Exclusive: Harrdy Sandhu Tells All From “Kya Baat Ay” To His Dream Collab
Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student…
Singer Harrdy Sandhu’s latest hit, “Kya Baat Ay” has spread like wildfire. The track has fans singing along to the light-hearted and catchy lyrics and even inspired dance covers across the world.
Sandhu’s versatile music has spread internationally, especially since the remake of his song “Soch” for the hit film “Airlift.” From soft ballads to peppy dance numbers, Sandhu can do it all. His music videos are perfectly crafted to capture the essence of the track and he’s got quite the acting skills.
We had the chance to chat with this cricketer turned singer from Punjab for an exclusive interview. Sandhu shared the details of his latest music, his career obstacles, his current favorite tracks and even, his dream collabs. Check out the interview to find out everything Sandhu had to tell us!
DissDash: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, let’s start with your latest track, “Kya Baat Ay,” what was your inspiration for it?
Harrdy Sandhu: After “Naah” there was a lot of pressure because after giving such a big song we had to come up with another song which was equally good or even better. We had been trying for about 5-6 months and we made about 7-8 songs but all the songs had a different vibe to them and nothing was clicking. But then one day we came up with the hook line “Kya Baat Ay” and here it was a very common phrase and everyone uses this phrase for a lot of things every day. So when this phrase came out Jaani, who writes all my songs, said that we could go with this and then the rest of the song came about.
DissDash: The music video for “Kya Baat Ay” is such a colorful treat, what was it like shooting? What message did you want to send?
Sandhu: The initial plan for shooting “Kya Bat Ay” was in Thailand but about one week before the shoot we accidentally checked the weather and saw that during our shoot dates there was the prediction of heavy rainfall in Thailand. So then we started searching for new places for the shoot and that is when we came across these two towns called Fener and Balat which are about half an hour away from Istanbul and immediately we thought that these would be the best places to shoot the music video. I always try to do something different with all my music videos and this time we wanted to give a more international touch to the video and make it more colorful. This video does not have a proper storyline attached to it. It was just supposed to be a good music video. We did not want to give out a message in this video and just wanted to make it look good. Hence we decided to make it very colorful and bright.
DissDash: We hear you originally wanted to be a cricketer, so how did you become a singer instead? When did your love of music begin?
Sandhu: Yes, originally I did want to become a cricketer but singing was always my second passion. Even while playing cricket, I would be singing in the trains while I travel and even during my breaks I would always take to singing. The first time that I sang alone on stage was when I was 4-years-old. In 2007/8 I had a very severe elbow injury due to which I had to discontinue playing cricket. I tried a lot to cure the injury, met a lot of physiotherapists to get my arm cured. I even went to Australia on a student visa in order to find a better physiotherapist. Later when I came back from Australia I met the Sri Lankan Cricket team’s physiotherapist who was able to cure my injury. I got back into cricket again, was selected for the Ranji Trophy team but soon the injury returned. Which is when I decided to pursue my second passion instead, singing. I trained for about a year and post that came up with my first album.
DissDash: Do you have any other training? Do you play any instruments, or would you like to learn to play any instruments?
Sandhu: I trained as a singer for a year, but after that over the years I have been teaching myself, trying to incorporate the western styles into my singing and taking inspiration from all the good artists. I don’t play any instruments professionally but I would really like to learn how to play the guitar.
DissDash:Your lyrics are always so fun, how involved are you in writing your song lyrics and composing the music in your tracks?
Sandhu: Whenever we have songwriting and composing sessions I Am always present at them. Jaani and B Praak always say that it is very difficult to write a song for me as I keep making multiple changes even to the most minute details. So I always ensure that I’m present at all my the
DissDash: What has been the biggest challenge in your career so far? What kind of obstacles have you faced?
Sandhu: The biggest challenge has been moving from one profession to another. That phase of my life when I shifted from being a cricketer to a singer was one of the most difficult times of my life.
DissDash: In 2016, your song “Soch” was remade for Akshay Kumar’s “Airlift,” how did that happen?
Sandhu: I did not know till the time of release that my song was being remade in a film and I did not know of the process at all. That was my 3rd song. Now, I always ensure that in my contracts for all my songs it is mentioned that my songs can only be remade by me. But I personally really like Arijit Singh and I think he was the only one who could do justice to that song.
DissDash: Wow! That’s crazy! But your own music video for “Soch” was so beautiful, and your acting was brilliant! Did you ever want to pursue acting?
Sandhu: The ‘Soch’ video was the first time when I realized that I could act. I remember the first scene where I was acting as a mentally challenged person and I still remember the DOP had goosebumps when I shot the first scene and that was the first time I believed that I could act. Now I really love to act and I have also been watching a lot of movies to learn from them. I really do love acting and recently I have been listening to a lot of scripts, haven’t liked anything yet but definitely will be acting very soon.
DissDash: We definitely can’t wait to see you on the big screen soon! So, looking at the past you have collaborated with talented artists like Neha Kakkar and Raftaar, who would be your dream collaboration?
Sandhu: Yes, I have collaborated with Neha Kakkar and Raftaar but it is always only if the demand of the song requires a collaboration is when I want to do a collaboration and currently if you ask me who my dream collaboration is then it would be Cardi B.
DissDash: Cardi B in a Punjabi music video is epic! How about what’s on your playlist right now? Currently, what are your top 3 songs?
Sandhu: Currently I’m listening to “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, “Kya Baat Ay” and “Chogada” by Darshan Raval.
DissDash: Who is one of your biggest
Sandhu: My family is my biggest supporter as they have always supported me throughout my journey, from a cricketer to a singer. In both my early stages as a cricketer and my early stages as a singer without them I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did.
DissDash:If you can go back in time, what are 3 things you would tell your younger self at the start of your career?
Sandhu:Learning is the most important thing.
DissDash: Solid advice.What are some new projects you are working on?
Sandhu: I am currently working on a few more singles which will be coming out this year. There are also a couple of Bollywood tracks scheduled to release by December this year. There are a lot of exciting projects lined up for this year and you’ll keep getting to know about them as soon as they are out.
Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student who was born and raised in New York City. There is very little she loves more than Harry Potter marathons, pizza, 90s Bollywood, bagels, falooda, and her family. She hopes to use her powers for good by spreading mental health awareness and positivity in the South Asian community through her love of writing.