Composer turned singer-songwriter Akshay Khot talks about ‘Tere Bagair’ music journey, Arijit Singh

A lover of soft acoustic music, composer-turned singer-songwriter Akshay Khot’s journey in music was a gift from his parents who were a part of this profession. It was his mother who kick-started his music journey with her gift of Congo and taught him to play keyboard and harmonium. While playing instruments, the talented musician found his love for music and went on to work with renowned artists like Arijit Singh, Padmashri Padmaja Phenani Joglekar and Shadab Rayeen etc. He has worked on both Hindi and Marathi music projects for films. With his latest song Tere Bagair, he stepped into the independent music scene as a singer-songwriter. In an exclusive interview with Music Beat Akshay Khot talks about Tere Bagair, his music journey, working with Arijit Singh and more!

When did your musical journey start? Did you always want to compose music?

My musical journey started way before I could understand music. My parents play music hence the first gift I received from my mother, was a Congo. She also taught me to play the songs on the keyboard and harmonium.

Gradually I started exploring myself with music during my college days by making poetry, listening to ghazals, experimenting with my voice, and learning guitar. I started enjoying the process of creating music with guitar. So one day, I composed a tune on the guitar and got an opportunity to set lyrics to praise my Spiritual Master at a pilgrimage, which is my first composition ‘Siddharam’. Then a friend approached me to make a devotional album ‘Rang’ where Padmashri Padmaja Phenani Joglekar humbly agreed to be a part of it with her mesmerizing voice and Shadab Rayeen had mixed the same album for me. Until this, my music was perceived as a hobby. It was only after the release of Rang that I started viewing music as my primary career option.

You have the experience of working with renowned artists like Padmashri Padmaja Phenani Joglekar and Shadab Rayeen for your first album ‘Rang’. How did it help in honing your composing skills?

Working with Padmashri Padmaja Phenani Joglekar and Shadab Rayeen has definitely help in honing my composing skills. Padmajatai agreeing to sing for my first composition was encouraging in itself, she taught me to be perfect in singing and making music. Shadab’s all-time learning attitude, expertise in identifying musical nuances, and love for work helped me to be in the music field and dream of being a full-time music composer.

With ‘Tere Bagair’, you have taken over the mike. Is it your first time? What made you explore singing too?

No, it is not the first time that I have taken over the mike. I have sung for my previous projects like my first album Rang, Marathi album Ganaraj Rangi Nachato, and few a more. But yes, as a singer-songwriter, this is the first time I am presenting my style of independent music.

‘Tere Bagair’ is a love song. What makes it different from the lot?

Tere Bagair is a love song but I believe minimal music arrangements and simplicity will easily make the audience connect with it and the track will possibly be on their music list for a long time.

Are you happy with the response received by Tere Bagair?

Yes, absolutely, I am happy in the first place because TM music liked my song and gave me an opportunity to reach out to people. I am looking forward to reaching more audiences. Surprisingly people are happy with my voice and the emotion, the song generates.

What’s your key genre? Are you open to experimentation?

I love soft acoustic music, but I am definitely open to experimentations, and as a composer, I have to deliver almost every genre.

Have you taken classical training in singing?

I am still in the process of guitar and keyboard training but I have not been in singing for a long time. Though I have been to a few music teachers for vocals but could not continue further, I am looking forward to starting soon.

What kind of music do you like?

I like music that connects to one’s heart so it can be of any genre, but I enjoy more of the unplugged music.

You have composed a yet-to-be-released song for a Marathi film crooned by Arijit Singh. Can you tell us about it more?

Yes, I composed a song for a Marathi film named YES I CAN, and I felt that if Arijit Singh sir sings, it will sound beautiful. It was so great of him that he loved the song and sang it for me. The track is again an emotional number expressing a journey of a father who is feeling lost from all sides of life.

How was your association and experience of working with Arijit Singh?

He was so great and down to earth, I never felt for a moment that I am recording with the star Arijit Singh, It was a beautiful experience to work with an expert like him. He sang the song with ease and within just 30 minutes. I am very sure that Marathi audiences will have a treat listening to Arijit Singh’s voice in Marathi.

What are your upcoming projects?

I am currently working on songs and scores of an upcoming Marathi film titled Kurla to Vengurla, and few web series. Besides, as a singer-songwriter, a few singles are lined up to release on digital platforms.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I am sure I will be the same Akshay learning new things everyday and experimenting with something new, be it music composition, music production, or writing. I love to be a student.

Playback singing or indie music, what’s going to be your key focus?

Anything that motivates me to keep producing good music a

nd I am happy to do anything that keeps me in music.

Any favourite singer, music composer with whom you wish you collaborate?

It’s too early to talk about collaborating with biggies, but yes I am sure that anyone who works with me will defiantly enjoy the process as I believe in soulful music.