The first time I sang on stage, I sucked. I promised myself I would never inflict this pain on anyone else again,” chuckles Ranjit Barot. Thankfully now, the musician has decided to do exactly the opposite.
Ranjit Barot says he’s an intuitive singer. Seen here at his studio in Mahalaxmi. Pic/Sameer Markande
After more than three decades of arranging and composing music for commercials and movies, Barot makes his debut as a singer with his album Musafir. What happened to his non-singing promise? “Thankfully, I reached a point where I started enjoying singing and sang for a couple of rock bands, too,” he smiles.
Being the legendary kathak dancer Sitara Devi’s son, Barot’s childhood was steeped in music and the arts. Professionally, he’s been associated with the music industry for the past 38 years.
But what set the ball rolling was when he worked on two seasons of MTV’s Unplugged. “I had to rearrange the popular hits of singers in an acoustic format, and they liked it so much that some of them told me that they would love to collaborate with me apart from movies. That’s how the idea to work with other singers crystallised in my head,” he recalls.
But pinning down the singers for dates isn’t an easy task and Barot decided to set things rolling by recording two of his solo tracks — Maule Re Maula and Zara Zara. Lyricist Irshad Kamil has penned the songs and will be writing the other songs as well.
Talking about the concept of the album, Barot says that the songs will be within the popular genre. “I’m not trying to be extra arty, just honest,” he says. And from we hear of the two songs, it sounds like a breezy, melodious affair.
Getting behind the mic, Barot feels, was the need of the hour. “I was not being challenged and that’s what I needed. I’m restless by nature and I like putting myself in situations that kick my ass that’s the only way we’re going to grow” he says. And he’s feeling alive in the process, which has a lot of value in his life. “I don’t want to sound clichéd but really, it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey,” says the musician.
Barot, who’s associated with digital platform Quinki.com for his debut venture, tells us that he will release the songs as singles, before they are available as an album. He’s been a part of the music industry long enough to know that his move comes with a lot of expectations. “It’s okay with me. I’m just a kid in the sandbox and I’m trying to have fun.
People will do what they have to do and I will do what I have to do. There will be people who will like the songs and another bunch that won’t. I will be very surprised if everybody likes it,” he guffaws.