Tiwari at 60th Filmfare pre-awards party
|Native name||अंकित तिवारी|
|Genres||Film score, playback singing|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, music director
Ankit Tiwari is an Indian playback singer and music director. His career began upon meeting Pradeep Sarkar, where he got a chance to work on jingles and started composing background scores for television programmes. Subsequently he was offered to compose music for Do Dooni Chaar (2010) and Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster (2011), where he started his singing career with the song he composed for the latter.
In 2013, he released his third song, "Sunn Raha Hai" from Aashiqui 2. The song along with its album was nominated for two Filmfare Awards winning the Best Music Director Award for the album along with Mithoon and Jeet Gannguli. In 2014, he again collaborated with Mohit Suri—director of the film Aashiqui 2—for Ek Villain, where he composed and sung the song "Galliyan". For the track he received another two nominations in Filmfare Awards winning Best Male Playback Singer Award. He also recorded song "O Yara" for the Pakistani film, Bin Roye, which top the charts.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Artistry
- 3 Controversies
- 4 Filmography
- 5 Awards
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Life and career
1986–2007: Early life
Ankit Tiwari was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. His parents own a music troupe in Kanpur called "Raju Suman and Party" which performs at religious convocations. His mother, is a devotional singer. He initiated training in music at the age of three, by his grandfather. His paternal grandfather is a renowned Rhythmist of Kanpur while his maternal grandfather owned a devotional music group. By the age of seven, he used to tap the dholak and tabla harmoniously and by the age of eight, he learnt to master the harmonium. Though his parents wanted him to complete his studies first, his inclination towards music led them to decide on training him professionally. He trained in classical music from Vinod Kumar Dwivedi before training in piano, Dhrupad and Western vocals. He used to practice for nearly 12 hours a day. He instituted at ] and won several local music competitions during the time. Talking about his studies, Tiwari commented; "I was bad, very bad in studies. But I won so many musical awards for my school that I was never rapped on the knuckles for being so awful in studies". He used to work as a production head at a radio station in Gwalior, before he moved to Mumbai on 5 December 2007—to try his luck in the film industry—along with his brother Aditya Tiwari and resides in Versova, Mumbai.
2008–12: Beginnings and early releases
In Mumbai, Tiwari met Pradeep Sarkar who was working on a film at that time. Though the film got shelved, Sarkar gave him, along with other musicians, a chance to work on jingles. It was then he composed a couple of background scores for television programmes. At Sarkar's office, Tiwari met Habib Faisal, who offered him to compose the music for his directorial debut film Do Dooni Chaar which was released in 2010. Later his brother Ankur Tiwari introduced him to the producer Tigmanshu Dhulia, for whom he composed the theme song of Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster (2011). With the film, Tiwari made his singing debut where he rendered the song "Saheb Bada Hathila" along with Vipin Aneja. Describing his early struggle to become a composer, Tiwari stated, "I left my native place to come to Mumbai, got routinely cheated, was given bad words, had phones and doors slammed on me. All my work and time was going down the drain. I didn't get credit for some work I did".
2013–present: Aashiqui 2 and Ek Villain
In 2012, a friend of Tiwari from Lucknow called Mahesh Bhatt and introduced Tiwari to him. Bhatt recommended to show five of his best songs to Mohit Suri, the director of the film Aashiqui 2. Tiwari narrated the song "Sunn Raha Hai"—which was ready with him for long—to Suri, which he responds that he will use the song "when he gets the right movie". When he was confirmed that the song will be used in Aashiqui 2, he made a live presentation to the team because of the melody in the track. When the crew questioned him on whom to dub the song, Tiwari sung a demo of the song for which the team finalised him to render the song. Since the situation of the film demands it, Tiwari composed a female version of the same song which is rendered by Shreya Ghoshal. The song follows the same lyrics and composition with different instruments. Apart from receiving critical acclaim, the song fetched Tiwari with multiple awards and nominations. He shared his first Filmfare Award as the Best Music Director along with Mithoon and Jeet Gannguli. The team received the Best Music Director Award from other ceremonies including IIFA Awards and Zee Cine Awards. Apart from music direction, Tiwari received his second nomination in Filmfare Awards as the Best Male Playback Singer. As his second release of the year, Tiwari collaborated with Sachin Gupta—marking his first song to the tunes of another composer—for the song "Aag Ka Dariya" from Issaq.
