Irshad has written number of romantic songs and is currently working on film stories too. His song repertoire consists of films like Chameli, Shabd, Dhol, A Wednesday, Aa Dekhe Zara, Jab We Met, Love Aajkal, Ajam Prem Ki Gazab Kahani, De Dana Dan, Neal 'N' Nikki, Ahista Ahista, Karam, Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge? etc. His forthcoming films include Action Replay and Hook Ya Crook.
Irshad Kamil is being highly applauded for achieving a hat-trick by winning three awards for being the best Lyricist from Screen, Radio Mirchi and Filmfair!
In conversation with Irshad…
Q- How did you happen to come to Mumbai?
Irshad Kamil: In 1995 I had completed my PhD in Hindi Literature but I wanted to do something different. I did not wish to go for the mundane job of teaching at the university. So after completing my PhD, for three years I worked with an English News paper as a journalist. On 1st April 2001, I came to Mumbai and as luck would have it, I immediately got the chance to write script for a serial. Since then it's been a long journey.
Q- How did you get the chance to work with Imtiaz Ali?
Irshad Kamil: When I came to Mumbai someone gave me the phone number of Imtiaz Ali. I called him since I never have ego issues and always think of good work, good associations. He asked me to meet him the same day. When I went to meet him there was a lot of water in front of his house because it had rained heavily. So I called him and he asked me to come the next day. Next day we met and Imtiaz asked me to just write down some lines then and there. Imtiaz liked what I had written and thus began our professional association and a very good personal friendship.
Q- You have just received Listener's Choice Award? Comment please.
Irshad Kamil: I always used to think that people mostly love Sufi or Ghazal songs. They mostly have a leaning towards old songs. Unfortunately today we do not give them melodious songs with strong lyrics. So when I received the honor of Listener's Choice Award, it did feel great. I truly believe in meaning but also soft lyrics. This award is the stamp of approval for the same. This means that people do want to listen to sensible songs (smiles).
Q- According to you what is important for good song? How much is winning awards important for you?
Irshad Kamil: Remember that no good song is possible without the contribution and good tuning of music director, singer and lyricist. However when a song is hot then only music director and the singer come in the lime light. Lyricist is put in the back ground. So when people recognize your work and honor you then naturally the feeling is great.
My thoughts about winning an award is very different from other people. I know that when we win awards for a song then it is not only for my particular work, we win awards for our karma (all past good work) and whatever we have done in life.
Q- How much did you struggle to make it so far as a lyricist?
Irshad Kamil: If I talk about my struggle in this field then I will have to thank God because I never had to go through the typical filmy struggle. I got work easily. I think work never ends till life ends. I will be most happy if people keep humming my songs …
Q- How do you react when people talk about your competition with other lyricists?
Irshad Kamil: When people comment that now I am competing with Javed sir and Gulzar sir then I feel very bad because I can't be compared with them. They are the stalwarts of the industry. They have given 30 to 40 years to this industry. Where is the comparison? They are my Gurus and students never compete with their Gurus. According to me, my competition is always with me not with any other person.
Q- Why mostly work with Pritam?
Irshad Kamil: My answer is very simple. I give lots of hit songs with Pritam da. Naturally film directors and producers will prefer to take a hit Jodi. Then we work together and are very comfortable working together.
Q- What next?
Irshad Kamil: I think that writers have potential for maximum growth as director. That is the natural process. Let's see where life will take me.
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose