Singer-composer Jasleen Royal has established herself as a sought-after musician in the industry in just more than five years. With no connections to the industry, she still managed to compose hits such as Din Shagna Da (Phillauri; 2017) and Jahan Tu Chala (Gully Boy; 2019) for Bollywood, and that, too, at a time, when female composers are scanty in the industry.
But she says that her gender has got nothing to with her becoming a composer. “I was always clear about wanting to compose songs. And my gender played no role in it. It wasn’t like I got opportunities faster because I was a woman, or later for that matter. But I would love to see more women writing and composing music, and even heading music companies. For years, women have been left behind in the workforce because traditionally, we were supposed to look after the homes, but now, things have obviously changed. And even in our industry, I can see a lot of my female colleagues now writing and composing music. The gap was anyway very big, but I feel it will get covered soon,” she says.
Royal adds that while she never explicitly experienced the downs of nepotism or favouritism, these factors definitely exist in the industry. “There is nepotism and there is favouritism. It’s not like these things don’t exist. I have witnessed it at award shows, when even if you are nominated or win an award, people who have connections but have not done as much work are still given more importance because they come from an influential family or because they have a name attached to them. So, jagah banane mein thoda time lagta hai industry mein... but at the end of the day, your work speaks for you,” says the composer, who recently released a new track titled Sang Rahiyo. The song has already garnered one million views on YouTube within three days of its release.
The Kho Gaye Hum Kahan (Baar Baar Dekho; 2016) singer and composer recently also recovered from Covid-19. While she says that there is fear of the virus, things are slowly getting back to normal. “My sense of taste hasn’t fully recovered yet. I can’t taste everything, so I get very excited when suddenly I can taste something,” she signs off with a laugh.