Kanika Kapoor on fighting against all odds
The year, she admits, taught her to be resilient and strong, and this never-say-die attitude has given birth to her latest single Jugni 2.0
The voice behind hit numbers such as Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan (Roy), Baby Doll (Ragini MMS 2), Beat Pe Booty (A Flying Jatt), has started 2021 on a high note. Pun intended. The year 2020 was a rollercoaster ride for Kanika Kapoor.
On one hand, while she was crowned the Music Icon of the Year Award at the Super Awards 2020 in Dubai, on the other, she battled a personal crisis after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in its initial days.
The year, she admits, taught her to be resilient and strong, and this never-say-die attitude has given birth to her latest single Jugni 2.0. It has already amassed over 24 million views on YouTube and is still going strong.
Elaborating on the track that is raw, real, and folksy, Kapoor says she dedicates it to her children. Going back to the source of the song - Jugni ji - which was released back in 2012, the singer says the video of the new version was shot with a modern UK vibe so that it could resonate with the millennials.
Back in 2012, Kapoor had teamed up with Shortie and Dr Zeus for Jugni ji. "It was a passion project. It is one of my all-time favourites and one that will be so for a very long time. It is extremely special to me because it kick-started my career," says this 42-year-old single mother to three.
"Later I felt that the new generation needs to hear this song as the song simply means that you fall, you cry but in the end it is all between you and God. Jugni means the soul of God. With this version, I want to be heard by the new generation," she adds.
With a classical music foundation - she was only 12 when she was selected to sing for the All India Radio (AIR) - Kapoor realised early on that she wanted to get into music professionally. But it was almost 20 years later after her AIR debut that she could get her big break.
"What followed such a great start was shocking as there was no singing for a long time. But I came back to sing for the whole world, so it has been an incredible journey. Through the lockdown Kapoor has been busy writing songs that she says will start releasing soon, one every few weeks. Her upcoming song is a cool hip-hop number.
"I am shooting some beautiful videos for these tracks. Independent music is doing well in India. Besides, I have sung a couple of songs for films which will soon be released; and I am quite sure one of them will be a big hit," she says.
Currently living in London with her family, the pandemic, she admits, has been an absolute eye-opener. "Never take anything for granted. It’s like the film, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. It is people's love and affection for me that has motivated me to keep moving forward," says Kapoor, adding that despite peppy numbers such as 'Baby Doll', deep inside she is an old soul who loves poetry.
"I like old poetry that has a deep meaning and written beautifully whether in Urdu, Punjabi or Hindi. And, of course, Sufi music," she adds. Quiz her on what lies ahead and she says almost like an ascetic herself, "It is all in God’s hands."