He is now looking forward to enjoying his new role as a music composer. In a tete-a-tete with CS, the 39-year-old shares his thoughts on past, present and future:
The new guns
I find some of the upcoming talents really good but some more superior than the others. Speaking of superiority, I genuinely feel that one generation can’t be called better than the other. Every generation brings with it a newness. It’s mostly individualistic and has less to do with age or era. Of the younger singers, I admire Javed Ali, Benny Dayal and Arjit Singh a lot.
From across the border
During my last visit to Pakistan, I was barely minutes away from a terrible bomb blast. But that hasn’t stopped me from performing there again. One can’t go around saying that Pakistani artists are occupying our space. What if tomorrow, the Americans say that they don’t want Indian singers collaborating with them? If the Pakistani singers are here, it’s because people love their work. Besides, our country -- not just our film industry -- has always embraced those from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries as well, and has only broadened its horizons over the years.
No regrets, only lessons
Other than Love in Nepal, I don’t feel proud of any of the films that I was part of as an actor. Today when I look back, I feel that if I had someone to guide me, I’d have made better choices. When too many opportunities pour in, you lose your priorities and end up being part of projects that don’t do justice to you. I’m too sincere in my work, whatever discipline it is. I’m still getting offers to act, but I’m being patient this time around.
Get, set, change
When I started out with musicians like Nadeem-Shravan and Anu Malik, one could sing only if one had the voice. Today, with the advent of technology and software, anybody can sing. I’ve done a lot of playback singing now, but nothing can beat the high one gets while performing on stage. I wouldn’t mind even dying on stage.
People have a general misconception that singers don’t care much about their body except for their throats! The truth is that, as a singer, one must be in top form at all times. A healthy throat is only a priority. Of late, I’ve started spending more time at my Karjat farmhouse to make sure that I stay away from the city noise and pollution.