Thursday, December 20, 2007

‘Music is expression, not competition’

Musician Sukhwinder Singh discusses composing for ‘Halla Bol’, his next project with AR Rahman and the indecency in reality shows with Shridevi Keshavan

He was brushed off by most music directors in Bollywood when Sukhwinder Singh approached them with the composition ‘Chaiyya chaiyya’, a Punjabi poem by Sufi poet Bulle Shah. He finally arrived at composer AR Rahman’s doorstep and it was the beginning of a bright future for the singer/ composer. Sukhwinder Singh, who weaves his rustic voice with melody, recollects the struggle he went through before he was appreciated.

The singer has scored for the yet to be released film ‘Halla Bol’. “I still remember some of the top music composers telling me that the poem ‘Chaiyya chaiyya’ was boring and poking fun at me (of course with no bad intentions); but that’s what they thought. Rahman is imaginative and was thoroughly impressed. In half an hour the song was finalised with the Hindi translation written by Gulzar,” says the musician.

As for Sukhwinder’s compositions in ‘Halla Bol’, apparently director Raj Kumar Santoshi was so impressed by the music that he hugged Sukhwinder. “It was a new experience but not difficult at all. It shouldn’t be difficult for a musician to compose and write lyrics. I have also done the background score,” he says adding that he has written the lyrics for a lot of films including Deepa Mehta’s ‘Water’.

After an unsuccessful attempt with his album ‘Nasha Hi Nasha Hai’, the singer is now working on an album with AR Rahman. The two are working closely on something experimental and are exploring various musical landscapes. “It’s just me and him and we will be trying out some new concepts,” says Sukhwinder who started his career with Rahman. “I used to write lyrics for him,” he adds.

Quiz him about the surge of reality shows and what he thinks of the budding talent that is entering the industry and he says, “It might be a platform but I don’t like the drama and the fights that are inserted to pump up the show. Besides, I have never believed in competitions when it comes to music; it should only apply to sports. Music is expression, not competition,” he sums up


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