2014 began with the film Dee Saturday Night, where two of his songs, "Falsafa Mera Falsafa" and "Jhatak Ke Nacho" went mostly unnoticed with the music listeners. He then performed the track "Kaisa Hai Dard Mera" which is composed by Ismail Darbar for Subhash Ghai's Kaanchi. Tiwari composed two tracks for the film Samrat & Co., titled "Sawaalon Mein" and a party song "Tequila Wakila" where both are rendered by Ghoshal while Tiwari provided the male vocals for the latter. During the year, he performed three tracks for two of Himesh Reshammiya's films, The Xposé and Action Jackson. His rendition for the song "Sheeshe Ka Samundar" from the former received critical acclaim, while "Punjabi Mast" and "Dhoom Dhaam" from the latter received negative response from music critics. In July 2014, a duet with Tulsi Kumar titled "Kuch Toh Hua Hai" was released. Included in the film Singham Returns, the song was written, sung, arranged and recorded in a span of 24 hours. The year ends with "Dil Darbadar" from PK marking his first composition and rendition in an Aamir Khan film. Apart from all the songs released during the year, the most successful track was "Galliyan" from Ek Villain. The song was a critical and commercial success; Mohar Basu from Koimoi described the song as "the most attractive song of the album" stating "Tiwari's music and voice adds the required finesse in this song and what he has made darn great!". The song fetched him several awards for Best Male Playback Singer including from Filmfare, Star Guild and Stardust Awards. Subsequently he received his fourth nomination in Filmfare as the Best Music Director Award at 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards. In the year, Tiwari made his debut in a Kannada film with the song "Nillu Nillu" from Dil Rangeela which is composed by Arjun Janya. The song marks the first appearance of Tiwari in a regional film.
While Tiwari was working with Singham Returns, director Bhushan Patel informed him that he wanted a "sensual, yet romantic number" for the film Alone (2015). Hence he composed and sung the song "Katra Katra" along with Prakriti Kakar. They again collaborated for the song "Bheegh Loon" from Khamoshiyan. He then composed three tracks for the film Roy, "Tu Hai Ki Nahi" which is picturised on Ranbir Kapoor, "Yaara Re" which is rendered by KK and "Boond Boond" performed by Tiwari himself. The unplugged version of "Tu Hai Ki Nahi" performed by Tulsi Kumar along with the original received mixed reactions from critics though infusion of the whistle's tune was appreciated.
Tiwari stated that he wants to explore different genres given the right opportunity, though it shouldn't be vulgar and should hold meaning. His second composed song "Saheb Bada Hatila" provides great enthusiasm and energy in the composition, where Satyajit from Glamsham called it "rock-musical" arrangement. In his next composition "Sunn Raha Hai", the male version features electronic distortion guitar, zitar and drums while the female version is supported by instruments like ghatam, flute, santoor and acoustic guitar. The variance in composition was particularly applauded by critics.
In 2014, Tiwari composed "Tequila Wakila" which lies in Spanish style musical background settings of bass, drums, saxophone, trumpets and guitar while "Sawalon Mein" from the same film has a mysterious type semi-philosophical composition which is decorated with haunting piano notes and bell sounds in the background. Rajiv Vijayakar from Bollywood Hungama mentioned that Tiwari seems to be "evolving into a composer with a decent range". In the composition of the song "Galliyan" it transforms from "being slow-paced, to quickly accelerating into heavy rock music and then settling into soothing traditional Indian-themed sounds", while the unplugged version dominantly uses the acoustic guitar alongside piano. However for his next song "Kuch Toh Hua Hai", Surabhi Redkar for Koimoi commented; "Experimentation wise, the song shows no novelty as the musical arrangements are not peculiarly impressive". According to reviewers, his last song released in 2014, "Dil Darbadar" has a huge "Galliyan" hangover and "doesn't actually fit into the scheme of things". In September 2014, Tiwari said; "People usually call me for love songs or songs of separation, which I love composing. But I don't want to restrict myself to a particular genre".
