EXCLUSIVE: No Candle No Light's Tushar Apte deems Zayn Malik 'superstar'; Eyes THIS B Town trio for a collab

Updated on Oct 17, 2020 08:58 AM IST  |  1.4M
Tushar Apte talks about Zayn Malik, Nicki Minaj, Harry Styles and more
EXCLUSIVE: No Candle No Light's Tushar Apte deems Zayn Malik 'superstar'; Eyes THIS B Town trio for a collab

Tushar Apte has worked with a slew of international artists. While in the east, he's worked with BTS and BLACKPINK, in the west he's collaborated with a number of artists. This includes his collaboration with Zayn Malik and Nicki Minaj on their 2018 song No Candle No Light. Reminiscing working with the duo on the song, the producer-composer-songwriter tells Pinkvilla exclusively that Zayn is a superstar. However, he does have a tiny regret about the song. While he spills the beans on the song, we shifted gears to Bollywood because come on, how could we not? 

During our desi conversation, Tushar revealed that while he is crossing paths with Indian artists, like Armaan Malik, he would love to collaborate with Bollywood's iconic music trio Shankar Ehsaan and Loy. Check out the excerpt from our conversation with Tushar Apte below: 

- Zayn Malik and Nicki Minaj crooned No Candle No Light which was a massive hit! How is it to work with both of them?  

Zayn is a superstar and a massive talent – his vocal tone is so unique and rich, it immediately elevates any song he’s singing on. We were fortunate enough that Nicki loved the record as much as we did and agreed to collab with Zayn on it – and she really sounded great singing on it! Sometimes I wish we’d gotten a rap verse from her for that song, but I’m proud of how it came out and it’s definitely been a career highlight working with them on ‘No Candle No Light’.

- If it were in your power, what kind of a song would you write for Zayn now? 

I love Zayn’s voice on anything that has an R&B element to it, so would probably lean into that side but try and do it more up-tempo, since he’s already got so many great dark and broody alternative R&B type songs.

- While we loved your work with Zayn, can we see you working with yet another One Direction member, Harry Styles? 

I think Harry is a superstar! I haven’t had the chance to work with him yet but I know we could do something great.

- Shifting gears to India, is there anyone from Bollywood you wish to work with? 

Shankar Ehsaan and Loy are amazing and versatile and I’m a fan of their work. Would love to work on something with them although I doubt they would need me with all the existing talent and skills amongst their team (laughs). I’ll hopefully continue to work with artists like Raja Kumari and Armaan Malik who I just wrote with – I loved what we did!


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- Are you open to working on Bollywood movie projects? 

Absolutely! I’m still quite involved in the film & TV music composition side and would love to be part of the right project in India.

- What are your upcoming projects that we can look forward to? 

Firstly, I have to say I’m so grateful to be continually working as a full-time producer and songwriter. I know a lot of people are doing it tough this year in particular, and I just feel fortunate to be working at all let alone be part of projects I’m proud of – like the BLACKPINK album! This October-November is a pretty busy time of releases for me (for songs I’ve produced and written on) – I have a few exciting releases with some artists here in the US and overseas. I’m also working on a few music projects that aren’t directly related to the songwriting side which I have to keep a bit tight-lipped about for the time being – but all-round really cool stuff I promise!




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- A piece of advice for those interested in writing for international artists?

Writing for artists that are part of a different cultural experience than yours is so incredibly rewarding. I would highly recommend it for any writers or artists! On the one hand, it teaches you that music is truly a universal language, but also you learn the different ways people use music to reflect their culture and identity. The key to being successful in writing for international artists is to be completely open to their taste and style and try to bring the thing you’re great at, the thing that separates you as a writer or producer and apply it to a different expression of music. Ultimately, like everything else, it all comes back to putting in the time and developing your craft – try to learn at least one new thing each day (no matter how ‘small’) and be so good that ‘international’ artists invite you! 

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Songwriter Tushar Apte on working with BTS, BLACKPINK and hopes of collaborating with EXO