Sukriti and Prakriti Kakar talk latest single "Mafiyaan," independent music and Delhi vs. Mumbai

The talented and gorgeous Sukriti and Prakriti Kakar are no strangers to the numero uno spot on our playlists. The voices behind some of Bollywood’s biggest hits, the Kakar twins go OnRecord about their unapologetic breakup anthem, “Mafiyaan”, their journey in Bollywood, the growth of the independent music industry and much more!

Starting this conversation with your latest release that is trending on JioSaavn, “Mafiyaan.” Tell us something about this song.

Sukriti – Mafiyaan” is a very special track for Prakriti and I, since it’s our second single together on this new journey of making independent music. We never had the opportunity to sing together for playback releases. So, through our singles, we can finally explore singing together and that’s an exciting experience for us! “Mafiyaan” is inspired by a lot of music that we love and the joy of creating something yourself is absolutely amazing!

We’ve heard you on so many Bollywood songs, how is this one different that you’ve recorded all this while?

Prakriti – Actually, that’s a very lovely question! I often wondered about what kind of songs I would like to sing when I would do independent music. All my movie songs have been very different from each other and the best part is that even though I’ve been in the playback industry for four years, I didn’t get typecast to a genre. But I feel like I didn’t get any song like “Mafiyaan” where I could just be myself and stay true to my own singing style. A whole soundtrack to yourself makes you shine and come out as an artist in your most authentic way. I’ve sung some love songs and some club songs, but “Mafiyaan” is a song about pain that has a dance vibe to it at the same time so that makes it very different.

Sukriti – A whole soundtrack to yourself makes you shine and come out as an artist in your most authentic way. I’ve sung some love songs and some club songs, but “Mafiyaan” is a song about the pain that has a dance vibe to it at the same time so that makes it very different.

How is working on a Bollywood track different from a track like “Mafiyaan”?

Prakriti – While working on a Bollywood song, you have to emote according to a situation that’s already defined. When recording a song for a movie, you’re often asked to follow the actress’ emotions and have to perform accordingly. On independent tracks, you don’t really have to follow a brief and you have the freedom to create your own story. That independence is liberating!

From where did you derive inspiration for the theme and lyrical content of this song?

Sukriti – The lyrics of the song are penned by our rapper MellowD. His lyrics were very candid and impulsive and we just went with the flow and finished it!

How did the production come about on “Mafiyaan”?

Prakriti – Akull produced the whole track and he was also a co-composer. He’s done an amazing job on the song! The drop is a live violin and a voice sample which makes it really interesting!

We’ve seen a rise in the number of independent artists making their presence felt across the world, what do you think are the catalysts for this movement?

Sukriti – I think it’s a great time for the music industry because every kind of original or single finds an audience. It’s because of the reception of these audiences that the independent music movement is finally coming along!

What advice do you have for up and coming artists, trying to break into the market?

Prakriti – As long as you have the passion for singing or creating your own music, and you know what works for you, keep doing it! I think we’re blessed to be in this digital era where artists have different ways of introducing their music to the masses! Take the first step in putting out your music. You shouldn’t wait for opportunities to knock on your door, you should create them yourself.

On the same lines, how did the two of you find an opportunity/made your way to Bollywood in the first place?

Prakriti – For the longest time, I actually wondered whether I wanted to get into music full time or not, and then it just happened – one of those lucky passion turned paycheck stories. I used to sing all through my school and college and then started singing for jingles and background scores for movies. It took me three smaller movie playback songs before my big movie playback debut happened in 2015. After that, there was no looking back and the rest is history!

One of the channels that helped you get into the limelight is social media; we want to know your take on the role of one’s social media presence in today’s entertainment industry and how it helped you gain traction?

Sukriti – Social media is a blessing! Like I mentioned earlier, for all the singers I know (because there are so many) nobody gets to sing in every movie, but as long as they’re passionate about it, that’s all that matters! Use social media as much as you can, upload your singing videos, and treat them like your audition tapes!

We’ve read about and seen so many instances on social media of how you both have been confused for Neha and Sonu Kakkar; how do you deal with “fans” who want a picture with you but can’t even recognize you?

Prakriti – There’s a lot of confusion at airports and concerts! I think it stems obviously from having the same surname and also because all of us are from Delhi. We have another sister, so, we’re three of us! But the bigger confusion always remains, who’s Sukriti and who’s Prakriti!

Born and raised in Delhi, why did the need for shifting to Mumbai arise?

Sukriti – Our family decided to move to Mumbai so that our elder sister could pursue her playback singing career. We moved here when Prakriti and I were nine years old and starting fifth grade and everything was VERY different. The culture in Mumbai was way too modern for us. Our dressing sense, language, behavior, everything was different back home and when we got to Mumbai, it took some getting used to. Eventually, growing up in Mumbai was amazing because we met lots of like-minded people and I admire how hard-working everyone in Mumbai is.

There’s an eternal debate on which city is better, Delhi or Mumbai, what is your preference?

Prakriti – Since Mumbai has been home for 13 years now, I would choose Mumbai over Delhi any day! I can’t stay in Delhi for more than two days. There’s something about the Mumbai air, it makes me want to work harder. Delhi makes me lazy!

Since you perform together, what according to you are the fun bits and challenges of working with your family?

Sukriti – The fun bits are endless. I feel really blessed to have her around all the time because she’s my best friend. Having her as a business partner and travel companion was always amazing and now we are creating music together too. We’ve been performing together since we were 16 but it’s only now that we’re getting to work on songs together, something we’ve always wanted to do.

Prakriti – But of course, when you spend so much time with one person, there are bound to be little differences. The good thing is that we only fight about really silly things as we also have a lot of understanding between us. When we have disagreements, we give each other space to think things through and we always find a middle ground. This helps us bring out the best in each other.

How do you differentiate within yourselves when it comes to talents and skills that you have individually?  

Sukriti – When you’re a twin, it’s very important to find your individuality because it’s easy to get lost in the identity crisis. Talking about our singing styles, we both have our own unique style even though we sound very similar when we talk! I grew up listening to more of western music so that comes more naturally to me and western chops are my thing. While Prakriti has a more Indian touch to her voice. Both our voices are contemporary but if you give us the same song we both will present it very differently. It took us a lot of experimenting and working with different music composers to understand our own voices and skills, and discover our strengths and weaknesses.

We’ve heard that oftentimes, you guys audition individually and sometimes are competing against each other; how do you deal with hard times when one of you makes the cut and motivate each other?

Prakriti – When we were just starting out, this is something we would often fight about. But after all these years we’ve realized that we both are never in competition with each other, but are competing with everyone else if you really want to talk about competition. Or even better, you’re always competing with your own self and have to do better than the last song you released. We realized that whoever bags the song, it is coming home, so, there’s no point making things bitter between both of us.

Sukriti – I feel there is enough room for not just the two of us, but for everyone else to do well and everyone should do what’s best for them. Sometimes when I’m not feeling creatively inspired, I listen to my colleagues and feel motivated, and this helps me a lot!

Ending this talk with the milestones that you’ve set for 2019 and what’s next for the Kakar twins?

Both – 2019 is going to be an exciting year for us because we are planning on releasing even more independent music. We can’t wait to keep surprising our audiences with more music that makes us happy!

Listen to Sukriti and Prakriti’s latest hits only on JioSaavn.