‘Want to impact young minds’


The voice behind chart-busters Pappu Can’t Dance Saala, Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye, Bang Bang, Badtameez Dil, Benny Dayal talks to Sangeeta Yadav about his new title track Ude Dil Befikre and sharing his struggles at TEDxMITE & The Dewarists

  • Your song Ude Dil Befikre has topped the chartbuster…

This song is all about celebrating the carefree and the uninhibited. I like a line from this song — Dandana Chanchana Sansana Jayein Saasein Jagmaga Jayein Ankhein Milte Milte Milte Hi. It’s a different song with an Arabic touch to it. Vishal-Shekhar are great composers and close friends and working with them was one of my best learning experiences.

  • Where do you get the inspiration from?

Inspiration always comes from within and my experiences of meeting different people. I’m inspired by Michael Jackson and Jamiroquai, who loved their hats. There is Stevie Wonder, AR Rahman, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan, Queen, Police, Sting and umpteen other musicians. It’s never ending because every day you find new inspirations. I have no control over these things as music is always evolving and changing and always comes to you one way or the other.

  • How did your family support you?

They aided me with all sorts of musical and artistic support. Music became my life when my father gifted me the Moonwalker movie cassette when I was five. I was spellbound by Micheal Jackson’s singing and dancing. I decided then and there wanted I to be. My father often told me, ‘whatever you do, make sure you’re happy and do it till you die’. I’m blessed to have parents as my greatest inspiration who helped me become what I always wanted to. Nothing makes me happier than to create music and write songs that connect people.

  • What prompted you to sing in different languages?

Music knows no language or barrier, they say. Being able to learn so many languages and sing in each one of them is something I have consciously worked upon. I was born in Abu Dhabi. Languages came easy to me. Some of the languages in which I have sung are Tamil, Telugu, Arabic, Bengali, Kannad, English and of course, Hindi.

  • Your recent talk at the TEDx MITE got you a lot of audience…

The youth today is experimental and that’s what music needs. Conventions don’t compliment good music making. Music today is a serious business and similar to any other white collared profession. I see how parents are pushing their children into this creative gamut with no inhibitions. When I started, music couldn’t sustain a livelihood and musicians had to do odd jobs to support their families. Today, with the advancement of technology the world is a smaller place, just the talent needs to be honed. Once you find the right mentor and opportunity the rest is history. I want to impact younger minds and see them soar.

  • Season 5 of The Dewarists — Live True, saw you sharing your struggles to become a successful musician…

I’m definitely a product of cumulative experiences. My setbacks haven’t made me weaker they have made me stronger. I value people more with every experience. The most challenging aspect of my journey was to stay positive in spite of all the hurdles that came my way. An established music director told me: ‘You will never be a playback singer’ and slammed the door on me. I didn’t reply but I couldn’t sleep for nights and I slipped into depression.

Sometimes, well-wishers betray you and I didn’t know whom to trust. I took a call to shun away all the negativity. My story in the world of music isn’t a cushioned one. I’ve seen downs so I can value the ups even more. This somewhere made me understand one universal fact — the more you help others, the more the universe returns the favour in some form.

  • What are your upcoming projects?

I’m very excited to be a part of The Voice India Season 2 as one of the mentors. I’ve my album which I’m working on and I’m really looking forward to its release. There are loads of music tours lines up with BTOS Productions.

(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/want-to-impact-young-minds.html).


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