As the language of Bollywood music is changing and the celebration of unusual voices is becoming a new trend, National Award-winning lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya says the right voice casting is very important to justify a song. “Voice casting has a major role to play in a song — whether it is on composition or lyrics. When you assign any song to a singer, it is not only about singing a song but also about how the singer’s rendition takes the song to the next level. It is a music director’s call,” Bhattacharya told IANS here.
“That is how sometimes some unconventional voice works for a song. Though I wanted to become a singer, now I understand how my voice can work for some songs and not for all,” he added. Starting his career with films like Aamir and earning popularity with Dev D where music composer Amit Trivedi was instrumental in making him pen the songs over singing, Bhattacharya believes that it was the right decision to shift his interest from singing to writing.
“Yes, it was a situational decision where Amit told me to write songs for him, but I think I am a better lyricist than a singer, he said. Talking about vulgar lyrics in Bollywood songs, Bhattacharya says the beauty of using quirky words has gone down.
“It has become a child’s play now. When I wrote ‘Emotional atyachar’, the scenario was different. That is why using quirky lyrics worked then and listeners enjoyed such a song. Nowadays every another song is written on such rhythm — like a ‘night-light-bright-tight’ and it is a song! Therefore, everyone is becoming a lyricist. But what they are not understanding is that there is a way to do it,” he said.
Bhattacharya says “one has to justify the emotion of the song while using words” when it comes to bringing back the beauty in lyrics. “Take these three songs — ‘Ae dil hai mushkil’, ‘The break up song’ and ‘Bulleya’. Though all the characters speak in Hinglish and urban, I did not use any English word to articulate the unrequited love on the title track, rather simple Hindi.
“On the other hand, ‘The break up song’ is a quirky one, though it is about break up. Now ‘Bulleya’ demanded such Urdu words to give a Sufiyana touch,” he said, adding: “As a lyricist, when you understand these nuances, you won’t use such quirky lyrics like a child’s play, but intelligently.”
He stressed on the importance of composition and sound production for a song — saying that it’s not entirely a lyricist’s responsibility. “We are living in an age where listeners are familiar with a certain kind of sound. Therefore, from the instrumental arrangement to the rendition of the song, everything matters. As a lyricist, melody drives me to write a song, so yes the foundation of a song is the chemistry between lyrics and melody.”