If there was a word which would describe the immense musical genius of the most talented duo of Vishal-Shekhar, then, it will surely be ‘Immense’. Well, that’s the impeccable duo Vishal and Shekhar for you. After having made their mark in the industry with films like Taxi Number 9211, Om Shanti Om, Bachna Ae Haseeno many more, this musical duo simply means ‘Music’. This good news is that this duo is back with the chartbusting music of the most awaited film of this season Anjaana Anjaani, songs of which are already a rage everywhere. Satish Sundaresan of Bollywood Hungama caught up with the immensely talented Shekhar Ravjiani, for an exclusive one-one-one with the man, who has always been synonymous with ‘extremely down to earth’ attitude. Over to you, Shekhar Ravjiani.
Shekhar, just for this question, lets reverse roles for a minute. If you were Satish Sundaresan, the journalist from Bollywood Hungama, and I was Shekhar Ravjiani- the most sought after music director of the decade, how would you start your first question?
Shekhar, Fantastic Music of Anjaana Anjaani. How did this happen?
We have been getting responses for the music of Anjaana Anjaani, from all over, and by the grace of God, it’s all positive
Thanks Shekhar, you just made my life easier. Let me ask you the most unexpected questionâ€¦ Fantastic Music of Anjaana Anjaani. How did this happen?
Well, this is our fourth film with Siddharth Anand. It’s a very special soundtrack for us. When we sat on the script, Sid told us where he needs what, in terms of music and sound. His brief was, ‘Guys, give me music which should take sometime to grow on me.’ Since this is our fourth film with him, we know what he likes and what he does not like. We have been getting responses from all over, and by the grace of God, it’s all positive.
How does it feel when you look back at your journey from being a contestant on Sa Re Ga Ma to being a hot-shot music duo of Indian music been?
Frankly speaking, I have just gone with the flow. It’s actually God who has decided everything for me. When I was on the show as a contestant, I never thought that I will ever be a musician, it just happened. I am so glad and happy that God has placed me at the right place at the right time. God sends the songs, Vishal and I simply put them into rhythm and the song is created!
We are damn sure that your guru Shri Avinash Tawadejee must be damn proud of his student. What say?
As you rightly said, he is indeed proud of me. Shri Avinash Tawadejee is the man who casually got me introduced to classical music. And whenever I meet or speak with him, I always thank him.
If we are doing a Siddharth Anand’s recording, you just can’t lose weight
This is your fourth film with the director Siddharth Anand. Are you guys on your way to become the Mani Ratnam– Rahman combo of this era?
Who knows, if the combo is working, it might just be true! And Siddharth has told in a couple of his interviews that he cannot make music without us. And that’s something that says it all.
News has it that you guys had two options for the title track. And you guys chose the one that Ranbir liked best.
There were two title tracks that were composed as the title track. One was a ballad and the other one was the club song. Ranbir had once come to the studios and heard both the tracks. He has got a great taste in music, with the kind of family he comes from. Hence, when he heard the song, he instantly liked it. That’s the song that you guys are seeing on TV these days.
Now, for the most clichÃ©d question, how was Siddharth Anand as a director to work with?
Siddharth Anand is a mad guy, who also is a very close friend. He loves food, check out new cars and flats. If we are doing a Siddharth Anand’s recording, you just can’t lose weight; you keep on eating from all his favourite places. For us, friendship is the thing that comes first, and then comes the film.
Coming to your film, Anjaana Anjaani has in all seven full length songs, slightly unlikely of an average Hindi film music these days that has 5. Do you feel that having 7 full-length songs will work in the favour of the film?
Every single song is essentially important for the film and is there in the film. Each of the song takes the film forward. So, I really do not think that having 7 full-length songs will work against the film. On the contrary, it will surely work in the favour of the film.
Of all the songs, which one is your favourite?
‘Aas Paas Khuda‘ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan with lyrics by Vishal. I love Vishal as a lyricist. ‘Tu Na Jaane Aas Paas Hai Khuda‘ is something that I wrote it at the spur of the moment. But the way, Vishal has carried it forward is tremendously splendid. It’s on a different plane altogether. I like this song purely because of its lyrics.
The very moment one utters ‘Anjaana Anjaani‘, the top of the mind recall is the hit track of Yuva. So, how difficult was it to compose a virgin track altogether of the title track of Anjaana Anjaani?
I do agree that the terms ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ were connected with the film Yuva. But for us, the term ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ was not merely a term; it was the name of a film, where the director’s vision had to be translated into music. It all came from Siddharth’s brief and script.
For us, the term ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ was not merely a term; it was the name of a film
The Vishal-Shekhar combo is turning out to be a wholesome package to your directors, with Vishal and you penning the lyrics and also singing the songs? What’s next?
Let me put it this way, the madness has just begun. We have been together since the last 10 years. Even before we started working together, we were closest friends. It’s something where we know each other so well, that the way of jamming on our songs simply flows in tune. Better still, let me put it this way. I can write a good song, Vishal can write a good song. But when we both sit together, we can write a great song!
I can write a good song, Vishal can write a good song. But when we both sit together, we can write a great song!
The surprise hit of the film, no doubt is ‘Hairat‘, as it brings back everyone’s favourite Lucky Ali. Any specific reason to choose him?
Siddharth is a huge fan of Lucky Ali, who also sang for us in Bachna Ae Haseeno. Let me tell you the fact that, finding Lucky was a task in itself. We found him through Facebook, through which we got in touch with him. We recorded the said song in a very special manner. We took a whole of 6-7 hours to record this song. Lucky’s texture and feel in the song is simply unbelievable, which can be felt only when a person hears it. The whole credit goes to our engineer Calvin and producer Abhijeet Malani. Hats off to Lucky for coming up with this phenomenal song.
Many of the music duos have either vanished or have parted ways, barring a few. What’s the main thing that keeps both of you going?
It’s our friendship, our belief that “We are the best in the world”. And His (God’s) hand is on us. The going has been as melodious as that!
Not many know that you have also acted in the film named Home Delivery. Any more ‘acts’ to follow, considering the fan following that you have, you should yaar. What say?
2 years back, I was offered almost the leading roles in 6 mainstream commercial cinema. And everyone wanted me to work on their films immediately. And according to me, acting is something that one has to put his heart and soul into. Gunpoint pe acting nahi ho sakti hai. Anything that I do, I put my entire soul in it. Again, if God wills, I shall take up the path of acting also!
How does your wife react when she sees girls hitting at you big time?
I am happily married and have got a kid. And when my wife sees the girls’ hitting on me, she is very happy about her husband getting very well-received, as a composer, singer. In other words, she sees all the girls as the fans of my music.
Gunpoint pe acting nahi ho sakti hai
Lastly, do you know that the album of Anjaana Anjaani has got a 4-star rating in Bollywood Hungama? What do you have to say about that?
Well, I would have preferred a 5 star, but, I am not complaining about the 4 stars either. What matters to us is the fact that all of you guys like the film’s music and have appreciated it immensely.
Which are other films that you are working on now?
Break Ke Baad, Tees Maar Khan, Ra.One, an animation film called Arjun, Dostana 2, which starts post Nov-December, this year.
Lastly, how would you describe the film Anjaana Anjaani in one word?