Brit-Asian singer Arzutraa (formerly known at Tripet Garielle) together with Dubai-based composer and producer Atif Ali has released new romantic Bollywood-style track ‘Kamli’. With six singles and four music videos to her credit, including the upbeat ‘Aa Vee Jaa’, ‘Wo Pal’ and ‘Saathiya’ which was fully shot in one of the world’s most luxurious cities – Dubai, Tripet is all set to her release her Debut album by end of 2017.
Here she talks about her experience of regularly traveling to Dubai for work from her home in England, fulfilling her Bollywood dreams and why she prefers to record all her songs only in Dubai.
1. What drew your interest towards music? Is this something that you always wanted to do?
I grew up listening to Bollywood music from a young age of 11 and I was always attracted to the melodies but not much to the lyrics though. I really didn’t plan a career in music initially but then my love-affair with Bollywood music took over. So it’s my love for the melodies and later the lyrics and language made me follow the line of Bollywood. I have spent quite some time learning Hindi and if I am able to sing today it’s all because of my dedication and love for the language.
2. You’ve been working with Dubai-based producer Atif Ali, who is also associated with some of the best in the Bollywood music industry. How did the association happen?
Atif Ali is undoubtedly the man behind my voice. A mutual friend introduced us and I presented him with my own composition. Atif spun around my melody into his own and politely suggested that he would compose and write his own lyrics to which I agreed. To be honest, I connected with Atif Ali within the first 50 seconds of our first conversation where he proposed a melody for me which I couldn’t get out of my head for days thereafter. But he laid down his conditions and one of which were that I can only record with him in his studio in Dubai. I agreed to this. We worked over Skype for eight months on the album and then I flew to Dubai to record with him several times for the completion of the album. And rest as they say is history.
3. There are great recording studios all across the world, but you choose to record in Dubai. You even have a music video fully shot in Dubai, tell us all about your experience of recording and shooting music videos in Dubai.
I have a very personal connection with Dubai. Having visited the country every year for the last 8 years, the magical aura of the Emirates really has been embedded deep inside of each song on my album. Every time I land in Dubai, I feel a sense of something magical is about to happen. The aura of the beautiful city and the country has really shaped my album. With all my songs being so love infused, I fall in love before I even hit the recording studio. I can only imagine it’s got something to do with the magic in the air – The air of Arabic warmth allows me to openly receive love in my heart. Every time I land, I feel my heart preparing to be filled with love unconditionally.
I don’t know if it’s the people of the country, the places, the landmarks or just the country itself – but this is exactly the inspiration I need to be able to sing an album with 14 songs all about true love. I remember recording my first song in the studio in JLT (Dubai) – I felt butterflies in my stomach. It might all be momentary but the inspiration needs to come from somewhere. I am really fortunate that my music producer Atif Ali is based in Dubai with his studio in JLT. His compositions and music really is a fusion of Arabic with Bollywood inspired sounds and that’s evident in the music. Asides from the Album which is due to be released sometime this year and is also being recorded in Dubai, my last two music videos, ‘Saathiya’ and ‘Kamli’ were shot in Dubai. Saathiya was really fun shooting on a yacht and ‘Kamli’ I felt the same magic when I was there recording the song a year ago. It’s nice to go back to the same country where the songs are recorded because the real feelings are in that country and that’s Dubai for me. And I like to relive my feelings by visiting Dubai. So I most definitely see myself making more videos in Dubai – my vision is to do something a little epic maybe showing the country itself in the next one.
4. Your work takes you from London to Dubai to Mumbai, what are the highlights and low-lights of working like this?
I love connecting with different people from different walks of life. The beauty about working with different nationalities is the ability to share cultural experiences and cross barriers and when this is applied to music, that’s where the magic happens. When I hear a fusion of Bollywood with Arabic and western style music, I feel proud of my team who have all collaborated to each give a piece of their homeland in my music. If I can bring people together with my music then my job is done. And music is just that – a universal language understood by all hearts. The lowlights are having tow work virtually most times. It’s not always possible to fly over so often, so a lot of the time telephonic communications and video conferences become important but then the ideas get diluted and creativity is affected.
5. Having worked in different countries, do you feel working in Dubai is different from the rest of the countries you have worked with? And how?
Dubai has a much more universal population than London – I think Dubai has definitely overtaken London in terms of its diversity of cultures and this is what makes it different to any other country in the world. I can work in Dubai and still feel like I am in Britain or work in Dubai and feel like I am in Delhi. I don’t think any other country offers this absolute diversity. The people that I meet in Dubai all spark up feelings inside me which actually helps me act out my songs when I am recording in the studio. Dubai for me really is a world within a world. The artistic flair that comes out of when I am there is something only the universe knows how or why. Working in Dubai really gives me a unique perspective.
6. Who has been your source of inspiration, so far?
My western musical inspirations are Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey but when it comes to Bollywood, I revere Lata Mangeshkar and Shreya Ghoshal. By listening to the songs of Lata Mangeshkar I have learnt the art of Hindi accent precision while the art of singing with style is something that I marvel about Shreya Ghoshal.
7. What is your practice routine like?
I practice for around 3-4 hours five days out of seven. One hour is taken just in Indian accent and pronunciation. I have three daily must sing songs: ‘Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai’ (Lata Mangeshkar), ‘Kehna Hi Kya’ (Chitra) and ‘Khayalon Mein Bhi’ (Shreya Ghoshal). I fit my practice between working on Skype with my Dubai-based producer and around planning and executing my music videos. Practice is always high up on my agenda as a singer I believe it’s not negotiable.
8. What all your fans can expect from you in 2017?
Having released six singles and four music videos till date, I am now working on the release of my First Debut Album. So in 2017 I look forward to releasing my First Debut Album. I am also working to introduce my own cosmetics line which will be launched under my own brand name worldwide. So this is a very special year to see multiple launches.