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Mithoon on <i>Tere Bin</i>

By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

All of 21 years of age, young Mithoon has created a splash with his first ever single Tere Bin [Bas Ek Pal] that is picking up fast to become one of the hottest songs of this part of the year.

Your debut composition Tere Bin is making waves all over. What's the story behind the song?
Music of Bas Ek Pal was in fact ready before Onir [director of Bas Ek Pal] got an idea to create a song around a situation when Sanjay Suri and Urmila Matondkar separate in the film. He wanted a 'judaai' song with a difference unlike the conventional sad separation numbers we have been used to hearing. Onir didn't mention directly what he had in mind but explained his vision. Basically he wanted a slow number to compliment the situation and this is when I threw an idea about Tere Bin. Now this was a song that I had made for an album on TIPS where Atif and I are working together as a singer and composer. On hearing it, Onir said that he wanted the song by all means. He and Shailesh [producer of Bas Ek Pal] approached TIPS and this is how we got the rights of the song.

Wow, the song has really traveled a lot. And how about the lyrics of the song? 

Well, Sayeed Quadri saab had done the lyrics for the private album I was talking about. Looking at the film's situation and overall look and feel, he reworked on the lyrics, changed the lyrics and made Tere Bin a fresh track that would suit the film's narrative. Also, I changed the arrangements a little.

Going a little off tangent, an album by you, Atif and Sayeed Quadri sounds really exciting. When is it coming?
The album comes in December and it has in total 8 songs. The album isn't focused on any particular genre and in fact even Atif has sung differently with compliments coming in that he has never sounded anything like that before. He has sung in husky tone for a ballad song which is quite held back. We had earlier composed two songs but now Tere Bin has gone to Bas Ek Pal. We would be recording the remaining tracks once Atif is back in September end.

Coming back to your work, how did you enter the Bollywood music scene?
Bas Ek Pal is my first original album for which I have composed two songs. Before this I had recreated the original versions [and not remixes] of Woh Lamhe [Zeher] and Aadat [Kalyug]. Mukesh Bhatt had introduced me and Atif and I really liked his voice, diction, tone and rendition. It was just a matter of some time before a strong rapport was built between both of us.

And how did the private album with him happen?
When this TIPS album was being planned, Atif wanted to create his own music apart from singing. On the other hand I wanted to create something of my own rather than rearranging songs. I said that I just wanted him to listen to my compositions once and if he got interested we would take it forward. He heard them and there has been no looking back since!

We would also want to know about your association with Onir.
With Onir, it's a matter of a concept clicking. He is quite inspirational and the way he narrates the concept is so exciting that it's just a matter of minutes before you are ready with something. Onir went into the minutest details of the situation which was so motivational that it made me work harder on the title song, which is composed by me again.

How has your father contributed to your career?
As you must be aware, my father is Mr. Naresh Sharma who has given background music to more than 200 films and has done arrangements for number of composers. I am completely under his guidance who has taught me the virtue of being creative. He is the man responsible for my entire training, is my backbone and a firm pillar of support for me amidst all the diversities. I have great admiration for him since he is the one who has given me all the learning and influenced me in a big way.

So how did your journey into music begin?
Bhatt saab had approached my father and said that this boy seems to be quite enterprising and suggested my name for rearranging some tracks for his films. It feels great because there are hardly any people who would support a 19 year old guy. Yes, the rearrangements of the two tracks as I mentioned earlier got me into limelight but from now it is going to be only original compositions for me. In fact I have also given music for a Malaysian film titled Diva where I have composed 5 songs and that too in Malay language. Loloq, who is the number one lyricist of Malaysian movies, has written the lyrics.

This sounds interesting. Please continue.
This is the first time ever that a musical collaboration of this kind has happened between India and Malaysia. I am quite excited about this project since I would also be doing the background music for the film. The production team would be coming to Mumbai soon and this is when we would resume the work.

How did this project happen?
When Woh Lamhe released in India, there was a lot of buzz around the song which reached Far East also. The makers of this film approached me but first and foremost were interested in knowing this entire concept of rearranging songs. After that they asked me if I would be interested in doing something for Diva. They wanted to listen to some original tracks that I had composed and I handed them over some work of mine which was my own property that I had created. The director of the film then came down to Mumbai and we shared some thoughts on the music. He then handed me about 20 CDs of Malay film music; well not to get inspired from that but to get an idea about how film music works there!

How do you go about composing a song?
By going ahead with the vision of a director and adding my own perception to the situation. Ultimately I should be able to deliver goods to the director since he is the captain of the ship. This is what happened in case of Onir since I trust him immensely. Now when I see the film, I realize how he perceived the entire situation. So, if a director is in command of his product, I can completely deliver goods as per his needs.

Now look at my other film, the music of which would be releasing in September end. It is called Anwar and has the music which is far away from the kind that I have composed for Bas Ek Pal. Manish Jha, the director of Anwar, is again so different in his treatment of the situation and accordingly I had to mould my music to suit his needs. I have seen a 4 minute promo of the film and I am proud to be associated with Anwar since its entire look and texture is so interesting.

Do you consider any particular genre as your strength?
I would say that give me any genre and I can deliver goods for you. I would want film makers to believe that this is the person who can fit the bill, whatever the situation be.

So who are the singers that impress you most in the current scenario?
To be honest I am amazed by each and every singer today, and this is something that I am not saying just for an effect! We have some very good singers on the scene today and depending on the situation of a song they become my favorites. For 'Tere Bin' it is Atif. For the songs in Anwar it is Roop Kumar Rathod. Then I am also introducing a new voice Kshitij who is very good in coming up with the right emotions. There is also a girl named Shilpa Rao who would be singing for me soon. Now I would say they all are my favorites!

Talking about a different topic altogether, what do you have to say about music piracy? You must be aware that 'Tere Bin' is freely available for download and is being easily played in offices, colleges etc.!
At this point of time in my career when I have just started, it doesn't disturb me much as a creative person. That's because it gives me satisfaction from the fact that the song is being downloaded and listened since it is being liked. It gives you a high when people all over the world hear a song and compliment you for your work or someone up there in London calls from a chat show and says that Tere Bin is the best song he/she has ever heard. Yes, agreed that business wise it doesn't make sense for those who have invested in the creation of the song. Today I am happy looking at the positive side of things rather than seeing anything in a negative light!

Since you are a fresh face to arrive in the world of Bollywood music, anything that you want to comment on the current music scenario?
Yes, certainly. See, whether it is music or playback singing, I have heard people say that earlier times were different and better. They comment that today's quality of music and singing is not at par with the past. I somehow disagree with that. I firmly believe that every phase come and goes and even audience wants different things at different times. The market is driven by the audience and that's the reason why there are number of reasons that decide a particular phase due to which a particular music style comes and goes. It's a simple demand and supply principal.

Read more about: atif, sayeed quadri sounds
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