Due to his whirlwind lifestyle, it has been some time since we have been able to catch up with Navin. Busy promoting his new chart-busting club song ‘Love Thing’ is only one of the many projects he has on his plate at present. His loving and supportive fans recently nominated Navin as a contender for the prized UK Asian Music Awards in the Best Newcomer category (held on Thursday, March 5, 2009).
If that were not enough to set his world on fire, the news of filmmaker Sajid Nadiadwala choosing him to be the playback singer for Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar in his new film ‘Kambakkht Ishq’ (Incredible Love), in which Kareena Kapoor plays opposite Kumar, sealed the deal. It is a romantic comedy. An Indian stuntman takes Hollywood by storm but he cannot find true love.
Definitely a dream come true for Navin, as in the very first interview I conducted with him almost 2 years ago, he said, “I have grown up listening to playback singers all my life and that is how I developed my singing and love for music. If the opportunity for playback singing came my way, I would definitely consider it.” Well now, he is having his cake and eating it too, as they say.
ICB – Please tell us how ‘Love Thing’ was created.
NAVIN – I remember being introduced to producer Mushtaq by my manager earlier last year and one of the first pieces of music he played for me was an instrumental draft of the track which we developed into ‘Love Thing’. We created a fusion using the famous Bollywood sample ‘Bindiya Chamkegi’ with a heavy urban beat and I started writing to the track straight away. It was summertime here in the UK so I was in a feel good mood and wanted the track to reflect the same.
I knew that after ‘Tukde Tukde’ and ‘Zinda Hoon’, which were well appreciated, I had to come back with something different. Working with a different producer helped me achieve that new sound. Lyrically I wanted to mix Punjabi and English while riding the famous Hindi sample. It was important that both the Punjabi and English parts were performed authentically on the track. That is perhaps why everyone keeps asking me ‘who is singing the English part?’ Laughs! It’s an interesting mix of influences blended into one track and I am really pleased with the way it turned out.
ICB – Response toward this song?
NAVIN – So far the response has been fantastic! I was nervous before exposing the song because I thought that the people who heard ‘Tukde Tukde’ really would not expect me to switch it up and come out with a track like this … and I was right! Nevertheless, I have gained more exposure to new audiences with ‘Love Thing’, particularly younger music lovers, and that has broadened my fan base. I have also been performing the track nationwide and the response has been brilliant. There are some new remixes for the single coming out too, so keep a lookout for them!
ICB – How does it feel to be chosen as the playback singer for Akshay Kumar and how did this come about?
NAVIN – It feels awesome! I have grown up listening to Bollywood music and I am a big fan of Akshay Kumar, so to be given the opportunity to sing for him still feels somewhat unreal. This came about through producer Rishi Rich. Rishi was working with Bollywood music director Anu Malik and he played a song that I had recorded for my new album. Anu Malik liked my voice, so Rishi rang me up and casually said, “Come down to the studio. Anu Malik is here and wants you to record for Akshay Kumar on his next Bollywood movie.” I was like … what???” I thought he was playing a prank on me but it was for real and it was an awesome experience recording with them! I hope that you will hear the soundtrack soon.
ICB – What other future hits can we look forward to in the near future – Club? Classic?
NAVIN – A mixture – I could never just do one type of music because it would get boring after a while for both the listeners and myself. I love experimenting with new sounds and using different influences to keep my music fresh, innovative and contemporary. I believe that people love listening to all kinds of songs, but they only get to hear what is accessible to them. I want to give them access to a broader range of music, while challenging myself as a singer to stretch my voice further and write quality songs.
ICB – How do you decide which genre of songs to do? Any specific method?
NAVIN – There is no real method. It all depends on time. My mood and the inspiration at that moment also play a huge role. I do not really sit down and think “now I’m going to compose a track for the clubs.” To be honest, I quite often end up forgetting that the tracks I am working on are going to be released to the public. I just enjoy the creative process. My manager Nyrone Persaud has also been a key factor in guiding the shape of my new music.
ICB – Is your album coming out anytime soon so that all your fans can start lining up at the various music stores around the globe?
NAVIN – It is coming out this year but I do not have a release date yet. As soon as I do, I will let you all know!
ICB – International worldwide tour in the near future?
NAVIN – Absolutely! We are already in talks with companies about an international tour – so all in good time! I love performing live and meeting the people who I make the music for!
ICB – Over 100,000 hits on your myspace musician’s page (http://www.myspace.com/NavinKundra), with ‘Love Thing’ being played almost 6,000 times! What do you say to that?
NAVIN – It is brilliant and I am really pleased with the support from my fans. I am always updating my website with new material so they come across something new every time.
ICB – Your debut song ‘Tukde, Tukde’ has been played over 20,000 times and your second hit ‘Main Ha Tere Naal’ over 13,000 just on your site, not to mention the hits generated on You Tube, Facebook, and several desi music sites. Amazing! Besides this, you have been nominated for Best Newcomer on the UK Asian Music Awards 2009 (http://www.theukama.com/). Way To Go!
ICB – How can your fans help with this?
NAVIN – It is all about representing, supporting and votes! They all need to log onto www.theukama.com, select voting, register and submit their vote for me under the Best Newcomer category. The more friends and family they can get to vote for me, the more chance we have of winning. It is quick, free, and every vote counts, so please make your voice heard and while you are there, vote for your favorites in the other categories too.
ICB – Speaking of your fans … Do you have a personal message that you would like to share with them?
NAVIN – I just want to say that you are awesome! The reason I am here doing what I do is because of YOU! Thank you so much for all your love and support and I hope 2009 brings you all much happiness, love and success!
ICB – Anything else you what to add?
NAVIN – Just a reminder to please vote for me on the UK AMA website. It is because of my fans that I am up for this award so I really feel that we are in this together. If we win, it will be something for us all to be proud of … it is all in your hands now.
ICB – Thank you so much Navin for taking the time to be with us. We wish you all the best and much success from all of us here at I Crave Bollywood!
NAVIN – Thank you Simran.
Download Love Thing now on iTunes.
Check Out Navin’s New Music Video ‘Love Thing’ – Right Here!