Singer, composer and songwriter, Zaeden is among the newer generation of independent artists in India who started his career as early as the age of 14. After non-stop working on his first Punjabi track Lagda Na, the DJ-turned-singer connected with Hindustan Times and shared his thoughts on the latest release, the struggles of being an unsigned artist in India, upcoming plans in Bollywood and more.
During the exclusive conversation, Zaeden aka Sahil Sharma was on his much-needed break in Thailand after wrapping up two tours across India post-pandemic. Zaeden, who believes the pandemic has been productive for artists, said, “I finished my songs during this time. If not for covid, I don’t think I would have been able to make this decision.”
His latest release Lagda Na released on September 9. The music video featuring Miss India Rajasthan 2020 Aruna Beniwal, stood out despite fierce competition in the Punjabi industry. “I haven’t been worried or thinking about that competition at all, to be honest. After my first Punjabi cover song, I got support from the kind Punjabi community. A lot of established artists commented that I should do an original song in Punjabi. I would say I am more excited and thrilled to work on it, rather than nervous. In fact, I am a fan of so many Punjabi artists. Yo Yo Honey Singh was very kind to my song and even shared it on Instagram.”
“I haven’t been able to see a single negative comment so it gives me immense confidence to work on more Punjabi songs,” said the 27-year-old. He further said he is blessed by the kind reception to his new song.
Zaeden rose to fame as a DJ and shared the stage with international artists at popular shows including David Guetta’s Mumbai concert and Justin Bieber’s first-ever India tour. However, he risked it all and went beyond EDM to launch his career as an independent artist. Is it easy being without a label? He answered, “I agree with the fact that in independent music there are a lot of things that you have to do all by yourself. There is no label backing you or doing your marketing, there’s a creative side and production-related things that also you have to look into. In my case, I want to give a shoutout to my producer, Stunnah Beatz for being the backbone behind Lagda Na. If the song is good, it will spread. There are so many examples of independent music which made its place; ultimately it’s on the product. You can have all the money to spend on promotion but if the song is not good it won’t work.”
After Punjabi, does Zaeden have plans to navigate his way into Hindi films? He quipped, “I would love to actually. If it’s composing music for a Bollywood movie or just a song, I would love work. It would be challenging and I would love that as an artist. As of now, I am really focused on my independent music. I have 4-5 songs lined up now. I am very content.”
“I would love to say yes to DJing, but I am so occupied. From writing to composing, I do everything for my songs. They keep me focused at this point. What I am doing currently is giving me so much drive and ambition to be better. I am right now I am not missing DJing,” he added.