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Hitting the right notes

“My stars are aligned right I think,” Vikas said with a laugh, when CS met him at his Bandra bungalow. And after making such a smashing debut, Vikas dreams of working with AR Rahman and Asha Bhosle someday! Here, the singer speaks about the song, competition in the music industry and his future plans:

Vikas Bhalla
Who: Vikas Bhalla
What: On his debut in playback singing
PIC/Santosh Nagwekar

On a song!
I had recorded two tracks which I was keen to pitch for films. I met Salman Khan three months back and he heard the tracks. He immediately called Himesh Reshammiya and told him that I would be doing the vocals for his next song. Himesh heard me and I dubbed it. Now the song has an acoustic and rock version too coming out.

Learning the ropes
My first album came out in 1997. Another album came out after a gap of three or four years. Then I took a long break as there was nothing happening in the music field. Much later, I did an album but that was not promoted so well. That’s when I realised that it doesn’t make sense to bring out private albums when they are not doing well. A year ago, I decided that it’s time to go for Bollywood. I’ve never been pushy about my career. Earlier, I was also busy with my acting projects on TV. I didn’t take out time to market myself as a playback singer. I’m learning the ropes now as I feel it’s important. I’m making the effort of meeting people. Even as a singer, I’ve worked upon myself. I’m a trained classical singer but since the past one year, I have been laying a lot of emphasis on my riyaaz.

Song decides the singer
Right now, the music scenario is such that it’s not about an actor having a particular voice anymore, but a particular song having a particular voice. And that is better for the song, which is better for the music industry. A simple example is of ‘Tu cheez badi hai mast mast’, which was originally sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. When they wanted it for a film, it was sung beautifully by Udit Narayan. But in the current scheme of things, they would have probably retained Nusrat saab’s voice.

Go with the flow
Bollywood sells and you have to go with the flow. But I genuinely hope that the independent music industry also takes off. There are a lot of talented musicians who feel lost as there is no outlet. Singers like Lucky Ali or Daler Mehendi have come out with phenomenal music in their private albums. That’s the kind of music I would like to hear more often. 

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