"Katra Katra" from 2015 had a similar fate with "Dil Darbadar" as the musical arrangements of both the song are similar to his earlier ventures. Redkar noted; "If only Tiwari could come up with something new [...] the only problem is that it all sounds the same". His next was a passionate and intense composition, "Bheegh Loon" which fits with the erotic thriller mood of the film. In "Tu Hai Ki Nahin" from Roy Tiwari used minimal musical arrangements mainly focusing on vocals and incorporate a whistle—first time he has used whistle as an instrument—which according to music listeners "sounds brilliant and has high recall value", while the next two tracks "Boond Boond" and "Yaara Re" were called "experimental" in terms of arrangement.
Tiwari named KK and Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin as his idols. He picked Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as one of his inspiration and dedicated a song to him from one of his composition at MTV Unplugged 4 – Episode 06. Among the actors, Tiwari expressed his desire to dub for Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor.
Prakriti Kakar, whom Tiwari has worked in songs like "Katra Katra" and "Bheegh Loon", called him humble, and "very down-to-earth". She stated, "His command over music is great. He is a fabulous singer, and very hardworking". Lyricist Abhayendra Upadhyay thanked Tiwari for "boosting" his career. Popular singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan mentioned that he likes Tiwari's singing along with Arijit Singh's. Tulsi Kumar, for whom Tiwari performed the duet "Kuch Toh Hua Hai" said; "One thing I've definitely learnt from him is how to be relaxed while singing a passionate song. He concentrates on singing the songs with sensitivity". The composer duo Satish–Ajay, felt Tiwari is one of the versatile singers of the country. Singer Aditi Singh Sharma selected Tiwari as one of the most illustrious names in today's music industry with whom she would like to work.
Voice and rendition
Tiwari's early two releases "Sunn Raha Hai" and "Aag Ka Dariya" represent his "young energetic and strong vocals" which was well received by the critics. His another release "Jhatak Ke Nacho" from Dee Saturday Night brought the same vocal range and quality as of his previous songs. "Kaisa Hai Dard Mera", despite with the similar pattern has a semi classical touch in his rendition. His one of the most successful venture "Galliyan" provided Tiwari with a high vocal range which was particularly appraised in the song though Rajiv Vijayakar from Bollywood Hungama felt he sings the track in a "gimmicky tenor that sounds fake". His voice and rendition was criticised in "Dil Darbadar" where Swapnil Raje from IBNLive wrote; "Tiwari's choice to distort vocals using the Auto-tune software takes away the charm and rawness of a plaintive melody like "Dil Darbadar".
Though Tiwari's rendition in the song "Kuch Toh Hua Hai" garnered favourable reviews, his "diction" was criticised. Similar sentiments were echoed for the song "Katra Katra". Tiwari's voice structure in his renditions, was compared with some his fellow contemporaries. His singing in "Tequila Wakila" was contrasted with Vishal Dadlani while for some of the music critics, his performance in "Sheeshe Ka Samundar" was found similar to the style Arijit Singh follows. Sheetal Tiwari of BollySpice calling Tiwari's rendition in the "Bheegh Loon" from Khamoshiyan, an "emotionally charged rendition" thought that he sings most of his songs in his "signature lazy brooding vocals". Regarding his vocals Vijayakar wrote; "Ankit's patent alternation between high-pitch and his breathless style of long-drawn diction has begun to jar for a while now".
On 9 May 2014, Tiwari was arrested for allegedly raping his girlfriend, while his brother was booked on complaint of making threats to her life. Tiwari was apprehended under rape charges after a 28 years old advertising professional approached the Versova police station alleging rape. In her statement, she said that he raped her on many occasions since July 2013, after promising marriage. A week later, he was granted bail by the Sessions Court on the condition that he furbish a bond of Rs 20,000.
As playback singer
As music director
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