Hailing from a small town and a non-film background, and making it big in Bollywood is a rare feat achieved by just a few. Singer Ankit Tiwari, known for songs like ‘Sunn Raha Hai Na Tu’, ‘Boond Boond’, and ‘Galiyaan’, shares a similar story.

Born on 6 March 1990 in the historical town of Kanpur, Ankit Tiwari is a multi-talented personality. Music is in his blood, as his parents RK Tiwari and Suman Tiwari own a music troupe called ‘Raju Suman and Party’, which performs at religious occasions. His mother is a devotional singer in the troupe.

Ankit’s parents wanted him to complete his education before choosing a career path. However, his inclination towards music at a young age changed their stance, and they got him trained professionally. Under the mentorship of Vinod Kumar Dwivedi, he received training in classical music.

Later, Ankit Tiwari pursued professional training in piano, Dhrupad and Western vocals. He participated and won several local music competitions during his days in Kanpur. Before moving to Mumbai in December 2007, he used to work as a production head at a radio station in Gwalior.

In Mumbai, Tiwari met Pradeep Sarkar who was working on a film at that time. Though the film got shelved, Sarkar gave him a chance to work on jingles and background scores for television programs. His meeting with Habib Faisal on a later occasion resulted in Tiwari composing the music for Faisal’s directorial debut film ‘Do Dooni Chaar’ (2010).

Producer Tigmanshu Dhulia later roped in Tiwari to compose the theme song of ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster’ (2011). With this film, Tiwari also made his singing debut with song ‘Saheb Bada Hathila’. However, it wasn’t until 2012 when Ankit Tiwari got the biggest break of his life, for which he is grateful to Mahesh Bhatt and Mohit Suri.

In a TV interview, Ankit Tiwari, who garnered accolades for lending his vocals to ‘Sun Raha Hai Na Tu’, said that the song had its share of waiting before becoming a chartbuster. The famed singer revealed that Mohit Suri, the director of ‘Aashiqui 2’, did not like the melody of the song at first, but called him back after a gap of one year to present it to director Mahesh Bhatt.

After ‘Aashiqui 2’, there was no looking back. Apart from receiving critical acclaim, the song fetched the talented singer multiple awards and nominations including IIFA Awards and Zee Cine Awards, and a nomination in the Filmfare Awards as the ‘Best Male Playback Singer’. Ankit Tiwari became a household name, and his voice ruled all leading music channels on TV and radio.

The year 2014 brought more success to the renowned singer. Apart from all the songs released during the year, ‘Galiyaan’ from movie ‘Ek Villain’ was deemed to be his most successful track. A critical and commercial success, the song was described by Mohar Basu from Koimoi as “the most attractive song of the album”.

“Ankit Tiwari’s music and voice adds the required finesse in this song and what he has made darn great!” Mohar Basu had stated. The song fetched him awards for Best Male Playback Singer at the Filmfare Awards, Star Guild Awards and Stardust Awards. He also received his fourth nomination in the Filmfare as the Best Music Director Award at the 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards.

Tiwari went on to compose and sing chartbuster songs like ‘Katra Katra’ for the film Alone (2015), ‘Bheeg Loon’ from ‘Khamoshiyan’ (2015), and three tracks for the film ‘Roy’ (2015) – ‘Tu Hai Ki Nahi’, ‘Yaara Re’ and ‘Boond Boond’.

On being asked about his experience in the Bollywood music industry during an interview with Stardust, the artist said, “Whatever you do in life, you gain experience. I was an introvert, but you meet and speak to people and understanding how important networking is. I’ve learnt all this, being a part of the industry. I’m very thankful for everything I have learnt today.”

He added, “So far, the experiences have been great. Things changed after Aashiqui 2. ‘Sun Raha Hai Na Tu’ was the turning point in my career. Then I sang a song for a film called ‘Samrat & Company’, which wasn’t a hit. But then came ‘Ek Villain’ and ‘Roy’, and fortunately, since then, there has been no looking back.”

Inspiration plays an important role in paving a person’s way for success. Ankit Tiwari draws inspiration from singers KK and Ricky Martin. Maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan holds a special place in the singer’s heart – the latter holds him as one of his idols, and has even dedicated a song to him from one of his composition at popular music show MTV Unplugged 4.

Simple and unassuming on the personal front, Ankit Tiwari holds an ardent desire to explore different genres given the right opportunity, though it shouldn’t be vulgar and should hold meaning. According to the singing sensation, music industry has evolved a lot over the years.

“Changing times demand changing ways. The music industry has gone through its own share of evolution over the years. I don’t undermine the music created in the yesteryears, but the industry surely is treading forward in a better direction,” opines the celebrated singer.

Talking further about the changes the music industry has experienced, Ankit Tiwari says, “Songs have always been composed as per movies’ themes and the directors’ instructions. However, the industry has made a great shift in this regard. Now, artists create their own songs without having to compromise with their creativity to fit in the movies’ themes. Directors go through the songs and pick the best fit for their movies.”

The modest owner of a melodious voice, Ankit Tiwari believes that there is nothing such as the prime of the music industry, since the industry is ever changing and progressing towards advancements. The revered playback singer and music composer has numerous projects in his kitty. He is currently busy giving these projects the golden touch of his creative expertise and vocal talent.