EXCLUSIVE: There is more creative freedom in independent songs than remakes: Tulsi Kumar

Music label T-Series latest song Tere Naal is a special collaboration uniting two artists and two cities, all for the love of music. After numerous requests from their respective fans, singing sensations -- Tulsi Kumar and Darshan Raval -- have finally come together for this soulful song. Composed by Darshan, Tere Naal is a song about love and longing and is written by Gurpreet Saini and Gautam G Sharma. While the making of this love song came with its own set of challenges, due to the current lockdown situation prevailing throughout the country, the young, successful singers wanted to give back to their fans in a unique way, thanking them for their constant love and support through all these years. 
Tere Naal was recorded and shot by Tulsi and Darshan from their homes in Delhi and Mumbai respectively, with creative discussions that happened over various digital communication mediums.  The making of this song was especially an enriching experience for Tulsi, who not only recorded and shot her portions of the song herself but also styled herself and did her own hair and makeup unlike in a conventional shoot where there are people to help you.

In an exclusive chat with, Tulsi spoke about her experience working on the song, collaborating with Darshan for the first time and more. Excerpts from the interview:

Can you elaborate more on the idea behind Tere Naal? Also how was it to work on it during Lockdown?

Tere Naal is the most special song that I have done for the audiences. Ofcourse, it is my first collaboration with Darshan Raval. We planned the song somewhere around February and we kind of met randomly, only to decide a collab together. That’s when the song started shaping up, I went to his studio and jammed together. Toh waha kuch thoda idea lag gaya tha ki the song will shape up well. It is a romantic number in the independent space. So yes that’s how the song went into making. Then, I went to Delhi as I stay there and we were on calls to take the song ahead and the lyrics got made. So I think, since it is a pop song, we had the creative freedom to work on it with our vision. By the time it was March, we were also under a Lockdown, which is a very unfortunate worldwide. Of course, we couldn’t finish the song. But the song picking up pace again in April and I recorded it from my home studio as we could not step out of the house. So the experience of recording my vocals from home and shooting the video with just one person on the normal camera is the USP of this song. It brings us more closer to the song. And I am happy that people are giving us so much, it is both interesting and exciting. It is a long distance song about love and it will always be remembered because of the lockdown situation.

How was it to work with Darshan Raval on the song?

I think it was really, really good. He has a great sense of music and he has done some great music in the independent and film space. I have done mostly films and in the independent space, I have not done much. That’s why we decided to collaborate more. We need to do more for the audience. In the lockdown, everyone is in a depressed space and as musicians, we should come up with something that can cheer up the audience. What better than music to bring positivity into people? We planned a proper music video but since the country was hit by the situation, we thought of coming out with it now only. From doing my hair and makeup to getting into the detail of every shot, we have done it personally. It was different working on it completely.

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What do you think is different in doing independent music and doing Bollywood remakes as you have done the latter extensively?

They are two different genres of music. At the end of the day, what makes my audience happy, is what I want to do. But when you ask me, there is certainly a difference in singing a film song and working on an independent track. Film songs don’t give that much of your creative freedom as it is not about you, it is about playing the character of the person for whom you are singing for. Like O Saki Saki, which is a recreation, and Tera Ban Jaunga for Kiara Advani in Kabir Singh are examples for both of them. For the latter, I had to fit into her character to kind of do a playback for her. But when I do a pop song like Tere Naal, it would be Tulsi Kumar and on screen it would also be me lip syncing to my song. Creative freedom is more in independent song. For this song, me and Darshan worked on everything so it helped up come up together and people are loving it.

In older films, playback singers and their voices used to be associated with actors and actresses. Who do you think your voice suits best on?

In the current times, I have sung for pretty much everyone. I think it gels well on Shraddha Kapoor as I have done a couple of track for her, right from Hum Mar Jayenge in Aashiqui 2 and recently, Enni Sohni for Saaho and Dus Bahane 2.0 for her film Baaghi 3. So I think my vocals work well for Shraddha.

What are you working on next?

Yes, you all can expect a lot of music from Tulsi Kumar during Lockdown. Tere Naal was the beginning and I also did a reprise version of Phir Na Milein Kabhi when the Lockdown started. Next month, I am giving you another song in the independent space. So I am all in for independent music in 2020, lockdown or no lockdown.