Aishi Sarkar captivated the audience with her short film, ‘Number 9‘. Apart from being a writer, content creator, singer and an actor, Aishi also expresses herself through melody. She has taken the road less travelled and explored the motivational rap niche with the sole purpose of inspiring people. One can find her Indie Singles “India Calling” and “Karuna versus Corona” on her YouTube channel Macaroon Media. Her first ever single “When Their Eyes Meet Mine” was also played on international radio stations alongside music sensations from across the globe. With a strong belief in being her most true self, Aishi Sarkar plans to grow in the industry by portraying her honest and raw thoughts and emotions.
In an engrossing interview with Storiyaan, Aishi Sarkar speaks about her encounter with bullying, her struggles, the journey of Number 9 and Sushi and a plethora of other exciting and interesting anecdotes from her life.
Questions and answers
What were the repercussions of the bullying you faced as a child, and how did it mould you?
I was bullied throughout my school life for being different from the rest; and would constantly question, “Why me?” However, my inner instinct always told me that I’m not weird; I’m different. So, with patience and self-love, I channelized my negative thoughts in a positive direction. I started to believe in my inner strength and made my mind a best friend.
You were nominated for best actress in the Pune International Short Film festival for your first-ever stint as an actor. What was your first reaction to it?
I was on cloud nine because my philosophical belief is that life is all about proving yourself, even to the people who brought you up. I wanted my parents and well-wishers to feel extremely proud of my decision to move to Mumbai and become an actor. So, through my achievement, they also got the peace of mind that I hoped for.
How did you keep the fire in you ignited despite struggles and rejections you faced in life?
I see rejections and failure as the building blocks to my success. My secret is to connect with my intuition and be aware of my strengths and weaknesses. My inner voice has always guided me, and I always perceived myself to be a talented actor.
What emotions did you go through when your original composition was played on international radio stations?
It was unbelievable to see my deepest desire become a reality. It felt like the universe was being truly kind to me. Since my childhood, I would sing songs of my favourite international pop stars, and it was an honour for me to have my compositions played alongside theirs’.
What gravitated you towards the unexplored 'motivational rap' niche?
I find rap to be a catchy musical genre which has the potential to resonate with today’s funky bunch. Unfortunately, a lot of hit rap songs use vulgarity, curse words, promote addictions and rectify both men and women. This is where I want to change the mindset and come up with motivational rap which can equally entertain viewers by promoting social issues and positive thoughts.
Within 13 days of its release, Macaroon Media's debut film, 'Number 9' received two nominations, what do you owe this tremendous achievement to?
It may sound a little old-school of me to admit this, but I am forever indebted to my family and God for being by my side every step of the way. Although I also owe a lot to my own talent, I believe that these people are the ones who made me who I am.
How do you think the gender roles have reversed in Bollywood when it comes to actresses?
I think female actors are commanding a lot of respect in present times; in fact, they are trusted to carry the entire weight of the film on their shoulders, playing powerful parts without being objectified. We owe this tremendous revolution to the progressive mindset of today’s generation. They have learnt to unlearn stigmas and demand equality in every sector. That has brought a change in the way people write stories and think beyond the usual.
You had auditioned for roles for quite a while. Can you talk a bit about your first audition?
My first audition was an informal one to get into an acting school. Rather than being nervous, I was extremely excited, because I knew I was born to be in front of the camera. People taking my audition were astonished as to how inhibition free I was; they thought I was a theatre artist. For me, it was all about enjoying what I was doing.
Apart from YouTube, you have also propagated your talent through several digital platforms. What promotional strategies did you adopt?
There were no promotional activities as such; I just believe that content is the king. If I put out good content that I believe in, the right audience will find it. I believe we shouldn’t restrict ourselves to a particular niche, and so I’m also exploring my creativity. I’m not just an actress or a content creator; I am a human being with many expressions. I believe that to stand out; you have to portray your individuality in your own dynamic way.
How did you implant character sketches like Sushi into your personality, and what effect did it have on you?
As an actress, I always try to borrow from my mental library, which has expanded through the course of my life. While making characters, I like to blend in different traits of the people I’ve come across in my life and the ones who have left an impact on me. That’s exactly how Sushi came into being.
Walk us through the journey of making Number 9.
It all started in September 2019, when my mother wrote down a rough story for me to make a film on. Gradually, we developed a team with close friends and acquaintances to get the project up and running. By the end of January, we were ready with the screenplay, the cast and crew and the final shoot date. Number 9 grew despite a lot of struggles; there were people who walked off from the project at the very last moment and disappointed us, but the optimism of the core team kept us going.
What is the one piece of advice you got at Mahesh Bhatt's master class that will always remain with you?
One thing he said that will always remain with me is, “We are all one, we come from the same soul, we just reside in different bodies.” He encouraged me to believe we’re equal, and we all demand love. Through him, I learnt that if I want people to understand and relate to me, I need to find the courage to be vulnerable while expressing myself.
What is your message to people who plan to break the glass ceiling by going after what they love?
I will say it’s important to connect with your inner self to make life decisions. Whatever you’re doing, just remember to do it for yourself, and not for people around. When your intuition about something is strong, you will achieve all the success with hard work, patience and some talent.
1. Role model – Miley Cyrus.
2. Biggest lesson learnt in life – Our perception is reality
3. One thing you want to change about the industry – Talent and hard work should be the prime factors to select newcomers.
4. Something you miss the most about Kolkata – Homemade food & the winter
5. YouTube or Bollywood – Bollywood is the ultimate dream