Mohit Chauhan – Playback singer in conversation with Sunil Mohanty from YourStory on his journey, struggle and success
Mohit was born and brought up in Nahan, Himachal Pradesh where he graduated with a master’s degree in Geology. Shunning the government jobs and the 9 to 5 route his degree offered, he shifted to Delhi against his family’s wishes and ventured on his own like an entrepreneur. Once there a friend offered him two job choices one in Music and the other as operator in an advertising firm. Mohit chose music and the rest is history.
Mohit says that the music in his family inspired him as his grandfather Rana Krishansingh Ji sung classical songs in the house and he was also associated with the great K.L. Sehgal whenever he visited Himachal Pradesh.
It is no small coincidence that his favorite singer is “Kishor Kumar” who was never formally trained yet is regarded as one of the greats in the music industry.
He adds that music has been a constant companion whenever he was out trekking or mountaineering.
Like Kishore Kumar he too was without any training in Music but his interest in playing the Guitar and the Flute was fuelled by natural talent. His acumen encouraged Mohit to start his band ‘Silk Route’ in 1996 with likeminded individuals. They released their first album ‘Boondein’ and the song ‘Dooba Dooba’ debuted at number one on the charts cementing their place in the Indian music scene.
Mohit then released “Pehchan” with Silk Route and after the band dissolved in 2008 he moved forward with his solo career. His solo album ‘Kalam’ was a unique anthology of poems written by the former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
Mohit says that Silk Route was a very special turning point in his career. He draws attention to the band Silk Route’s cultural diversity which allowed them to play all kinds of music and sing in different languages. His anguish at their break up in 2008 is great but he feels that miracles can happen. He is looking forward to reuniting with his band mates in the days to come.
Bollywood has also kept him busy. He started his career with the maestro A.R. Rehman singing ‘Khoon Chala’ in “Rang De Basanti”. The success that followed has made Mohit want more out of playback singing.
His latest hits have come from the songs "Tu Ne Jo Na Kaha" for the 2009 film New York, "Ye dooriyan" for Love Aaj Kal, and "Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai" for Kaminey.
As a singer Mohit knows the struggle to be the best he can be will always exist. However his entrepreneurial instincts belie a deeper problem. The profusion of talented singers, and up and coming talent makes it very tough to survive. Mohit adds that their suffering is compounded by the experiments going on in terms of music and singers. The commercialization of television and the radio plus the decline of physical sale of music has only added to their burden.
Mohit continues his struggle and shines through with his musical gift in the sea of talent that is Bollywood. He muses that if he had not become a singer then perhaps he would be herding sheep in Himachal Pradesh. We believe that even then his destiny would come a calling and propel him into our hearts with his songs and his music.