'I don't think I was prepared for Bigg Boss.'
Some singers are not limited to just their vocal skills and are open to showing off their acting prowess when the opportunity presents.
Akasa Singh, known for songs like Kheech Meri Photo and Aithey Aa does just that with SonyLIV's new Web series, Chamak. She plays a singer in her first acting role.
"Nobody even knew I did Chamak while I shot it! People came to know about me being a part of the show only recently when the first announcement was made," Akasa tells Rediff.comContributor Mohnish Singh.
Tell us something about Chamak and your role in it.
Chamak is based on the Punjabi music industry, which is amazing because I feel I am connected to that.
My character's name is Lata and she is this girl-next-door, sweet sort of a girl.
Surprisingly, she is not a proper singer.
She always wanted to be one and always looking for her father's validation, who is also very new in the music industry.
So, yeah, it was a very interesting and amazing character to play.
Is the show based on the life of Amar Singh Chamkila?
This show is fictional.
Having said that, a lot of people will relate to a lot of things but, in my opinion, it is a fictional show.
How did you become a part of it?
When I was in college, there was Mukesh Chhabra's first-ever workshop which I was a part of.
Back then, he had said, 'You should take acting seriously and consider doing this and music together.'
At that time, I was focusing on music only.
I definitely wanted to try acting also because I did, at one point, start with acting but nothing happened.
Cut to 2022, when I got a call from Mukesh Chhabra.
I remember I was in Europe and he was like, 'I need you to send me a video right now. There is this show and I am exploring something for you.'
I sent him a video from a bus stop.
He called me five minutes later and said, 'I want you to do this show.'
He made me speak with Rohit (Jugraj Chauhan, Chamak's director).
It was a very surreal sort of a thing because Rohit and Mukesh Chhabra felt I fit in the character.
It was very last minute, there was no workshop, no nothing.
That's how it happened.
If you receive a good response for the show, will music take a backseat?
Not at all! I can't let that happen.
Look, every acting project nowadays has a song or two, right? Whether it's Web shows or films, I am aiming at doing both alongside, singing for myself in the role that I am playing. That would be perfect.
Did your stint in Bigg Boss 15 help you professionally?
Yes. Everybody goes in with those thoughts in mind and it does help because you are on one of the biggest platforms ever. So, yes, that is definitely there.
Having said that, I had not really watched the previous seasons of the show. I don't think I was prepared for a platform like Bigg Boss.
I think I just went in thinking it's a reality show, it's about my personality, but I sort of got lost.
I couldn't fit in that world.
I don't know how to create a hyper reality of my personality or fight.
I don't like fighting. I don't know these twisted ways of getting ahead.
I don't know how to play mind games.
I don't think it helped me as much as it did others but it definitely gave me a huge platform and a lot more people know me now and they know the person behind me.
Are you watching the current season of Bigg Boss?
I have unfortunately not been able to, but I keep getting snippets on Instagram.
Who are you rooting for?
Since I personally know Vicky Jain and Ankita Lokhande, definitely them. Also, Munawar Farooqi.
Munawar, I believe, is a beautiful artiste and I hope he does well.
How was it associating with Ricky Martin for a duet in 2017?
That was right in the beginning when I had started my hip hop career.
The best part about that association was that my voice was sent to them as an option and they chose it. I think that will always be one of the most precious things because I had not believed it when they told me it's with Ricky Martin.
Not only did he like my vocals but also kept it in the song.
That was one of the biggest compliments, opportunities and projects I have done.
In a time when there are hundreds of singers available, how difficult it is for a singer to sustain and make a mark?
Very difficult. It's like facing rejection every single day.
They say it for a reason that being an artiste is the survival of the fittest.
It's easy to give it up because you have to face rejections on a daily basis.
So yeah, I think it's difficult because there is so much talent but the opportunities are not that much.
Apart from Chamak, what else are you working on?
Nobody even knew I did Chamak while I shot it!
People came to know about me being a part of the show only recently when the first announcement was made.
And I wanted it that way.
I have been passionate about acting as an art and I wanted people to first see my work and then judge me.
After this show is when I will actually start.
Hopefully, I will be going for auditions and reading scripts and stuff. My prep is already on though.