His high-pitched voice adds a punch to any peppy number and his livewire performances are often the mainstay of glam Bollywood. Now, Sukhwinder Singh has also turned composer in Hindi film Kafila. Back from a concert with Daler Mehendi, where he held the audience spellbound, the singer speaks about his three current projects --- Kafila, Halla Bol and Black and White, and gives his views on international music.
We have heard that besides composing and singing, you have even acted in Kafila?
I have performed in one of the songs. Whether I sing in the studio or on stage, I call it a performance. That is because to do justice to a song, the singer must feel it. That's what I have done in the movie. You can call it acting if you wish. But I don't want to get into acting.
How have you composed the music of Kafila?
The music suits the title of the movie. Kafila in Hindi means a troop. In the film, there is a troop that tours the whole of India and then goes abroad. We have tried showcasing distinct cultures in the very first song of the film. It has a mix of Rajasthani, Haryanvi and folk music. And there is a dash of Russian and Afghanistan's music as well.
How did you get the taste of music from so many other countries?
We had gone to a club in Kazakhstan and that was our tryst with their music. Then we learnt about Afghanistan's music. We are already familiar with Russia's music.
Is the music of Kafila any different from the scores in other Hindi films these days?
No, it's not different. Even though it has many languages, the music is not different. We were more keen on making good music than just making it different.
Is it difficult to sing your own composition?
Yes, it is a very difficult job because you need to balance the equation. When the composer is in the studio, he should forget that he is the music director, and vice-versa. Long time back, Mr. Anand Bakshi had advised me to leave composing traits at home when I am singing. And I always follow it.
Do you do one film at a time?
I do only that many movies that I can do justice to. At present, I have two projects -- Halla Bol and Subhash Ghai's Black and White. Mr. Ghai has also made me dance in one of the songs. I didn't want to do it but couldn't refuse him.
This is an era of montage, what's your take on it?
I don't like montage in films. I like it only if it is used beautifully the way it was done by Mr. Bhatt in Aashique. There is much use of montage in Deepa Mehta's films. I feel montage ruined the song Rutt Aa Gai Re in film 1947 Earth, so did it in Water.
What do you have to say about the talent shows which have deluged the television industry?
I don't like such shows, and would not prefer to judge one either. To start with, it was a nice concept as it gave a platform to budding talents. But now a lot of cheapness has got into it. Contestants are made to memorize sms numbers rather than lyrics.
Which is the most difficult song you have sung till date?
I don't think I have come across such a difficult song. But I feel Tere bin nai lagta din mera dolna from Kacche Dhagge was a bit difficult.
Anything that you think you have not indulged as much you wanted to so far?
Yes, I am very fond of sports. Very few people know that I can run for six hours at a stretch. I grew up in a dargah, where you mostly find two types of people --- singers and wrestlers.