Rimi Nique ~ First Time in Kolkata
Recently, known for her appearance on the show The Voice Thailand, India's Raw Star, and The Stage. iYouth Mag gets to interview this multi-talented singer popularly known as Rimi Nique.
A. Okay! So this is going to be interesting. So you better hold on. So born and brought up in Thailand, Bangkok to a Sikh Punjabi family, studied in an international school and got my diploma and my international student scholarship to study in America. After that I came back to Thailand, did The Voice, then I got a call to be an artist on India's Raw Star-after that I got my first Bollwood playback for ABCD 2 singing and writing “Naach Meri Jaan”. So I haven't left since, Mumbai is my home now. My journey has been till here but my background has been all over the place. So I sing in my different languages, enjoy different languages. I am kind of a language geek, I am nerdy and I have been doing music throughout my life. But music is something that I did only after my academics. It’s like I studied but after a while I understood that music is all that I want to do.
Q. Tell us something about your school life and about your friends.
A. I have always been active into extra-curricular activities. I was kind of those kids who would do class and be in student’s council and be the head of the class and then after school, I played basketball and choir and be associated with the Red Cross. People used to say that I was one of those over ambitious kind of girls. In college,I was the president of South Asian Student’s Association. So me being Thai and Indian, I was single handly responsible for holding Holi and Diwali in our college and Thai festivals such as Songkran. I was totally a college kid. Very talkative and very active. So yeah that’s me.
Q. So basically you are a Punjabi?
A. Yeah! Punjabi by blood.
Q. So what food do you like? Punjabi or Thai? Don’t be diplomatic. (laughs)
A. I love both. I love food. At home we cook Japanese, Thai, Punjabi, Italian etc. Mom is from India and Dad’s from Thailand. A fifty-fifty percent split. Fifty is from Thailand and other fifty from Ludhiana. I grew up in a typical Punjabi family. Like one those where Mamus and Mamas, Nanis and Nanas live together. Like that huge extended family kind of atmosphere. I had it that way from my dad’s side in Thailand and from my mom’s side in Ludhiana. But when I'm hungry my first go to would be a Thai food. Like I would quickly go and cook some Thai food.
Q. Have you ever tried Bengali food?
A. No, I haven’t. But I want to, badly. I have tried Sandesh. It’s so yummy. It’s basically like Barfi. Milk barfi or Kaju barfi maybe. I am a big foodie. (laughs)
Q. So how did you start singling? Did you get the family support?
A. Actually, the reason I am singing at present is because of family support. They believed in me before I believed in myself. Music has been a passion for me, always. And I was the eldest daughter so you know how this goes. You get the pressure of doing Economics or Science. But my family was like do your academics and then then do your music and sports. We are so much rooted in our culture specially for those who leave their country and go abroad. They basically try to preserve the culture that they have. In Canada there are so many Punjabis around you and they are so deep rooted. I mean if you’re an Indian no matter what, you will be deep rooted in culture. Since I got ot visit India more often because of my mom I was naturally exposed to the culture.
Q. So you know about Holi and Diwali?
A. Yeah! Totally. My first ever singing that I did was Shabad Kirtan in a Gurdwara. so I know how to play the harmonium. That was my first stage, the Gurdwara. Dadima taught me how to read Punjabi and read ‘Pathh’ and then I went on the stage and sang with her. So that is how my singing began. I used to take part in school talent shows and all my highschool competitions. I ended up being a part of one of the most prestigious choirs aswell. I had a band in college-It was one of those typical experiences where you go around America with your band, with instruments in the van and make money, use that to pay for gas and food and keep going. I am so grateful that I actually got to experience all this.
Q. Tell us about your Role model.
A. A lot of people have asked me this before but I can never pin down one name. I always tried to be a better version of myself every day. But people with strong independent characters inspire me. I was always drawn to artists like Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Whitney Houston. Like these kind of people. And among the Indians, I like Indian classical singers. I love singing old retro songs. Always enjoyed listening to classic music.
