Singer and writer Ambili Menon, who launched her debut single Behti Paaniyan, says her aim is to create music that has a story to tell
After performing numerous covers, Ambili Menon recently launched her debut original single Behti Paaniyan. A popular name on the national and global live gig circuit, Ambili has often been called the ‘Live Queen.’ The singer has collaborated with Qyuki Media and launched her debut single, which she says shows the two faces to be in love — fragile and doe-eyed, and passionate and fiery. “My aim is to create music that has a story to tell, which sets my music apart from anything else happening in the market currently,” she adds.
Ambili has written and composed the single herself and she has intentionally used the grammatically incorrect word ‘Paaniyan’ as a way to express the angst of a broken heart. Here’s chatting her up:
What was the inspiration behind the song?
Most importantly, I just wanted to be honest with myself as a singer and songwriter. The idea was to pour my emotions into a story. And here, the story is about two opposing, conflicting emotions all held in one heart. In a way, the inspiration was knowing that all of us have two different people within us and hence I wanted to explore the concept of alter ego in one song. So herewith Behti Paaniyan, you’ll see my duality.
Why did take you so long to make the transition from stage to studio?
The stage is and will continue to remain my first love. There is no greater adrenaline rush than being in front of thousands of fans — all of them singing, dancing, jumping to your tunes. Being on the road, travelling from city to city and country to country is thrilling, exhilarating and is a lifelong adventure I hope to have! It’s also inspired me to write the kind of songs I want to write. My first single took me a year — of writing, producing, recording and getting the video ready. From now on, I foresee the process getting easier.
Why did you think Behti Paaniyan was the right song to make this transition?
I don’t think there’s ever a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ song. As a songwriter, it’s a journey you are on and I believe you grow with every song you sing and every song you write. I love the process and with Behti Paaniyan — it just clicked for me. Something inside me shifted as I started working on this song and I just wanted to listen to that calling in my heart.
What is the difference between singing original tracks and covers?
A lot of difference. With a cover, you do have some sort of a frame of reference. You’ve heard the song before, you may have sung it a hundred times, you have heard another singer render the song. So in some way with a cover, while you do want to retain your identity as a singer, you also try and remain true to the essence of the original song. Whereas with an original, you are the song’s creator and that’s the most incredible feeling — knowing it starts with you. You get to give it the shape and feel you want.
Social media has played a major role in your career. But with the amount of talent emerging daily, do you think that it has reached a saturation point?
Social media is amazing, to be honest. It helps you reach out to your fans in different cities and countries. But there are often moments in my life, where I do detox from all the constant attention and scrutiny. What people need to realise is that real life is more exciting than social media. And it’s important to not lose track of taking pleasure in the smallest things. That said, good talent will always find a place online. Saturation point right now is a long way off!
What are you working on next?
I debuted in Bollywood with the title track of Yash Raj Films’ Bank Chor, starring Riteish Deshmukh and Vivek Oberoi. So playback will remain a big focus of mine this coming year too. In addition to that, I am also working on my next few singles and independent collaborations with some incredible artists is on the cards.