Trust your gut

Singer Nikitaa says a great support system is important for success


The beginning

I started my career in Los Angeles in 2015. It was with one of my classmates who is now my favourite person to work with and like a brother to me—Mukund Komanduri. Together we had the chance to work with Red One, Ferras (co-songwriter to Katy Perry), Joe Crow (previously worked with Adam Lambert) and several other artists. He has been a part of the production of every one of my single releases so far. My musical journey in India started last year after Daboo Malik collaborated with me and I released my first ever Punjabi single Vichhoda Yaar Da. Shortly after, I decided to switch bases and work from my hometown Mumbai for a while. I have been lucky to cross a million views on YouTube on all of my last four major releases (Vichoda Yaar Da, a cover of Aa Jaane Ja + Piya Tu released with SaReGaMa Carvaan, Clutch and Goddess). My English release Majesty received three film festival awards for the video.

Current projects

I just put out an acoustic version of my latest single Goddess that I worked on all by myself—from start to finish on both music and visuals—during lockdown.

Memorable times

Musically, I think one of the most memorable times was a smaller acoustic set I got to play last year. I got to tell the stories behind the songs that night, and it was so much fun.

Greatest challenge

Getting out of my own way, both as a person and a creator. It is easy to trust the lies we tell ourselves that we need to be or act like someone else. But understanding the truth is key as it makes your career authentic.


My strengths are my honesty, compassion and forgiveness. I think the newest one is confidence. As an artist, it used to be just singing and songwriting, but now I am growing as a producer and music video director and I love it.


Sometimes I overthink things or take myself a little too seriously. But I am blessed with friends who have taught me to look past that and laugh in those moments.

What do you binge watch?

Friends, The Big Bang Theory, RuPaul’s Drag Race and any supernatural fiction show I can get my hands on.

Lessons learnt

Be strong and always trust your gut. Invest in yourself and consult your inner voice before making decisions. It will always be the difference between success and failure.

Fitness regime

I used to love lifting weights, but my first passion is always dance. I have been on a low weights-high functionality-training-circuit, and I have started dancing again as well.

Diet mantra

I don’t believe in diet culture. Bodies go through seasons and shifts. I believe our nourishment should adapt with it.

Typical day

Wake up, journal or reflect, grab a steaming cup of golden milk, get to work in my home studio, take my nephew out for a drive in our neighbourhood in the evenings (we stay inside the car), dinner with my family, sleep and repeat.

Ways to unwind

I use my skin care routine and either a few Friends or Big Bang Theory episodes to unwind before I head to bed. That and spending time with my cat; he loves cuddles.

Dream for the future

To continue to make music across languages side by side, to create a lane for brown women within mainstream music and culture and to give people the world round a real taste of South Asian culture.

A hobby you picked up during the lockdown.

I picked up baking. I used to bake so much when I was younger and I have started to do bake again.

One dish you whipped up during this time.

I made stir-fried Chinese greens and some rice for my family the other day. A few weeks ago it was pasta and before that my mother, sister-in-law and I made homemade pizza.

Three wishes

Number one—I wish this pandemic comes to an end; two, I want to be in Los Angeles (I had every intention to travel back and forth for work but of course for now that is out of the question). And, three, that those facing the worst of the current global situation are provided with relief, aid and justice.

Why do you think your life is smart?

I think my life is smart because it is full of people who support me, hold me accountable and love me unconditionally. Having a great support system is such a big part of building a joyful and successful life.

As told to Oshin Grace Daniell