Q. …. So did you ever kind of had anyone who trained you into singing?
A. Not really. Am kind of self-trained. Kind of a natural singer, learned through being in choirs, bands, singing shabad etc. I got some minor training on Raag from my home teacher, Ravinder Kaur, to compliment my Shabad Kirtan.
Q. So do you watch Hindi movies or do you have any favorite star?
A. I watch hindi movies but never actually followed someone. It’s like am on of those who doesn’t get star-struck, except for once.I did something very silly when I met Sharukh Khan for the first time. I remember I was with Harbhajan Singh and he introduced me to Sharukh Khan and I actually got nervous,couldnt even shake his hand properly. Okay! Now am all again feeling very awkward. (laughs) But yes he is the reason behind me liking those Hindi romantic movies like Kuch kuch hota hain.
Q. Did you face any kind of negativity while you were stepping into this singing industry?
A. Not really. Because I came with a very grounded foot and everything I did, I did it through family. And when I used to feel that it’s going a bit too much, then I used to go home for a bit. I knew that I had to be very grounded or else my family would have called me back home. And moreover this kind of negativity comes in every field. But if you’re in the correct state of mind then nothing can go wrong.
Q. Tell us about your experience in India's Raw Star and The Voice of Thailand?
A. Me being Indian doing a Thai show in Thailand was quite over whelming. But I'm glad that I did it. I was a bit scared at first, because I am Thai but I didn’t look Thai. I mean this is an issue of every International kid. My professor complimented me by saying that am the citizen of the world. But yes it was a great experience. My coach, he was like Honey Singh of Thailand and just after that when Honey Singh spotted me and then I got a call from Raw Star, for me it was like jumping from one rapper to another. And as soon as I stepped in here, there was no looking back for me. It was more like I'm destined to be here.
Q. So which was better? Voice Thailand or Raw Star?
A. look, it’s really hard to compare because both of the industries are totally different. The music is different though both India and Thailand have very 'soft' and ‘dhinchak’ kind of music. But I would say in India the music is more kind of open to one of those Hindi-English kind of mix. But in Thailand, the music is purely Thai. But in India we get the chance to do both like sing in both Hindi and English. Over here, I have been able to grow in all directions but In Thailand it was totally one-way, a beginning. I can be more myself here too.
Q. Tell us about your future projects in Bollywood.
A. Well, recently I have been a part of many projects which I cannot disclose as of now as they are in the process. Yes I am at present working with a number of music directors and getting some really amazing projects where am getting to write and sing as well. I am getting to do what I like as I am getting to connect with quite a number of talented musicians. You get to jam with a lot of people, meet new people and learn lots of new and interesting things every day. So you just have to keep working and keep going.
Q. Okay, so tell us about the show? How was it? (laughs)
A. Amazing! One of my favorite shows, Everyone was dancing and singing , so much energy. The crowd was super-interactive, super-energetic and they danced along with me. I was nervous as this is a new crowd, my first time in Kolkata. But I had so much fun! Great vibes and super energetic. I’d love to come here again next year. I am totally a travel freak and I love visiting new places and being around new people.
Q. There are many people from the youth who are nowadays coming to the industry to make a name and be a part of several bands also indulging themselves into several kinds of wrong doings. So what is your message or advice for these upcoming kids?
A. One should know what they are getting themselves into and should come when they are grounded and ready. Don’t just come and think that you’re going to get something at one hit one go. It’s hard and it’s going to test you, no matter how talented you’re, you have to be mentally prepared because if you’re not, then it will eat you up in the wrong way. It’s definitely not an easy industry to break into and if you’re in there then you have to be strong no matter how many ups and downs you have.
Q. Last of all, suppose you’re given a day off from your daily busy schedules, how would your day be like?
A. Well, I am going to go somewhere in the wild, hiking maybe. Something to do with nature or watching movies all day (laughs). Should be something adventurous like scuba diving or sky diving. And you always need some ‘me’ time in your life cause that’s when you can be yourself completely.
By - Rupak Singh, Upashana Das & Shayan Sachin Basu
By - Rupak Singh, Upashana Das & Shayan Sachin Basu