'Like a zombie I wake up with a song in my head'
Composer Shekhar Ravjiani on his love for music, his daughter and future assignments
Shekhar Ravjiani (of the Vishal-Shekhar music duo) rose to prominence when they composed the score for Jhankaar Beats in 2003. Their films include Om Shanti Om, Salaam Namaste, Bachna Ae Haseeno and Dostana among others. Shekhar is a trained classical singer and was a participant of the music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa in 1997. Apart from B-Town assignments, he is also lending his voice for Marathi songs as he tells us.
How did your first Marathi single Saazni happen?
I was working on a tune in my studio when director Ravi Jadhav happened to hear it and offered me his film Balak Palak. I told him that I want to sing a Marathi song. I am not too fluent in the language but I wanted to sing and that is how it happened. Actually, I always had a fascination for Marathi as I have spent four to five years of my childhood in Nashik. We have a vineyard and a farm house there and a lot of musicians used to come to my place and are still family friends. I used to attend many Marathi concerts. Marathi compositions sound a little tough but are beautiful. It was crazy when I started working on Saazni, as if some force was driving me to do it. I finished it in three to four days. I am glad the revenue from that single went to the NGO Maniketan for a noble cause.
You were working on your second Marathi single, Saavli, also?
I have already finished working on the single and hope to put it out soon. Ravi is again directing it. There is also a very special female singer who has sung a few lines in the song. We are doing something really different with the video. A lot of people are excited about it. The amount of love I have got from Maharashtrians is incredible. The Marathi version of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa invited me to perform Saazni in their finale and the response was unbelievable.
You have also sung many songs for Hindi films this year.
Yes, 2012 has been very good for me. I sang a song Khudaya in Shanghai and Ishqwala Love in Student of The Year (SOTY), which is still number one on the charts. There was also a Punjabi song in SOTY. It was just for fun... it’s that chalo try kartey hain wala thing. I had just put the rough vocals and the directors loved it. I am working on a few other upcoming movies. I am also planning to sing a Bengali song most probably with Shreya Ghoshal. I had told Sujoy Ghosh to write a few lyrics for the Bengali song while composing for Kahaani. The composition has come out nice and Shreya likes it too. So I think that’s the next thing happening.
What else have you been doing these days?
Vishal and I are working on Happy New Year, Chennai Express, Puneet Malhotra’s next film that is as yet untitled and Gippi which Karan (Johar) is producing. Music is a part of my life. I think if that stops then I will die. Sometimes like a zombie I wake up with a song in my head and start composing at 3 am. People in the house wonder what I am doing, but now they are used to it. I just love doing what my heart says and I live life to the fullest.
What is your de-stress mantra?
I love travelling. At any given point if am told that recordings are being postponed and I have two free days, then I just love to pack my bags and go out of town. Last time I went to London for two and a half days. At home I spend a lot of time with my wife and daughter Bipasha.
Does your daughter also want to become a singer?
My daughter is 10 years old and she is the best thing that has happened to me. I feel so blessed to have her, my life changed after she was born and my life feels complete. She learnt the piano for two years then she came and told me that she wanted to paint. So I went and got her a box of colours and the smile which I see on her face when she paints is worth it.
You had a blast on your 36th birthday last month…
My birthday was super. I had back to back meetings and then headed home to be with my daughter who is most excited about my birthday. There’s an organisation called Maniketan, which takes care of 300 abandoned girls from the age of four to 20. It’s a beautiful place; I went there with my daughter. The proceeds of my first Marathi single also went to the organisation. I get tears in my eyes when I read those two letters I received from Maniketan, one is a thank you letter and the other is to welcome me in their family.