His songs are always rooted in literature and lyricist Irshad Kamil is happy that poetry is making a comeback in Bollywood songs.
Kamil, 44, who is inclined towards poetry and folk tunes, be it the inclusion of Baba Farid’s popular hymn Kaga sab tan khaiyo… in Nadan Parindey from Rockstar or immensely hummable Jag Ghoomeya from Sultan, says without literature it is not possible to write good songs.
“I take involving poetry in Bollywood albums as a welcoming move. Vocabulary wise I experiment a lot. I did PhD in Hindi poetry and that is the reason why there is a strong influence of literature in my lyrics. I feel, be it any writer, reading is must, without reading good literature, you cannot write well,” Kamil told PTI.
The lyricist feels involving poetry in the songs not only enriches them, but also popularizes the poets, who have not received the recognition they deserved.
“If Ikk Kudi was not part of Udta Punjab, how many people would have known it is written by Shiv Kumar Batalvi, people, who are not avid readers, also know him now.
“Be it Faiz, Ghalib, Bulle Shah… poetry only enriches the lyrics. When I write, I keep in mind to not be superficial and repetitive. I try to find out innovative ways to express the same feeling and poetry helps me in that,” he added.
Kamil, who is getting a lot of praise for his latest venture Sultan said his favourite track from the album is Jag Ghoomeya sung by Rahat Fatel Ali Khan. The writer feels one needs to get into the skin of the character and understand the feelings when penning a romantic song.
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“One needs to go into the story of the character before writing anything. If you are not able to understand the character completely you cannot write from your heart.
“Superficial lyrics can be written but, to write love songs like Jag Ghoomeya one needs to become the character,” he said.
Produced by Yash Raj Films, Sultan has superstar Salman Khan in the lead role of a wrestler, but for Kamil, casting is the last thing he would think about while writing the songs.
“I don’t think casting influences my lyrics. They may matter after sometime. But initially, it’s only the story and the character. I don’t select films by looking at the star cast. If I feel I can contribute to a movie as a lyricist then only I take up that project.
“An actor’s presence does not affect me. I feel if the actor is himself on the screen then the film doesn’t touch the audience. The actor has become the character he/she is playing. I don’t write to justify the image of any actor. That way, I won’t be doing justice to my work,” he said.
Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the movie marks Kamil’s third collaboration with the filmmaker after Gunday and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. The lyricist said he shares a good rapport with Zafar and understand his vision.
“This is my third project with Ali Abbas Zafar. I can properly understand what he wants in certain kind of situations. A director sees his film at least 20 times in his imagination before it comes to the cast and crew. We all join very late. If the director doesn’t like my lyrics, I don’t mind changing it. I will rewrite the songs even ten times if needed. It is my job,” he said.
Also starring Anushka Sharma as Aarfa, the movie revolves around a wrestler from Haryana, Sultan Ali Khan, and his quest to prove himself after he hits the rock bottom in his career.
Music composers Vishal-Shekhar have given the music of the film, which is set to hit the theaters this Eid.