Tune in to to the Indie-rockstar-turned-Bollywood-crooner's new Hard Rock album
Most people find it difficult to believe that Suraj Jagan has been part of the music industry for two decades. A Best Male Emerging Performer award perhaps adds to the confusion. The fact is that Jagan has been on the music circuit since 1990. He's been a part of Rock bands including Chakraview, Acquired Funk Syndrome (the cult band that bagged every possible title on the college Rock gig circuit) and most recently, Dream Out Loud (with Chandresh Kudwa).
Popular fame followed only after the hit Give Me Some Sunshine number from 3 Idiots but the singer-musician says he would not have done it any other way. His last solo album, Musafir, was released in 1999 at a time when he was "listening to everyone but myself." With the new album Back To My Future, Jagan plays with old Bollywood numbers and gives them a "dark, heavier feel." Excerpts from the interview.
With Back To My Future, you are merging the two worlds that you now live in -- Bollywood and Indie Rock. According to you, where do you belong more?
I don't feel like I belong anywhere. Even when I was playing with the bands, I was on my own. Even then I never belonged to a strict genre or followed any trend. I've always done what I've loved, whether it was writing songs or singing -- and I've done it my way.
Does it feel good when you hear people growling along to songs like Zehreeley (Rock On) and Jaa Chuddail (Delhi Belly)?
I'm happy that I'm doing my kind of stuff and people like it. When we recorded Zehreeley I thought it was quite hardcore and I never imagined that people would like it this much. Now, I notice even small kids singing the song. A same thing happened with Jaa Chuddail. There seems to be some kind of connect that happens with these songs and I think that's great.
What is it about Rock music that is making it more acceptable in Bollywood?
It's the raw and pure energy that works. You don't need to learn about Rock music to understand it. It's straightforward and live, and when I perform and I can see it in the eyes of the audience. That's exactly how I felt when I attended my first Rock gig; it feels great that I can pass on the energy through my songs. The Rock sound is what got me into singing too. I get the same high that I felt when I first performed at the Bandra Fair many, many years ago.
Back To My Future: The Suraj Jagan Experience, Suraj Jagan