has its own culture and art. I believe it has molded me into the artist I am today.

How did things change when you arrived in Mumbai and what are your thoughts on Mumbai as a city, and your place in it?

When I moved to Mumbai I didn’t have any acquaintances or friends. I landed my first contract in two years. The fact that I came to this city without any support and made a career, makes me proud. Mumbai is my Karmabhumi while Uttarakhand is my Dharmbhumi

You were a part of a reality show 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? What if you were never a part of reality shows; how different would life be?

I would not say that I was ever a reality show person. I did attempt one reality show and that was my first and last attempt. When I had to take a contractual decision, I decided to back out. According to me, a reality show is a platform that is going to put on a stage and you got to perform. I believe the reality show humbled me down. It taught me to work hard in order to stand out. I became more passionate about music, I understood the magnitude of music in India. It was a priceless experience.

 

You had the opportunity of meeting A.R. Rahman very early on in your journey before you even made your official Bollywood debut. You then went on to sing “The Humma Song,” a remake of one of A.R. Rahman’s biggest hits. How did the initial meeting with Rahman help you as a singer?

When a male voice is young it sounds different and as you grow up the voice cracks and it goes to a different scale. So as a young boy I shifted to Mumbai right after school. My voice was in a transition phase and I was lucky to have met Rahman sir and he told me that I have an original voice. He told me to learn and pursue music for two to three years in order to keep the authenticity of my voice and I’m glad that I took his advice.  

Last year you were featured on Forbes India’s 30 under 30 lists, and that’s not all, you were the only musician to be featured on it. How does it feel to represent the industry at such an early stage in your career?

Forbes is a massive magazine. I felt immensely happy and proud about being featured in it and representing my industry. My family was equally proud. Getting recognition for my work from such an esteemed magazine has given me the motivation to work harder. 

Experience the simplicity of youthful romance with Jubin Nautiyal‘s latest love ballad “Hai Pyaar Kya” only on JioSaavn.