Ritu Agarwal, the talented independent musician, composer, and songwriter, has gained a lot of fan following just at the age of 23. She started her YouTube channel way back in 2011 and it has a massive 885,293 subscribers and 42,909,835 views till date.

Ritu Agarwal entered the first season of The Voice, India and made heads of the coaches turn. She made it to the semi-finals of The Voice, India (Team Shaan). She is known for her confident, powerful and melodious versatile singing. She is a graduate in Hindustani Music and a trained Kathak dancer.

Speaking to thestatesman.com, the singer talked about her life, music and future plans. Excerpts from the email interview:

How did music enter your life?

It has been there since childhood. I have been singing since I was 5. Nobody is a trained singer, but they love music. My brother used to sing back in childhood but after I became one, he stopped. So I think he pushed me seeing that I could sing well. Every single person in the family pushed me. They said you have some certain talent so let’s just polish it.

Was singing always your passion or it just happened?

Yes, it has always been a passion. I loved singing in school as well in college but I think I never saw it in the pages to make a career out of it. I never thought of it as a mainstream career. As they say, when it’s going to happen, it happens. So I think that’s what happened with me. And YouTube and YouTube Fanfest came in and I am loving it.

We also heard that you loved doing Kathak too. What interested you more?

I have learnt dance for a long time. If you still ask me I still want to be a dancer and not a singer, but I think I am not that good at dancing. I might make use of it somewhere, just the way I use my instruments to make my videos interesting. So you might just see me dancing in some of my videos.

How did ‘Girl with Guitar’ get associated with your name?

I got this tag back in “The Voice, India” when they heard my voice and they knew I used to play a lot of instruments. This tag became more prominent when Bulleya happened. So we made sure to give my version of Bulleya a rock star look. Because everyone expects me to be very chill, a very dainty and a very subtle kind of person, which I am. But I think when you are opting for versatile singing, you should know how to present yourself and that’s what I did in Bulleya.

When did you come up with the idea of taking up singing as a profession?

I didn’t choose it. It just happened because after I was done with college. And I had learnt Indian classical music, I did my graduation and masters in that, and I think that was a very strong backbone for me to pursue music further because I had the confidence that my foundation is strong and I knew I could build my career in music.

At a very young age, you tasted success. How do you feel about it?

I don’t know if it is a success for me but yes it is a stepping stone for me. Looking forward to a lot of more things in life.

Which is the most memorable experience that you would like to share?

I think there have been a lot of The Voice, India and multiple live shows.

How is life after becoming a YouTube sensation?

Good so far, and being a YouTuber, I get to meet a lot of interesting people and interesting artists, so that is a big thing because being in a very closed space like your studio, you don’t really get to meet people. Especially when you are in a sector like YouTube, it’s just you and your computer. So I think you need to step out and meet new people, good artists, and good musicians, so I think fanfest is a very good thing for that and I am enjoying it.

So, how does it feel to be admired by millions of people for your voice and songs?

I feel very gratified, very lucky, very blessed that people can see my hard work and that they can connect with my music because that’s what everyone looks forward to, they just want to be accepted. So I think that’s a big thing that I got in my life at an early stage and planning to sustain it as long as I can.

What is the one advice you want to give to all your fans who are pursuing singing?

I think being a singer you need to know what your voice is because these days originality is the thing, no matter how good or bad you sing, the point is you should have your own voice. People are looking for originality, so I think you just need to figure that out and not imitate somebody’s voice, because it makes no sense. Like when we have an Arijit, we don’t need one more Arijit. So just concentrate on that and polish your talent. If you are not a skilled musician, try and learn from somewhere. You can learn it from YouTube if not a teacher. If you are passionate about something, you do make sure you have done something to be good at it.

The singer was game for some short questions and answers. Here’s how it went:

Favorite Song

Bulleya

Favorite singer

Sunidhi Chauhan

Favorite music director

Pritam

Future plan

Bollywood