Akanksha Bhandari, who lent her voice for the song Tere Liye in the recent Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra starrer Namaste England, is thankful to the Bollywood music industry for giving her this golden chance. “It was like a dream come true,” she says. Originally from Amrtisar, Bhandari shifted to Mumbai for her MBA. Elaborating on her shift from Punjab to Mumbai, she says, “I was born in Himachal Pradesh, however, we relocated to Ambala later. I chose to pursue a Management degree which brought me to Mumbai. After completing my MBA, I ventured into singing. I have been singing since childhood. During my childhood days, I never took proper music training; I learnt all the basics from my mother. I used to participate in school competitions too. It was then that I realised that I am not cut out for a corporate job. I am happy that I am living my dream with the support of my parents.”
To promote her work and take things ahead, Bhandari started her own YouTube channel. Telling us how the channel has helped her, the young singer says, “YouTube has been a large platform for me. It was due to a push from my friends that I started my YouTube channel. That led to me singing a few scratches for films. It has not just introduced me to the audience in general, but has also played a key role in improving my singing, and my personality as well. YouTube has helped me reach out to people and they too have reached out to me through it.”
Bhandari started her music journey with her versions of Baarish 2.0, Roke Na Ruke Naina, Fitoor and many more on her YouTube channel. Speaking about how Tere Liye happened, she says, “As I said earlier, I had sung a few scratches for films. One day, the makers of Tere Liye gave me a call and asked me to present my work. Back then, I did not have the slightest hint that Atif Aslam would be the co-singer or that the song was based on the character played by Parineeti Chopra. After things were finalised, the music director informed me and the recording happened in Dubai.”
The song’s lyrics have been penned by Javed Akhtar and Mannan Shaah has composed it. Adding more flavour to the song, Bhandari tried to give it a Punjabi touch keeping in mind the premise of the film. “I thought of giving Tere Liye a Punjabi folk touch as ‘Namaste England’ is about a Punjabi couple,” she shares.
For this talented singer, her journey wasn’t all smooth. She faced some health issues initially. Bhandari says, “A few years back I had a tough time with my jaw. As a result, I could not open my mouth wide, which made it almost impossible for me to sing. It was a tough phase emotionally and physically as well. However, the bad times passed and I am fit and fine now!”
Bhandari has planned her path as a singer. “Though there are a few Bollywood songs lined up, I am not going to stick to Bollywood. I plan to venture into the indie music scene as well. I am always exploring different types of music in terms of language and genre. I like to explore and learn. My aim is to be a versatile singer,” she concludes.