Singer-composer Jasleen Royal on her regrets, inspiration and dreams
Singer, songwriter, and composer Jasleen Royal speaks about not having a mentor to guide her during the early stages of her career, her regrets, and her dreams.
Jasleen Kaur Royal, popularly known as Jasleen Royal, is every girl next door. With no family background in the music industry, Royal taught herself and participated in the music reality show India’s Got Talent in 2009, and even ended up being one of the semi-finalists.
Later, Royal’s fate took a turn for the good, and today the 31-year-old is a favourite for every Indian wedding.
Starting with actor Anushka Sharma and cricketer Virat Kohli’s wedding song Din Shagna Da, to recently composing Ranjha for actors Kiara Advani and Siddharth Malhotra’s wedding, Royal has been lending her voice to every Indian couple’s dream wedding.
However, Royal’s turning point in her career was when she met music director Sneha Kanwalkar and got her first Bollywood break with Preet in Sonam Kapoor-starrer film Khoobsurat (2014). Since then, she has been consistently topping the charts with her compositions for Baar Baar Dekho (2016), Dear Zindagi (2016), Hachiko (2018), Veere Di Wedding (2018), Gully Boy (2019), and Shamshera (2022), among others. Royal composes and sings in Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, English, and more recently, Tamil.
Recently, YS Life caught up with Royal during the Royal Stag Boombox musical event to discuss the highlights of her career, regrets, and what it means to have the country marry to her compositions.
Edited excerpts from the conversation:
YS Life [YSL]: What have been the top three highlights of your career?
Jasleen Royal [JR]: I think the first would be grabbing Baar Baar Dekho as a composer. Both the songs from the movie–Nachde Ne Saare and Kho Gaye Hum Kaha did immensely well. The second would be Ranjha. People have come to me and told me that it is a life-changing song.
But I believe that you need to have a body of work (and not one song) to help you reach those life-changing moments.
The third is going to be my next song!
YSL: If you had the chance to change one thing in your career, what would that be?
JR: I wish I had more knowledge about how the music business worked when I started my career, so that I could make wiser decisions, and protect myself and my interests.
You know, when you don't know much, some people take advantage of the fact that you are a newbie, and you will not be paid as much as you deserve. I just wish I had more knowledge about IP (intellectual property) rights and everything else, because I do not come from a music background and I had no access to this kind of knowledge. Now I am learning about these things, but having someone to guide me at that point would have been great.
YSL: Which song has been the most challenging, and the closest to your heart?
JR: I believe all songs are challenging, and all the songs have been close to my heart at that particular point in time when I am working on them. Once a song is out, I forget about it and move on to the next work. And that is how I look at things. I take the success and failure of a song the same way. I don't take anything too seriously.
YSL: Your songs have now become the wedding anthems in India. How does that make you feel?
JR: Din Shagna Da was obviously a wedding song (in the movie’s context), but Ranjha was never intended to be a wedding song, and I am so happy that it has now become another wedding anthem!
Recently, I sang the Tamil song for Hansika Motwani, which was also used for her wedding. Being a Punjabi who does a lot of Punjabi songs, I got the opportunity to do a Tamil song, which went on to become a wedding song, so it is all a great coincidence. I am happy to be a part of such a special day in people’s lives and their happiness just rubs off on me and that makes me really happy.
YSL: Who has been your inspiration?
JR: A R Rahman Ji.
YSL: Who is that one actor that you wish to lend your voice to?
JR: I want to own my songs and I want to sing for myself. And if someone likes it, I am more than happy for them to use it. It should just be a good project and has to be picturised well.
YSL: What is your ultimate dream?
JR: My ultimate goal is to give my parents their dream house. I hope I will be able to do it super soon!
(The feature image has been sourced from Royal's Instagram account)
Edited by Megha Reddy