On the Roll

Mohit Chauhan of Jab We Met fame (He sang the hit number Tum se hi) and Neeraj Sridhar of Bombay Vikings might appear like one-among-us to you but their music surely does speak volumes about their varied styles of singing.

Written by Rohan Swamy | Published:January 19, 2009 12:47 am

Singers Mohit Chauhan and Neeraj Shridhar speak about their roots and about what drives them on to write,compose and sing songs

Mohit Chauhan of Jab We Met fame (He sang the hit number Tum se hi) and Neeraj Sridhar of Bombay Vikings might appear like one-among-us to you but their music surely does speak volumes about their varied styles of singing.

Both were in the city to perform at ‘Crescendo’ a festival organised by a prominent B-school from the city.

Says Chauhan,”Bollywood is slowly opening up to newer vistas as far as music is concerned. More and more music composers are warming up to the idea of incorporating newer tunes,instruments and techniques in their songs that would help them break away from the typecast image that Indian music has,the world over.”

Seconding his thought Shridhar says,”Music is all about amalgamating new ideas and languages,and being universal. The very fact that we are hearing a lot of rock influences in the local mainstream Bollywood movies songs is just a testimony of the change.”

Speaking about his music roots and its influence on him,Chauhan says,”I will soon be coming out with a new album. The album will contain a more folksy sound and has an appeal of the northern and northeastern mountain states. The music played in the hilly terrains of the Himachal and northern India will be our main focus in this album. Basically we hope to bring out the flavours of northern India through them.”

“For me it is of prime importance to bring Indian music,be it mainstream Bollywood,classical or even rock and heavy metal,to the world stage. I want to bring in our style of music to the world so that they can stand up and appreciate what we can do. With A R Rahman wining the ‘Golden Globe Award’ the western world is already sitting up to take notice of our talents,” adds Shridhar.

Neeraj shot into the limelight with his Kya surat hai kya surat hai by his band Bombay Vikings and his distinct style of using English lyrics in old Bollywood numbers and remaking them,while Mohit had earlier shot into the spotlight with songs,like Dooba Dooba and Boondein from his band-Silk Route,which went on to become huge hits.

Speaking about the transition from private albums to playback singing,Shridhar says,”For me singing playback meant that I had to understand the idea of the song,the actors style and mould my voice accordingly. It was challenging but at the same time was a lot more fun too.”

“Ever since silk route disbanded I have been writing my own songs,composing them to tunes and also doing Bollywood playback singing. It has been a different experience of sorts and the transition initially was a difficult one but I did manage to smoothen it out and make a cross over into mainstream commercial Bollywood music. And as of now I am managing it pretty well,” Chauhan signs off.

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