Exclusive: Singer Jasleen Royal On Her Heeriye India Tour, Slow Success Of Female Artists, And Romancing Dulquer Salmaan

On ruling the world!

Singer/composer Jasleen Royal has made a special spot in the hearts and playlists of Indian audiences. The singer’s back-to-back hit tracks have not only made her the most successful female artist of her time but also proved how original music can touch the roof and ear success. From bridal entry songs to walking the road down to nostalgia with indie music, Royal’s powerful tunes have been a billboard special. Embarking on a special journey with her Heeriye Indian tour in collaboration with TribeVibe Entertainment Pvt Ltd, a BookMy Show Enterprise, the singer decodes the slow success of female Indian artists, making romantic music videos, and working with AR Rehman.

Q: Your latest song “Heeriye” is already a big hit and people have loved the music video. Do you think we can bring back the 90s trend of elaborate and kitschy music videos that became as popular as the songs?

Jasleen Royal: So when DQ and I were jamming on the video and everything, we just put out this intention that, “yes, we want to bring that 90s magic or what happens internationally with music videos outside.” We don’t want to make a generic video. We want to present, what we we loved as kids, like Lucky Ali videos, Mohit Chauhan, Silkroute, Alisha Chinai. You still remember the visuals of the songs and that was the intention. And I think it’s doing really well on YouTube. We’re close to 100 million views and it’s been accepted and received well. And so many people are just praising the visuals and the songs. So we’re very happy that we could achieve our vision through “Heeriye.”

Q:  How was it collaborating with Arijit Singh and Dulquer Salmaan on this? With the latter, especially, how hard was it to not keep crushing on him during the shoot!?

Jasleen Royal: See Arijit Singh and a romantic song, it’s like as big as it gets. We’ve done a few film songs, but this is our first romantic song. And I asked him “listen, I’m trying to go big in Indie and would you be able to come on board?” He just instantly said–”Yes, I would be happy to support.” And that meant a lot. And I think he’s the finest singer-artist we have in our country and it’s going to remain that way for a long, long time to come. And Dulquer Salman, of course, he’s a great guy and we really got along really well, temperamentally. We are kind of similar and we just discovered that during the promotions and all. And we’re just believing in doing what matters to us and we don’t want to get into a negative space of bitching or anything which is not required. He’s a man of few words, but he’s very sweet and very not at all demanding for an actor of his stature. He’s a great collaborator. He is one of the sweetest people I’ve met. And I’m very, very lucky and blessed to have done this project with him.


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Q: You’ve been the voice behind many popular bridal entry songs, composed for real-life female celebs. How do you manage to capture the emotion so well in your song? Do you have a favourite?

Jasleen Royal: Yes. My favourite is about to come in a month or two. So I’ve just made music and it’s resonated with people and they’ve used it as their bridal entry songs and I’ve done it for Anushka, Hansika Motwani Kiara and everybody. So I don’t know, I don’t plan it, it just happens. And maybe I’m from Punjab and this folksy kind of music, the tunes that I make are in my DNA, in my blood. So I don’t know, I just do what I love and what I’m inclined towards and I just try to stay honest and rest I have no control over it.

Q: Your song is huge on reels right now. What do you feel about this trend where songs are made with a ‘social media first’ intent?

Jasleen Royal: I don’t agree with this fully. “Heeriye” is not made like a one-minute piece of music. It’s not a one-minute song. It’s not like we’ve tried to make a catchy phrase. And when you approach music that way, I think it most likely fails. On reels, you never know what’s going to pick up. And sometimes you think that this is going to work and this is what the trend is, but you can’t make a thing go viral. It’s a thing that happens on its own. You can keep putting money and something, if it doesn’t have to go viral, it won’t. And sometimes you put like, zero bucks on something and it goes viral. And we’ve seen that. We’ve seen songs from the past and songs from the independent scene, which everybody thought, when only they know about it and they’ve gone viral. There’s one song from Pakistan right now, it’s an ad film song, and it’s just going viral. You have no control over what goes viral. And you can’t make things with the intent of social media first.


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Q: How do you gauge the success of your music? Would you say you’ve “arrived” or there’s still a long way to go?

Jasleen Royal: See, the numbers always tell you how far the music has travelled, but I think when people start making memes around your songs, how it happened during Ranjha, that is when you know. And every song has a different journey. Heeriye has so many memes and everything like kids dancing, it’s like my relatives are messaging me from different cities that we are hearing “Heeriye” everywhere. So I think that could be a benchmark for the success of a song that’s reached everywhere, for example with “Kho gaye hum Kaha” I saw the success of the song after like, four years of its release. So, some songs take time. Some songs are instantly hit. And even like “Din Shagnada” when it was released, it just took its own sweet time and then Anushka picked it up for her bridal walk and it just got viral. And here we’ve seen 2 million plus reels right now. That’s insane because nobody can put that kind of money behind a marketing thing. Like, someone has to be crazy. Close to 100 million views on YouTube. So I think one can understand that this is a successful touchwood. And I’m very, very grateful.

