By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Thursday, September 14, 2006
You're the first composer since Nadeem Shravan to sell a film to the audience.
I don't think the music can make a film sell. But yes, people do go to see my songs these days. I'm trying to work hard. But I can't be responsible for a film's success or failure. I've control over the music, not the way the music is used. From my side I've to make sure that every song of mine works. Last year I had a bank of 500-600 songs. Today I've 1000 tunes are ready. My focus is on melody.
You've patented that sufi-rock sound of Aashiq banaaya and Janaab-e-jani ...
I'm about to change that style ....in the next two to three months. I know it has become a successful formula. But I can't be stuck to one style. When I was doing predominantly Indian styles in Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya and Tere Naam, they said I cannot do any other style. Then I entered a new phase with Just chill and Nikamma ...These connected big time with the young crowds. In barely a few months I shifted to the sound of Aashiq banaya aapne. I now want to combine world music and Indian melodies. Today's target audience is 22 and below. I now want to aim at an audience that's slightly older.
Your insistence on singing your own compositions is causing a lot of heartburn.
I don't know why. I've sung just three or four of my own songs. If they're hits , then what can I do? All I can tell the professional singers is that March onwards I'll give them even bigger hits than the ones I've sung. In Dharmesh Darshan's Aap Ki Khatir I've used all the top voices from Sonu Nigam to Shreya Ghosal. I think I sing well. I've taken classical training from my dad. People kept insisting that I sing. But I waited for the right time. Today fresh voices are being accepted. But music direction will always be my main passion. Himesh the music director selects Himesh the singer. I won't be singing in all the thirty films that I may do in the near future. I'll sing exclusively whenever required. I've never forced any producer to let me sing. I've been accused of singing only in the high range. I'm going to sing in the middle and lower octaves.
Your singing has been called nasal.
Everyone has a point of view. What they think as nasal is a high-range voice. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saab ko to unhonein kabhi nasal nahin kaha. I'm about to prove them wrong by singing a super-hit song in the middle range and a super-hit song in the lower range. One of my songs in Phir Hera Pheri will prove my point. I'll only let my work speak for me. In my private album Aap ka Suroor you can hear me sing in the lower octaves.
Most music directors are flops when they do private albums.
But mine is the highest-selling album. I don't think there has ever been a private album with the production values and sales of Aap Ka Suroor .The first order was for five lakh units. Then there has been a repeat order of another five lakh copies. These aren't figures invented by me. You can check with T -Series. Where an average album sells 25-30,000 copies this one has already sold 10 lakh copies. In this album I wanted to try out music that's normally not possible in films.
You're also seen in your music videos. Are you preparing to give Salman Khan are run for his money?
I'm tired of people accusing me of starry ambitions just because I'm seen in music videos. All I want to say is...everyone who cuts an album does music videos. But because my songs are hits my presence is more visible. I've no acting ambitions. I'll restrict my screen presence to my music videos. The concept of a rock star is alien in our country. I'm trying to fit into the mould of a rock star, like Michael Jackson and Bryan Adams. Otherwise I'm as far removed from acting as humanly possible. As for Salman-bhai, he's my God and friend. My album Aap Ka Suroor is dedicated to God , Dad and Salman Khan.
You've come a long way as a music director...
I work on every song as a student. If I start thinking about why people are calling me No.1 I'll go completely wrong. I'll only concentrate on my music. Today I give filmmakers five instead of three options for every lyric. I've to keep going from Friday to Friday. Two flops, and I'll be back to where I started. I give my best to every film. I'm not saying this to be modest..But I really think the impact of a song depends on the way it's used. Now I'm really looking forward to the response to my music in Vipul Shah's Namaste London and Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay .Naturally there're expectations.