When Siddhant received the brief for penning the now sensational song “Aunty Kisko Bola Bey”, little did he know the song will go trending and be pegged as the feminist song of year, smashing conventional stereotypes to the core.
The song, a part of Netflix’s latest series Masaba Masaba, based on fashion designer Masaba Gupta and her actress mother, Neena Gupta, has created a hype among people as it challenges the age-old noun ‘Aunty’ and its connotation.
The writer behind the song, Siddhant Kaushal says he didn’t expect the reaction when he first penned it down. “Even though I strongly believe in what the songs represents and has sparked a discussion about, I never once while writing thought it would take a feminist stance,” he said.
Owing to his niche of writing songs in tune with the young generation’s vibe, Kaushal was approached for the song in October last year. “For me, the song was about the grace that comes with age. There is a line that says, ‘Chehre pe bhaley jhurriyon ki katayi hai, tere jaise nahi filter se hatayi hai’. What I wanted to say through the song was that the youth of today are living in virtual world more than in real. I wanted to give the message in a fun and perky way,” he said.
Owing to his Punjabi background, Kaushal has always mixed three languages- Hindi, English and Punjabi- in songs he has released. “I write the way people speak. The youth of today uses a mix of languages. This kind of song writing connects with them. I only pick up feelings and words being spoken in everyday life to seam them together. Poetry exists in our day to day life, all we do is observe and give it back to the people,” he said, talking about his writing.
With several songs in his kitty, Kaushal had also penned ‘Guzar Jaega’ – which became the first lockdown song to come out starring a host of celebrities and singers. The song took him a mere five hours to pen.
“It was in the first week on lockdown, when a friend suggested we curate a project around the pandemic. I knew the song could not be only about the despair but also about hope,” he said, adding that he wanted to write a song that may surpass the times and be remembered later as well.
The project began within two days. “It still surprises me how it took an entirely different shape, with the whole industry coming together to work on it,” he exclaims. Hundreds of singers and artists came together to record audios and videos via phones from their homes. The compilation released on Youtube on May 11 has already garnered more than one million views.
Now a famous lyricist with several hit songs, Kaushal, initially dreamt of becoming of singer.
His journey, he says, started in part due to his popularity as a singer at the boarding school he attended at Dalhousie. “I had become popular in school due my ability to sing. I was that all-rounder kid. Good in academics, gold medallist in swimming and singer at every house function,” he recalls.
When he shifted to Chandigarh in eleventh class, he joined the school band at DAV Sector 15. “After my boards I thought I would take up medicine and become a doctor, but soon realised it was not my cup of tea. My school music teacher recognised my talent and I switched to Arts.”
After completing college in 2010, Siddhant returned to the city to join his family business. As he got into the groove, he applied for an MBA degree abroad. It was only on the day of his visa application that he chickened out and instead decided to go to Mumbai to follow his dream.
He started writing dummy lyrics in 2014, only to realise he was good at it and soon started getting paid for his work.
“Instead of local trains, I started travelling by buses to buy more time to read. I read Gulzar extensively to improve my vocabulary. It hit me then, how beautiful the impact of words can be. After I started listening to songs from the 60s. I realised lyric writing was not just creative but technical as well,” he says.
His maiden song was called “Soja ri muniya” in the movie Khoobsurat. Siddhant has since worked in albums alongside Amitabh Bhattacharya and Manoj Yadav.
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