INTRODUCTION: In an exclusive interview with SoundboxIndia, Chicago-based singer Lisa Mishra talks to Joanne D'silva about how she came on board for The Wakhra Song in the Rajkummar Rao-Kangana Ranaut film, Judgemental Hai Kya. She also shared her experience working with Tanishk Bagchi for the very first time, her reaction when she found out that she was going to sing for Bollywood and more...
How did you come on board for The Wakhra Song?
Tanishk Bagchi and I have known each other for the past year, ever since I released the Tareefan reprise version. And we always kinda wanted to work together and wanted to attempt to make something, and we were just waiting for the right song and opportunity. He sent me a text to come back and try this one out. Of course, because I love the song already so much, it is one of my favourites. It was just really great that this is the one he had for me to try out.
For the first time you have collaborated with Tanishk Bagchi - what was it like working with him?
Working with Tanishk was really awesome, as he is very clear about things. He is very focused when it comes to working and does not like wasting time. Also, he is just so very nice. So it is a wonderful mix of somebody who is incredibly responsible about time and he is so on it. And then the balance of being very funny in life and easy to get along with.
What was the brief given to you about the track by Tanishk?
I was told that we were going to remake The Wakhra Song and having the new female verse was Kangana's perspective on the song. Of course, it was super exciting for me to be invited to do that, because I loved the song already and there was an easy familiarity and comfort for me to sing this song.
Did you feel any pressure to live up to the original song?
Of course I felt the pressure of living up to the originals, because - including myself - there are so many people who love the original Wakhra swag. I hope we did it justice and I hope it has come out great. It is really cool to have a female rap on this and the female verse on it that gives a new perspective to a very familiar and well-loved song.
Why are you so choosy with your projects in film music?
I don't think it is 'choosy'. I just want to make sure I have the right fit, because I do really have a different voice, sense of pronunciation and style of singing than other singers. So I think anything I work on shouldn't sound forced, or shouldn't sound like I am attempting to sing something that I am not comfortable to sing. I think it is less about being choosy and more about prospecting that music has a certain space for a certain voice. And then we don't have to sing all the songs all the time. We can be discerning about the projects that we choose.
What was your reaction when you found out you were singing for Kangana Ranaut?
I was so excited to sing for Kangana, because she is one of my favourite actresses. Not only that, to sing a song for this soundtrack for this film was long awaited. Rajkummar Rao is also one of the finest actors in the industry, so to croon a song for their film was an honour as was to get this opportunity to sing for them.