Sitting in the studio, Ankit Tiwari makes slight adjustments to the MIDI controller, looking for the perfect sound to go with his experiments. It’s his ability to try out new things that makes him one of the finest singers in the industry.
Ankit Tiwari has made a long journey from Kanpur to Bollywood. His success is the result of the constant struggle he endured in Mumbai, before ‘Sun Raha Hai Na Tu’ from Aashiqui 2 became a hit. The 32-year-old singer made it all the way to where he is without any special connections in the industry. He did not have a godfather to back him, in case of failure.
It’s his humble personality and a modest upbringing in a family of musicians that is pushing him forward. The support of his brother and parents gave him enough confidence to enter the competitive Indian music industry. His brother, Ankur Tiwari shares the role of a director with him for their new celebrity management and production house, Brotherhood Entertainment.
We interviewed Ankit to know more about his struggles, his life, his work, and his future plans.
Interviewer: Hello Ankit, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. How have you been?
Ankit Tiwari: Thank you, I’ve never felt better as there’s a lot going on. I have been busy with quite a number of projects and our production house. It’s nice to see myself, my brother, and the company grows into something big.
Interviewer: So, what’s next?
Ankit Tiwari:I can’t tell you all about it, let’s not kill all the suspense. For a small peak, I and my brother are all set to launch BeyPinjara soon. It’s a new track and I am sure it will be a hit among the young feisty listeners.
Interviewer: BeyPinjara? What is it about?
Ankit Tiwari: It’s about the struggle and the journey one has to take for self-liberation. We all have to face the hard times in life. The heaviness and the friction that you feel in your mind are temporary. The songs aims to inspire people to fight the thoughts of defeat and fight their difficulties without losing faith in themselves. I want to convey the importance of freedom in one’s life and how they can free themselves.
Interviewer: That’s quite something, you don’t get to hear about songs with such themes these days. But speaking of struggle, how hard was your journey to Bollywood?
Ankit Tiwari: It was hard because all I had was my confidence, my will, and my talent. I do not come from a filmy family with lots of connections in the industry, or a special name, or a godfather for that matter.
Interviewer: But weren’t your parents in a music troupe?
Ankit Tiwari: Yes they were, we had a humble music troupe in Kanpur that would perform on religious occasions. My mother sang religious and devotional songs. It’s how I discovered the magic of music. Our work in the troupe promoted my inclination towards music.
Interviewer: So, you took up music at an early image?
Ankit Tiwari: Well, my parents were concerned more about my education. It’s my brother who convinced them about the love I have for music. I was sent to study under my Guruji, PanditVinod Kumar Dwivedi. He taught me a great deal in classical music. He provided me the base that I needed to stand on in the music industry. I took part in a lot of music competitions back in the day and learned to play a few musical instruments. And… after that I left for Mumbai with my brother.
Interviewer: How did Mumbai feel?
Ankit Tiwari: I did feel slightly nervous at first because it was a big jump for me and my brother in a relatively unknown city. I had to struggle a little but eventually, I met Pradeep Sarkar.
Interviewer: So it was Pradeep Sarkar who gave you a break…
Ankit Tiwari: He did give my career a direction. Pradeep da played an important role in my career. I was supposed to work with him on a movie, but it got shelved. With Pradeep da, I worked on television themes and their scores. I had my first break with the movie Do Dooni Chaar after I met Habib Faisal.
Interviewer: How many projects have you been associated with till now? Any favourites?
Ankit Tiwari: Wow this is difficult to count, I can’t put a solid number because I have taken part in a lot of projects, some here, and some there. If I had to take a minimum, it would be around 50. If I had to choose a favourite, I would definitely choose Aashiqui 2.
Interviewer: You got married this February. We’ve heard there is an interesting story about how you met your wife.
Ankit Tiwari: (laughs) my grandmother met my wife, that too on a train. She and my grandmother talked a lot in their long journey. My grandmother ended up choosing her as my better half as she grew to like her.
Question: You’ve found the perfect balance in your life, anything you’d like to tell the young aspiring musicians?
Ankit Tiwari: Honestly, I am still a student who is learning new things on the way, but I would like to tell the aspiring musicians to not give up on themselves if they dream to be the best playback singer or the best music producer/director in the industry. Hard work and humility make up 90% of the success, the other 10% is luck and your faith in yourself. So, be humble, work hard and success will be at your feet.
Ankit Tiwari’s focus is what a lot of new singers in the industry need today.