Sukhwinder Singh: We must hug and embrace fresh talent
Sukhwinder Singh talks about lending his voice for young composers in films like Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga, and working with veterans in Zero and Bharat
What is the most exciting part of interacting with the young breed of music composers?
The artistes I've interacted with over the past few years have passion, not experience. So, when I collaborate with them, I bring my learning as an experienced artiste, into it. I demand for two things before any collaboration - good lyrics and passion. When they come to me with a song, I notice how passionate they are before I decide to render it. The songwriter [Shekhar Astitwa] and music composer [Vikram Montrose] of Kar Har Maidan Fateh [Sanju] were both new [to the industry], but when I met them and saw how passionate they were, I decided to support them. The team working on Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga are also a bunch of new people. They are also passionate, making interesting music. Working with this lot is as exciting as it is with seasoned musicians. We should hug and encourage them.
How are they distinct from veteran music composers?
They are learned, and have an understanding of the latest software and techniques. But, I tell them to keep the song untouched. Technology should be employed in no more than 15 per cent in a song. Music composers are not sound engineers.
Composers ko toh jhalla hona chahiye. Nowadays, composers like to sing their songs with an orchestra. But, when a song becomes a hit, people sing it in cars and at homes, in the absence of orchestras. So, a musician must see how the song sounds without an orchestra. Veterans like Rahman, Vishal Bhardwaj, Ajay-Atul will simply sing the song without instruments to see how charming it is.
You've been vocal about your fondness for Shah Rukh Khan. Is that why you decided to work on Zero?
Honestly, my passion is music. And that love can't be divided depending on the status of the artiste. [Yet] it is true that Shah Rukh has a lot of appreciation for his artistes. [He] gave me a 30-minute narration for the song, and was immersed in the story while doing so. He has put in immense effort throughout his career, and has maintained his humbleness. As has Mr [Amitabh] Bachchan. He's counting himself among actors who are many years younger to him. If there's one film with Ranveer [Singh] in the lead that's releasing, there's another with Mr Bachchan at its helm that's simultaneously hitting screens. So, he's an idol.
Can you tell us about the track you've rendered in Salman Khan's Bharat?
When Vishal-Shekhar sent the first song of Bharat to me, I was travelling. I hadn't slept on a 23-hour long flight. I landed at 3 am, and went directly to their studio. Yet, I felt charged while rendering it. Salman keeps an eye on his film's music, but won't interrupt anyone's work. If a song is ready, he likes to keep it with him and play it when he's at home. But he won't interfere in the composer's work.
Several musicians argue that filmmakers do not promote original compositions as much as they do remixes today, a trend that's ruining the industry. Do you agree with it?
Not at all. If that was the case, how would Kar Har Maidan Fateh have worked? The trend of remixes came about because fewer [appealing] fresh songs were being created. To fill the void, people started rehashing songs. Special people [here, musicians], are few, but they've become rarer. Also, even if you promote a rehashed song a wee bit, it appears widely marketed because it grows on listeners instantly.
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