Darbar singer Nakash Aziz: I am a struggling composer

Updated: Jan 13, 2020, 08:26 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

Darbar singer Nakash Aziz on his bias towards singing, despite having assisted the top brass of musicians.

Nakash Aziz
Nakash Aziz

Nakash Aziz has been celebrating the acclaim that Rajinikanth's larger-than-life act in Darbar has received. "I rendered two songs in the Hindi version, and one in its Tamil edition. This is the fourth time I have done playback for him," says the singer-composer, whose discography runs for several pages, and cuts across languages. When singing the same song in two distinct languages, Aziz says the melody plays second fiddle. For him, becoming one with those who use the language is important.

"I intend to sound like I mean what I'm saying. That's a challenge because I have to ensure I don't sound like a guy who lives in Mumbai and doesn't understand the language [I'm singing in]. You have to pay heed to the diction so that the local and regional audiences don't find it strange. The trick is to be a good listener and pay heed to what your composer and lyricist tell you," says Aziz, adding that a past stint had him keep his distance from Malayalam numbers, even though he's now willing to give them a go, again.

Despite having assisted AR Rahman in musical blockbusters like Rockstar, Delhi 6 and Raanjhanaa, Aziz is better remembered for being the voice behind Bollywood chartbusters like Suno Aisha, Gandi Baat, Selfie le le, Jabra fan, and Slow motion. His duties as a composer, he says, have been far and few, because he is unable to comprehend Bollywood's treatment to song creation. "I'll call myself a successful singer, and a struggling composer. I enjoy composing but, if I don't understand [what is being] communicated, [it's tough to do it]. In this [era], where many composers are employed for songs, we get a brief to make a 'wedding song' or a 'dance number'. The same brief goes to 10 people. But, at a wedding, I listen to many songs. So, what does a 'wedding song' mean?" he questions, alluding that it is as essential for composers to understand the motive behind making a film, as it is for actors.

Aziz makes a case for himself when stating that as a composer of the upcoming Marathi thriller and Subodh Bhave-starrer Bhaybheet, director Deepak Naidu made him one among the top brass who had in on the narration. "I got Arijit [Singh] to sing for me in it. As a composer, I avoid imposing [my ideas] on the singer. I have been afforded the same [liberty] by others."

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