Himani shares her inspiring story
When a certain Himani Kapoor appeared on the singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa in 2005, it did not take long for her to become a household name. Known for her soulful voice and niche in Sufi music, Himani gave her first big hit in 2010’s Band Baaja Baaraat, with the song, Dum Dum. But post that, things soon went south for the singer.
“Dum Dum was a huge hit, and of course, because of the song, I was supposed to get more offers but I fell in love with someone and got married. He was my senior in school. It was a very spontaneous and impulsive decision. So, after that, I left singing as a career because my priorities changed, and I moved back to Faridabad, Haryana,” she says. “And when you are away from Mumbai, it’s very difficult to remain active in the scene. Back in 2011, YouTube and social media were not a big deal. So, I was away and then after two years, I gave birth to my daughter, Amayra Kapoor. But eventually, things didn’t work out between me and my husband, and also my in laws…” adds Himani, as she opens up about her divorce, and how she is now trying to get back to the groove.
The singer says that the one thing that helped her the most to bounce back was an article that she read about singer Kanika Kapoor. “I was reading about how she got back into singing after a failed marriage and three kids, and that inspired me. At that time, I thought everything was over for me, and I could never go back to where I was in my career, but that article pushed me to try,” she says.
Slowly, things started looking up for Himani, and she started working towards her career again. She moved back to Mumbai in May 2016, and started working with music director Arjuna
Harjai. “I learnt a lot from him, and then, slowly, I started getting shows. Of course, I wasn’t getting paid the same amount that I used to, but at least, it was something. But soon, I was broke, and I shifted back to Faridabad to my mother’s place,” she says.
This was when Himani met Manan Bhardwaj, a meeting she calls a “blessing in disguise”. “He was a fan of my music. I, too, loved his work. After meeting him, we decided that I was going to release back-to-back covers on YouTube as a way of getting back into the scene,” says Himani, who has sung Bollywood songs such as Meri Awargi (Good Boy, Bad Boy; 2007) and Jogi Mahi (Bachna Ae Haseeno; 2008).
But bygones remain bygones, and Himani says she has no regrets. “At that point, I was only 22 years old, and too young to make any decisions. I saw a lot of fame when I was just 17 in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. I suddenly saw a lot of money, so I thought I was already a grown up. But your mental age doesn’t change. In that rush, I took that decision . It was not a ‘dil dimaag se socha hua’ step. But I have no regrets as I gave my best to that relationship,” she says.
Eventually, Himani released a couple of covers which gained traction online, and soon, she developed a fan base of her own in the digital world. Now, she is ready with her latest song — Aaj Jaage Rehna, from Nawzuddin Siddiqui’s upcoming film. Himani says that her personal experience has made her more mature and improved her singing. After returning, for a year, I did not sing anywhere. I was just doing riyaaz. But I am happy now that Aaj Jaage Rehna happened,” she signs off.
HT Cafe, 17 Nov 2019