As part of Sajid Wajid, you had around 10 releases in 2012. You seem to be one of the busiest music directors around.
We are not only the busiest, but have also given the maximum number of hits. It started with Housefull 2, and then came new ventures like Rowdy Rathore. All our songs are very good, but hitting the mark with one song is important. Mashallah mashallah was the only song we did in Ek Tha Tiger and we hit bull’s-eye. Musically, it has been a fantastic year. No regrets.
Did you prefer the times when you could take it slow?
It is better to have a lot of work than no work at all. Jab kaam nahi tha, tab yeh nahi poocha ki free kyun hain? Toh ab jab kaam hai, hum khush hain.
Dabangg 2 sounds very similar to your tunes for the original Dabangg.
It is a sequel, so the sound had to remind people of Dabangg. The music can’t suddenly resemble that of Rock On!!, or any other film. People say Dagabaaz re reminds one of Tere mast mast do nain. But then the film’s protagonist Chulbul is now trying to woo his wife. In Dabangg, he was wooing a girl, but this time the same girl has become his wife, and she has beautiful eyes.
Most of your career’s landmark films have been with Salman Khan. How important is he in your life personally and professionally?
Salman is like an elder brother. He believed in us when no one else did. He is 10 on 10, if I have to rate him.
It has taken you 13 years to reach this position. Do you sometimes rue that recognition has come too late?
There is a time for everything. Samay se pehle aur kismet se zyaada kuch nahi milta. We have learnt a lot in these years.
Did you ever get frustrated when things were not working out?
Rather than getting frustrated, we analysed where we were going wrong and what was not working for us. When we didn’t have work we continued creating fresh compositions.
Who has the last say in the decision-making, you or older brother Sajid?
We do have arguments while composing, but it is only to better our music.
On what basis do you decide to sing one of your compositions?
It’s never just because we are the music directors. I sing only when the song demands my voice.
As a mentor on the singing reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012; do you feel responsible for the careers of the singers you mentored?
Everyone has his or her own journey. We can only teach them and show them the right direction. When we graduate from college, the institute doesn’t guarantee us a job.
Your sound lays emphasis on melody. Any contemporaries or legends you feel inspired by?
I love music directors like Roshan, Naushad, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Shankar-Jaikishen, SD and RD Burman. We wanted to concentrate on good lyrics, good music and by the grace of God, people are able to recognise our music through its quality.
With new music directors flocking to the industry, do you feel threatened?
If new people don’t come in, how will we get to learn new things? One has to work hard to sustain in the face of competition. What matters is what the future holds. Jo ho gaya woh bhool jao. We are working hard on our future projects like Himmatwala, Rangrezz, Bullet Raja, Heropanti and Chashme Buddoor.