Interviewer: Akansha Jubilee Merahkie.

In the world of Indian music, few voices resonate as deeply and evoke emotions as effortlessly as that of Pankaj Udhas ji. With a career spanning several decades, he has become a household name and a beacon of gazal music. I had the privilege to sit down with the maestro himself to discuss his musical journey, inspirations, and the evolving landscape of the music industry.

Jubilee Merahkie: Pankaj Ji, your journey in the world of music has been remarkable. How did your musical journey begin?

Pankaj Udhas: It’s wonderful to be here, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my story. My journey began in childhood, with the influences of my family’s love for music. I started by singing at local events and gradually developed a deep passion for music. It was my elder brother, Manhar Udhas, who recognized my talent and encouraged me to pursue music seriously.

Jubilee Merahkie : Your gazals have touched the hearts of millions. What inspires your songwriting and musical compositions?

Pankaj Udhas: Inspiration for me comes from life itself – its beauty, its intricacies, and the range of emotions it presents. My gazals often draw from the experiences of love, longing, and human relationships. Real-life stories, personal emotions, and observations of the world around me contribute to my songwriting. I find immense joy in translating these emotions into melodies that resonate with people.

Jubilee Merahkie : The music industry has transformed over the years. How do you view the changes in music consumption and production?

Pankaj Udhas:  The changes have been substantial, undoubtedly. The digital era has made music more accessible than ever before. While this has its advantages in terms of reach, it has also posed challenges in terms of preserving the authenticity and depth of music. The era of physical albums and the emotional connection they brought is now replaced by streaming platforms. However, I believe that good music will always find its way to the hearts of listeners, regardless of the medium.

Jubilee Merahkie : Your iconic album “Chitthi Aayi Hai” remains etched in memory. Could you share the story behind that album?

Pankaj Udhas: “Chitthi Aayi Hai” holds a special place in my heart. The album was inspired by a real-life incident. I received a letter from a soldier posted on the border, expressing his yearning for his loved ones back home. This touched me deeply and became the catalyst for the album. The gazals within “Chitthi Aayi Hai” resonate with the emotions of separation, longing, and love across distances. It’s heartwarming to know that these songs continue to touch people’s hearts.

Jubilee Merahkie : What advice would you give to aspiring musicians and singers?

Pankaj Udhas:  My advice would be to stay true to your passion and believe in your craft. Be open to learning, adapt to changing times, but always preserve the essence of your art. Perseverance, hard work, and a genuine connection with your audience are key. And most importantly, let your music reflect your emotions and experiences; that’s what makes it timeless.

Pankaj Udhas’ journey is a testament to the power of music to transcend boundaries and touch souls. As our conversation drew to a close, it was evident that his dedication to his art, his humility, and his deep understanding of human emotions continue to be the driving forces behind his musical endeavors. With each new song, Pankaj Udhas reaffirms his place as a musical legend and a source of inspiration for generations to come.

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