Singer Akhil Sachdeva never thought that he could be a singer/composer, he used to play cricket for the Delhi under 16 team and even his parents thought he would play for India one day! “Now I am happy that I have left cricket because it was my passion that time, but probably not big enough to make a career out of it,” he said. Before making his debut with the song Humsafar from Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017), for six years he had performed with his Delhi-based Sufi-rock band Nasha. For him Nasha is not just a band, it is an identity. Akhil recently released a rendition of Dil Diyan Gallan originally sung by Atif Aslam on his YouTube channel and we couldn’t overlook the very raw version of the popular track and of course, the fresh vibe of the music video. Music Plus caught up with Akhil for a quick interaction and this is what we got.
What was the reason behind re-creating Dil Diyan Gallan?
The first time I heard the song, I knew I wanted to do a cover version of it. 6-7 artists have done the cover version of the same song, and I wanted to do something different. I am aware of the fact that I and Atif have some similarities in our voice texture, and it was challenging for me to deliver a different version.
No one supported it, in the beginning, a lot of people thought I shouldn’t be doing it as I was suffering from jaundice. I am not saying I did a better job, however, I believed that I could deliver something good and now everyone is liking it. The video is unforced, it has a fresh vibe and this is exactly what I wanted.
How would you describe your musical progression?
I didn’t choose music, music chose me. I do consider myself a blessed child. I don’t belong to a musical family; none of my parents are close to music. It came naturally to me. I am meant to do this.
I knew nothing about writing or composing. I wrote Humsafar three years ago and that song was one of the biggest songs of 2017. At one point of time in my life, I didn’t have a choice to do anything else. I and my family were going through some rough period, so I chose music as that was the only source of happiness in my life.
Tell us a little bit more about your upcoming single?
I wrote the song four-months before I wrote Humsafar. The song is releasing next month on T-series, it is a soulful yet peppy track, and has a new approach. In that video, people will get to see a very intense side of me along with a passionate story. I broke my fingers during the shoot in Greece but finished it with all my passion. Yeh gana aisa hai jo dimag pe chadhega. If everything goes well, the song will be bigger than Humsafar.
How different is it performing live compared to recording in a studio?
I have always been a live guy, so live is my passion since last seven years. Performing live is all about energy where you can actually connect to the people who follow your music, love your music. Recording in a studio is also pretty amazing. It is all about the emotion and technicalities, I am learning that art gradually. I have not done much of playback singing, as I want to do the kind of music I really enjoy doing.
What was that one song or singer who inspired you when you were growing up?
I am a very old school guy. Jagjit Singh has been an inspiration until today and Hoton Sey Chulo Tum is my all-time favourite. I wished to share the stage with him, but unfortunately, that never happened. (He actually sang a few lines Hoton Sey Chulo Tum over the phone and said that’s where his soul is).
Aadat is ‘close to my heart’ and that is when I started playing the guitar.
Pakistani singers do motivate me a lot. Abida Parveen is certainly one of them.
2017 has been a great year for Akhil, he won the Zee Cine Awards for Best Playback Singer for Humsafar. He also received his first award from the Delhi Government as Artist Of The Year at Delhiites Lifestyle Awards 2018. To the known and unknown, he met with an accident while shooting for his next music video in Greece and recently did four live shows with a plastered hand. “That’s how my life has been. Whenever I am into any sort of pain, my performance has been boosted, always. Subconsciously I knew I shouldn’t put pressure on my fingers as it was broken but I was passionate about pulling it off.” he concludes.