Pawni Pandey has come a long way since her first appearance on the reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs in 2006. Although she did not win the coveted prize back then, Pandey never lost hope and continued to pursue her passion for singing. Pandey, now 21 years old, has toured several countries with popular singers and musicians, the most recent one being the six city US tour with Sukhwinder Singh. While tours and recording sessions keep her busy, Pandey never fails to miss her riyaz even today. “I started singing at a very young age, three to be precise, and I have always believed that music was my calling since childhood. It was only when I turned nine that my family realised that I was very keen on pursuing a full time career in this field. I was born in Jaipur, but my parents decided to shift to Mumbai to give my career a push,” stated Pandey, who confessed that her family had no idea about the industry in Mumbai, since they didn’t know anyone. It was Sa Re Ga Ma Pa that pushed her into the limelight, as she became a household name thanks to her popular performances.
Formally trained in Indian classical, with special training in western music from world renowned vocal dynamics trainer Thomas Appell from Los Angeles, Pandey looks upto Lata Mangeshkar and is a big fan of both the Hindustani and western music genres. “Maybe, that is the reason why my family sent me to California for a formal training in western music, which I think has really helped me,” she quipped. Pandey’s first break came with the Punjabi film, Ek Jind Ek Jaan in 2006. Although she was only 13 years old back then, she was roped to sing the number Cheecho cheech ganeriyan with singer Hans Raj Hans. She adds, “I was definitely excited, since I went on to sing in different languages including Telugu, Oriya, Marathi, Bhojpuri among others. But I was also looking forward to my Bollywood debut. It finally happened when composer Dabboo Malik ji recommended my name for Sohail Khan’s production venture, Kissan, in 2009. I sang a dance number called Jhoomo re jhoomo.” After that, there was no looking back, as Pandey received several offers. She went on to sing tracks for films like Bodyguard, Policegiri among others.
Although the singer has worked with quite a few popular composers in the industry, Pandey enjoyed working with director and composer Soumik Sen, for whom she sang the upbeat dance number, Sharm laaj, in the Madhuri Dixit Nene – Juhi Chawla starrer Gulaab Gang.”Working with Soumik sir was an absolutely fun-filled experience. He is very friendly and made me feel comfortable. He pays close attention to the details of a song and such things help upcoming artists like me,” mentioned Pandey. While talking about her experience of working with senior music composers, she expressed her wish to perform with music maestro A.R. Rahman. “A.R. Rahman is one of my favourites. It is every singer’s dream to sing for his composition, so even I am waiting for my chance,” she adds.
Instead of focusing on the trends of albums and singles, Pandey prefers to pay attention to a bunch of projects which are coming up soon. “This year, you will hear my voice in films like Fugly, Majhi – The Mountain Man, Guns Of Benaras among others. Hopefully, the audience will like my work and continue to support me,” concluded Pandey.