Her debut single Maula, with lyrics penned by the great Gulzar, has gotten over a million views on YouTube so far. Belonging to a musical family obviously inspired Reewa Rathod, but her music is all her own. She tells Sailesh Ghelani about her love of nature and languages, what makes a good tune and her fondness for food. Have a listen.


In an interview somewhere you said that in a talented family like yours ‘expectations also run high’. So what was expected of you and do you think it influenced your decision to become a singer?

All the great musicians I’ve been in touch with since childhood, as well as my parents, expected a lot out of me. They wanted me to create something unique. I put my heart and soul into what I do and try doing something different. Maula is just who I am. It’s not an effort to impress anyone. This is how I would like to hear myself in the future.


Tell me something about the theme and idea behind the Maula music video.

It’s magical realism. It’s quite surreal and evokes a hypnotic effect when you look at it. Maula is a tribute to love and nature. People tend to take the word Maula as being very Sufi. I wanted to make something very modern.  It has a sensual vibe to it. It’s also dark. I’m a complete animal lover; I have two dogs and I used to have a horse. I used to ride horses at a national level, but music was a priority so I had to leave it. It was a dream come true to ride a horse bareback in the video. It was freezing cold in Ooty but it was good fun.

Watch the Maula music video:


Who are your favourite Western artists/singers and have any of them inspired you in any way?

Michael Jackson is my biggest inspiration. I like Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake too.


What do you think makes a catchy tune, something that people keep humming and do you think songs nowadays are lacking that timeless quality?

It should touch your heart; you should feel it within you. When a person listens to a good song and can see all the different elements come together, it’s very healing. I try to create a healing effect through my music. If I don’t feel it in my heart, my listeners won’t. In Maula, it’s about dealing with hardships and the ups and downs in life. The range of the song is vast with lots of different vocal techniques. I’ve put everything into that one song.


If you had inputs or changes to the lyrics, how would Gulzarji react and work with you on them?

I didn’t change a word of his lyrics. Gulzar saab was blown away with the tune. He said I gave it a different perspective altogether. A song is like a tattoo. You have to perform it for the rest of your life. Maula is that song for me.


I’m told that you’ve become very interested in fitness. What new programmes or diets are you trying out and does it help you sing better?

I don’t diet. I’m a big foodie. I’ve cut down on rotis and rice. I eat veggies and chicken. I do strength and body weight training.

When will the rest of the songs on your album be released and what’s the tone of the release?

Some will be released this year. There are similar songs but there are ones that are completely different.


If and when you do become a parent yourself, would you encourage your kids to get into the music industry or would you let them do whatever they want to?

I would encourage them of course. My parents never forced me to learn music; it was something I always wanted to do. I always want to do something very different with my music and I want people to get that message.

Sitting in a room by yourself and composing is a discipline that takes a certain type of mindset. I don’t think of the commercial aspect of it, it gets in the way. I don’t have people who can give me ideas. It’s all me.


You’ve composed a track for a Spanish film (Rastres de sandal)? Was it in Spanish? How many languages do you speak?

The song is in English and has a bit of Hindi. I can listen to the words and sing in any language actually. Once I had a show for a doctor’s conference, they were coming in from China and Turkey. So I sang a Chinese number and an Arabic number. They were pleasantly surprised!


What’s next for you?

I’m working on two tracks with Buddha Bar in Paris. I’ll be working on another project with Ustad Zakir Hussain, but that’s hush-hush right now.



For more interviews click here

Like it? share with friends