While shooting for Rock On 2 in Shillong in 2015, Farhan Akhtar would spend a lot of time with his guitar as he didn’t have much to do after wrapping up the shoot. “So I would be in my room, writing and composing songs,” says Akhtar. Since the film was a musical drama, he ended up spending a lot of time with musicians. Now, four years later, Akhtar has come out with Echoes, his debut album, which was released on April 12. With a consistent acoustic sound, which is a feat for Akhtar because of a voice that has sidelined from the melody often in the past, Akhtar has stressed quite a bit on the lyrics. “We had initially composed songs in a slightly higher key but then decided to tone it down and make it more intimate and acoustic for the audience,” he says.
A single from the album, “Seagull”, is Akhtar’s favourite. “I wrote this song around 25 years ago and I am glad I could share it with my fans,” he says, about the piece which talks about mindspace at the end of a relationship. “We tend to focus a lot on the bad and what went wrong in the relationship that make us overlook the good moments. That is what the song is about,” he adds.
Another song that stands out is “Why couldn’t it be me”, which Farhan Akhtar wrote in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on school kids in Peshawar, Pakistan, in December 2014. The song speaks about the futility of war and narrates the story of a young boy whose brother died in the attack. However, the boy himself bunked school that day and the song speaks of his regret and sorrow.
Akhtar has been known for juggling quite a few things — direction, acting, singing and composing, but until recently he wasn’t comfortable launching an independent music album.
“I feel there’s always a time for things. Earlier, I just didn’t feel confident to launch an album. However, I realised that I wanted to give my fanbase something different. I have really enjoyed putting this record together,” says Farhan Akhtar, who will also be performing live shows in the US starting May 20, and hopes to perform in India too.
“I would like to think I am a performer as well as a music creator. Creating music and performing are two very different things and I hope the audience enjoys the shows,” he says.
Currently shooting for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s sports drama Toofan, Farhan Akhtar says he is enjoying hip-hop and rap these days.
“I play a boxer in my next film so these tunes really get me going when I train,” says Akhtar.