A yearning of lovers: Meet singer and composer Akull who released a new single ‘Bahana’ dedicated to couples separated from their lovers amidst the pandemic
Akull is a multi-talented singer, composer and producer, born and brought up in New Delhi.
With previous hit tracks such as ‘Laal Bindi’, ‘I Love You’ and ‘Laal Chunariya’ he recently released a new song titled ‘Bahana’ which is a three-part story series, that follows his previous year's hit ‘I Love You’.
Bahana is dedicated to all couples who are away from their lovers and showcases their profound yearning to meet one another amidst the lockdown.
As the video unfolds, it takes you through a visual and emotional journey of a couple from happier times together and to a point where Akull is left reminiscing old memories and waiting to be by his lover, Livia (who was also featured in ‘I Love You’).
His craving to see his lover during the lockdown urges him to write and dedicate this song to her. As the song ends, the video hints at a third part to the series to be released soon.
Talking about Bahana, Akull stated,
“Bahana is yet another special song for me. After the kind of response I received for I Love You last year, I was very certain about creating a Part 2 of the story with Livia since everyone appreciated our chemistry. We are all currently living in a very interesting time and I thought this would be a perfect time to work on Bahana - Part 2 of the story and to give fans a refreshing take on what a lot of lovers must be experiencing.”
Akull worked with Mellow D on the lyrics and with Ankit Jayn as Diffuni (Akull x Ankit Jayn) where he shot and directed the video completely under lockdown.
In an exclusive interview with YS Weekender singer and composer Akull talks about his new lockdown single ‘Bahana’, the inspiration behind the song, how he created a niche for himself in the Bollywood industry, and his message to fans coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
YSW: Did you know that you always wanted to be a singer? Were you passionate about music since a young age?
AKULL: Since my childhood I have been a very passionate listener of music and I remember listening to all kinds of genres, but I had never thought of becoming a singer then.
After my college when I started pursuing music as my career, but singing was the last thing I attempted. After understanding how music is created, I started creating beats and instrumental music which eventually got me to sing.
YSW: What were one of the first instruments you picked up, and how has this made a difference in your life with regards to your music?
AKULL: I had a bunch of instruments like the Bongo, Congo and Piano at home. Music has always been my key interest and that made me a self-taught pianist. But later on, I learned to play the piano well.
I believe as a musician it is very crucial to know how to play instruments as they play a very important role in making music and these instruments help me create new songs every time.
YSW: Who were some of your early inspirations/influences in the performing arts world, singers, musicians, bands, actors, artists, filmmakers?
AKULL: Quite a few artists like Ricky Martin, Michael Jackson, The Eagles, Bryan Adams and Band like Backstreet Boys and West zLife had a lot of international influences on me as kid. But UK and Punjabi artists, a couple of Bollywood songs and a bunch of Pakistani artists were my core inspirations during my growing up years.
YSW: Who are they now?
AKULL: I am grateful to be in the field of music where I get to create and hear new music every day and I am certain to be inspired from the world music and not by just one artist.
YSW: What would you describe your musical style as?
AKULL: My musical style can’t be categorised under one particular genre. It’s certainly different but you can say it is a mix of urban and Indian, yet contemporary music which helps me bring fresh sounding songs to my audience.
YSW: An early musical memory or performance of yours you look back on fondly.
AKULL: I have done a lot of shows in the last few years but what I fondly remember is a performance from my school days which is not musically related, but it was a show where I was doing acting/drama and dancing.
YSW: You have written powerful tracks in the past that are celebrated hits such as ‘Laal Chunariya’ ‘I Love You’ and ‘Laal Bindi’. What is your song writing, composing, and brainstorming process like?
AKULL: My process of composing songs has been pretty much organic, whether it is a tune or just a lyrical thought. I never sit and start making a song, I note whatever comes to my mind and I just go with the flow.
YSW: Recently you released ‘Bahana’'. Tell us about this song and the inspiration behind it.
AKULL: Bahana is a song that denotes a feeling to all the couples who are away from their lovers due to the current lockdown situation. The song was created when the lockdown had started, and the video was also shot during the lockdown. The video of Bahana is presented as a continuation of my previous track ‘I love you’.
This one is a melancholic romantic song, and as the video unfolds, it takes you through a visual and emotional journey of the couple from happier times together to a point where they are left reminiscing old memories and waiting to be by each other, portraying a new normal for couples in love.
I wanted to express the feelings of couples who are away from their lovers and the song showcases the profound yearning to meet one another amidst the lockdown.
Hence, I started to work on the hook of the melody that I had created and after jamming the same with my guitarist, I really liked the way it was sounding and from there I started developing the song.
YSW: Who are some of the individuals you worked with to bring the song and music video to life?
AKULL: The music of Bahana has been composed and produced by me along with Mellow D who has written the song and has been collaborating with me over the last bunch of songs.
All my musicians have made the song a delight to hear, right from the mixing engineer Eric Pillai to the guitarist and to the violin player.
I think there is so much soul in the music that people will love to hear it on repeat.
I directed the music video along with my friend Ankit and that was the core team of Bahana.
YSW: You produced music for the title track for the movie ‘Malang’ making your Bollywood debut as well as producing music for the track ‘Jee Karr Daa'. What was the experience like, and would you like to produce more songs for the Bollywood industry?
AKULL: Yes, I did produce the title track of Malang and it has always been a sizeable experience working with Mohit Suri. The whole Malang team was amazing and with Ved’s great composition I had a lot of fun in creating and producing this music.
With Hardy we did ‘Jee Karda’ which was again a very different experience. I already had the song ready and he instantly loved it and wanted to record this as his single and we did it. Both were equally good experiences.
YSW: Do you plan to come out with more original singles this year, or even a full-fledged album? What are your future plans?
AKULL: Yes of course, I will be coming out with a lot of non-film songs this year along with a couple of Bollywood songs. And this process of creating and releasing music will keep happening.
YSW: What is your advice to your fans who are struggling with the COVID-19 lockdown and its restrictions?
AKULL: Well, I think this is a difficult time for everybody in some or the other way. It might be hard for some to cope with this, but I think we really don’t have a choice, other than being positive and safe with social distancing.
The best we can all do is utilise our time and resources in things we love to do as that will keep one motivated and maintain everyone’s sanity. It’s also important to keep ourselves healthy and build immunity, and to remain indoors as much as possible.
YSW: Your advice to others who aspire to become full time musicians and singer songwriters.
AKULL: I think my piece of advice to aspiring musicians would be just keep doing what you want to and believe in what you do.
Always keep learning and meeting new people and learn from them. This is what I believe in and that’s the advice I would like to give.
YSW: What do you enjoy doing most in your free time on the weekends when not making music?
AKULL: Apart from making music, what I really enjoy doing is getting hooked on to web series and keep watching it throughout the day.
(Image Credits: Singer Akull and VYRL Originals)
Edited by Asha Chowdary