artists interview artists | Anand Bhaskar, Kamakshi Khanna

Kamakshi Khanna and Anand Bhaskar talk new skills, commercial music, the honour of wedding songs and more

Artists interview Artists is A Humming Heart’s brand new series where musicians take on their peers to know them and their experiences in the music industry better.

Anand Bhaskar is a singer and composer, the frontman of Anand Bhaskar Collective, and even more famously, the man behind beloved soundtracks like Mirzapur, and most recently the latest Disney+ Hotstar series Masoom!

Kamakshi Khanna is a singer-songwriter who has also been part of the scene for a few years now. She recently found her music on Netflix’s The Fame Game and Prime Video’s Modern Love: Mumbai.

Despite knowing each other, and of each other, this was actually the first time the two were going to have a one-on-one conversation, and they touched on a variety of topics—interesting, insightful and fun (our favorite trio)—like honing their skills, how they find colleboraters, their foray into commercial OTT music, and a lot more.

Here is an abridged, and edited excerpt of a part of their conversation, to encourage you to go ahead and watch the entire interview right after. 

Anand: This is actually the first time we’re going to be having a one-on-one conversation. For everyone’s who is going to be watching this, Kamakshi and I will be interviewing each other. I have never done this before, I have never interviewed anyone else, forget am artist, or a fellow artist, or a vocalist, or a musician. This is a new experience for me.

Kamakshi: For me too!

Anand: What is a new skill that you have learned recently?

Kamakshi: Music related, I’ve been recently learning a bit about production. I learned a lot with my last release with Sanjeeta [Bhattacharya]. It’s a song called ‘Swimming’. In that project, I learned a lot about how to produce music. It was the first time I was releasing a song that I produced. Another thing I learned through that process was how to make a music video happen, how to source locations so I think that project taught me a lot.

Otherwise, I recently learned how to make risotto, and I think I’m never doing it again. It’s absolutely the worst!

Anand: (laughs) Why?

Kamakshi: It’s the hardest thing to cook!

What about you? What is something you’re trying to get better at, musically or otherwise?

Anand: Everything I have composed so far has been by ear, I have zero music theory knowledge. I’ve studied Indian classical music, but then deep inside I’m a rock musician. So, I think when I picked up the guitar, I could figure out the correlation between the Indian musical concept, viz a viz the western musical concepts. So, my current focus is on learning music theory and that’s what I’m doing. Learning music theory by way of learning the piano, which I’ve been royally unsuccessful at so far.

That aside, a new skill that I tried to learn, but couldn’t see it through was…acting. I actually joined a theatre group. My goal was not to go for auditions, or act in a film or a web series. My goal was to make my live performances a bit more uninhibited.

I take pride in the fact that my band puts up great live performances. I just thought that my interaction with the audience could be smoother than what it is right now. I thought doing theatre would really help me with it. And it did! I did four months of theatre and I still can’t act for shit (laughs).

Kamakshi: Wow, that’s incredible. And it’s a great idea, I think I would also maybe, definitely consider. Just generally, a lot of times as musicians, just by default and like as an occupational hazard, we end up being on the camera so much, and doing these kinds of things, interacting, or being on stage and talking to the audience. And I’m sure it helps with everything, all the stuff that nobody tells you, that you have to be good at.

Watch the full interaction here: