Spirited In The Arts: Akriti Kakar
“Creativity and artistry are two out of the four wheels that drive any artiste’s journey, alongside devotion and persistence.” Akriti Kakar certainly knows a lot about all the four elements, having navigated a long yet productive course within the Indian music industry with undying determination and an even more enduring sense of gratitude. At the mere age of nine, she became part of legendary composer duo Kalyanji-Anandji’s music group Little Stars, which toured the world, before winning the television show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’s children’s special in 1997 and setting out to carve a place for herself in the world of playback singing. “Coming to Mumbai from Delhi and not having a godfather or any connections was pretty tough but I had my family by my side, and we figured out the ropes by simply calling composers after looking up numbers from the directory,” she recalls. The few who answered — like Vishal-Shekhar, Pritam, Himesh Reshammiya and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy — still support her today.
As she smiles for our camera, Kakar’s phone plays melodies from a miscellany of genres, reinstating her passion for a holistic approach to music. “Learning music for me is an ongoing and never-ending process. I give a lot of weightage to ear training too, so I love to listen to different genres from classical music to jazz, pop, you name it.” Fuelled by competition, she finds inspiration in the little things, from a good film or music score to a hearty chat with a loved one. The vocalist is also visibly appreciative of all art forms and the work that goes behind their creations, be it interior design, painting, cinema or fashion…something she reckons she has learned from being an artiste herself. “Music has made me a balanced person and taught me to support, encourage and groom any talent I see around me. I wish I had the power to pave the way for so many incredible artists, for them to display their art.”