Q: Taylor Swift really affected an entire nation’s economy with her concert tour. You’re about to start yours. Are there any lessons you’re taking for her or other national and international pop stars as you do this?

Jasleen Royal:Oh, definitely. That’s an inspiration. And we are planning to do our best and to give our two-hundred percent into creating a concert, an experience which people have not seen before. And we hope to just make everybody happy and they feel that was worth spending the money and time for. And that’s the intention. I’m not thinking about anything. I just want to do my best and have an audience who will enjoy the concert. And I think that’s the first step and you don’t know what’s going to happen next.


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Q: As an artist, what inspires you to create your music? And which artists do you look up to?

Jasleen Royal: I can’t decode my process even if I try to. There’s no process, it either just comes to you or it doesn’t come to you. You have to keep sitting with an idea or you have to keep waiting for an idea to come to you. But the idea is to be disciplined about it and not give up when it’s not easy. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. And you just have to be disciplined about it. You won’t give up till the time you’re satisfied with the melody. Otherwise, sometimes you end up making lazy songs and that’s what I don’t want to do ever. Rest, I look up to a lot of artists. Rehman sir, Amit Trivedi sir, John Mayer, Coldplay. So these are some of my favourites.

Q: Indie music albums or playback for films and series, what do you lean towards more?

Jasleen Royal: Oh, I think I have phases. I started with an independent journey and then I started doing films. And now I’m back to work on my songs independently. Films are not interesting to me, so, I’ve made a conscious decision to not do film music for some time.


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Q: How is the Indian music industry pushing female artists? Are there any particular gender or other biases that you still encounter in the industry?

Jasleen Royal: Yeah, I think as women we just had a late start to everything. So still the power positions are held by men and this is slowly changing, like a lot of people say–”you’re the only female artist with so many popular songs.” And I feel happy. But also I feel like you know, there are more, more and more girls coming up and picking up the guitar or learning how to mix and master being in the studio, heading a label. So I think that’ll be a great change to see. But I think it’s happening slowly and steadily. But yeah, we still like can feel that there are not many females. There are singers. There are very few lyricists and not many composers for sure.


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Q:  You’re a total fashionista! What are your style essentials when attending a concert as an audience?

Jasleen Royal: So this is going to be surprising, but I don’t attend too many concerts because all day I’m doing music. I’m thinking about songs, I’m thinking about producing my videos, I’m thinking about my rehearsals, my concerts, the visuals, like how we want to do. So the last thing on my mind is to attend another concert. I’m sorry.

Q: For your tour, how did you go about picking outfits and beauty looks that you are going to do for your shows?

Jasleen Royal: So, I have a team who styled me according to my personality and his name is Prashant Mangasuli. He’s brilliant and he’s a very, very close friend. He’s one of my best friends. So he understands my personality and gives me something that is an extension of that and also something which is fashionable. And if it was up to me, I would just be wearing oversized hoodies and boots and stuff like that.


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Also Read: “It Was Her Lullaby”: Dulquer Salmaan Reveals His Daughter Would Sleep Only To THIS Jasleen Royal Song!

Q: Can you share with us how you prep your skin on days when you have concerts to perform at? And your post-concert skincare routine?

Jasleen Royal: I have a routine early in the morning when I wake up, I put a vitamin C serum on my face and then I put some sunscreen even if I’m at home or if I’m at home I don’t put on any makeup and in the night, if I’ve come from a concert I would obviously take it out. Then like my dermatologist has given me a nice moisturiser and sometimes I do like a besan, kesar, almond milk, honey pack if I get the time and I start my day with aloe vera juice which also helps your skin and your hair. So, these are the few tips that I follow.

Q: Who would be a dream collaboration for you (national or international)?

Jasleen Royal: Oh, I think dream collaboration with Rehman Sir, obviously. And it was lovely to get a message from him the other day. He mentioned–”We’ll definitely collaborate soon,” and I think I’ll wait for the day and it was like so encouraging, something like that to come from him, because I’ve always looked up to him.


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Q: What’s your favourite album, by an artist or of a film, of all time which you think is a complete album?

Jasleen Royal: I think I have many. There’s a guide there by SD Burman. There is Sathiya, Dil Chahta Hai. I think these are some wholesome albums which I love. Even Rang De Basanti. So yeah like these would be. I love Coldplay and I love John Mayer, and I don’t remember a particular album, but most of the songs by them I just absolutely adore.

Jasleen Royal And Sidharth Malhotra Sing Shershaah’s ‘Ranjha’ In The Flight And It’s So Cute!

Jasveen Kaur Sawhney

Jasveen Kaur is a fashion writer, and pyjama hoarder, who loves watching interviews of all kinds, and checking her Pinterest mood board every hour!

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