'I just wanted to do my own thing'
Posted online: Sunday, June 04, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email
How did Delhi Heights work out?
I got tired of saying no to everyone. I had been getting a lot of offers from Bollywood, but most of them were for playback singing. But I wanted to do my own thing. In Delhi Heights, they gave me a free hand. So I'm composing the music and writing the lyrics as well.
How was the experience of composing for a film different from cutting an independent album? Will your music for Delhi Heights sound any different?
I agree to work on a film only if I am given complete artistic freedom. Yet, in a film, one has to always score music for a situation or a particular context. I look at it as a challenge and I must say, I am enjoying it tremendously. The music of the film will have a bit of rock, but not too much of Punjabi.
Do you think Bollywood has become more receptive to unconventional music?
I think the music scene in Bollywood has been changing for some time now. It's a reflection of our times—as society changes and our ethos change, so do our musical preferences. Indians, especially in the metros, are well-travelled and not living a cocooned existence any more. In this new scenario, you can't regurgitate the same sounds.
You have raised your voice on the anti-quota stir. What is your stand on this issue?
I'm neither anti-nor-pro-quota. I'm just a nationalist who thinks that the country needs a broader perspective. I find it very twisted that caste has become the representative index of people. We are a melee of identities and caste is not the right criterion to differentiate between people. I have no hope for this agitation to succeed.
That's because all the students are schooled intellectuals, with no broader national perspective.
You recently performed in Pakistan. How was the experience?
It was simply great. They were familiar with my music and also understood the lyrics. I got to meet a lot of great people there and was also exposed to Pakistani music. I do think that the future of pop lies in Pakistan and definitely not in India. India is a linguistic mess. There is no one common language and pop music must convey the aspirations of everyone. In Pakistan at least, they are making original music.
What have been your influences?
There have been many. The long-standing influences include Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits and U2. I'm currently listening to a lot of deglam rock. Among Indian singers, I appreciate the works of Lucky Ali and also some of the compositions by A.R. Rehman. But I think R.D. Burman was a musician who was much ahead of his times.
Are you working on your next album? Tell us about it.
I have been working on it for some time now. It's release date has been pushed back, but it should be out by the end of this year. All I can say is that it'll be different from my first. A lot has happened in my life since my first album and it will reflect the new experiences and musical references.