Shraddha Kapoor is the reason a scattered group of musicians comes together in Rock On 2. Her character Jiah is a prodigal talent with the keyboard and vocals who, for a mysterious reason, is not able to reach her full potential. It is a role that needs both the confidence of an artiste and her vulnerability and Kapoor, playing a singer and an actor, takes up one of her most challenging roles yet. The actor has sung in films such as Ek Villain, Haider and Baaghi, but Rock On 2, she adds, is a different level. The film will release on November 11. Excerpts from an interview:
Was it the chance to sing your own songs that drew you to Rock On 2?
Actually, it was Rock On!!, the first film, that attracted me to Rock On 2. I had watched it with my parents and my brother. After the film was over, everybody else stood up but I kept sitting. I was so moved by it. My father turned to me and said, ‘Let’s go’, to which I said, ‘Bapu, when there’s a sequel to this movie, I’ll be in it.’ The film was an instant favourite, with its theme of a music band and the friendship. When I heard the filmmakers were making Rock On 2, I called up Ritesh (Sidhwani, the producer), and said that I would like to be considered. He asked me to meet him and added that they mainly wanted to hear me sing.
Do you have anything in common with Jiah, apart from your love for music?
When I met Shujaat (Saudagar, director), he wanted to me spend as much time alone as possible. He knew that I had had a sheltered upbringing and that I haven’t travelled alone, unlike Jiah. He also invited me to go along with the team on a recce to Shillong, where I could disconnect and learn to be by myself. I did try to spend as much time as I could with myself, putting up a ‘DND’ sign on the door. I live with my family, so this meant that no one could knock on my door and come in while the sign was up. I needed to do this because Jiah is very aloof. She taught me to be alone. Jiah just packs her bags and takes off. I feel that I’ve learned how to be by myself, just reading a book or listening to music. I think that’s important.
Did you need any music coaching for the film?
I have had some training in classical music. I regret that I didn’t train more with my nana (Pandit Pandharinath Kolhapure), who was a classical legend. For this movie, I did some voice modulation, because I needed to be able to sing in a slightly rock fashion. My trainer was Samantha Edwards, who is a voice coach and a wonderful jazz musician.
You recently performed in Shillong, where people know and love music. How was the experience?
I think Shillong was one of the best parts of working in this film. It was so green, beautiful and quiet. Performing before the crowd was amazing. They are very non-Bollywood and have a different energy.
Is this the point at which we will see you take up more playback singing?
I would like to sing in all my films but I’m not sure if that will happen. Honestly, I like the idea of the lovely singers we already have singing for me. I can’t even compare myself to any of them.
Favourite workout jam?
Electronic dance music
Song that moves you to tears?
My heart will go on, by Celine Dion
Favourite rock song or performer?
Live or studio?
Live. The energy of the crowd is amazing
First song you ever performed before an audience?
Paani Paani Re from Maachis