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Destined to sing

After delivering three romantic hits, Banjaara, Dard dilon ke and Baarish, singer Mohammad Irfan is all set to mesmerise the audience with songs in Kick and Singham Returns. Excerpts from an exclusive chat

Written by Priya Adivarekar | Mumbai |
Updated: July 18, 2014 1:00:21 am
Mohammad Irfan   Mohammad Irfan

Banjaara from Ek Villain has been topping the music charts. How did the song come your way?

Banjaara happened because of my association with Mithoon, which goes back to 2008. I have sung quite a few tracks for him, which includes two songs in the film Lamhaa, one in Murder 2 and then, Baarish from Yaariyan this year. He always uses my voice to experiment with good songs. If I perform the song well and it suits the requirements, then my voice is retained. Mithoon told me that Banjaara is picturised on the protagonist, who is completely lost and when he meets this one girl, he finds comfort, love and peace. So, the feeling of content and comfort had to be brought out in the song. The song was recorded in a day, but the lyrics were still being written, so I came back for another session.

Since your name is synonymous with romantic songs, do you miss out on singing tracks from other genres?

Any artist would love to be called a versatile singer. But, I am very happy with the kind of songs I am working on. Be it soft romantic songs, emotional numbers or slow melodies; I like singing these styles and if I continue to get more songs in this space, I’ll be more than happy to sing them. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to sing dance numbers. As long as a track has good lyrics and don’t have any demeaning words, I am okay with anything. But, the response that I am getting for romantic songs is definitely huge. I personally feel that love songs strike a chord with the audience and touches their heart. So, I really wish this good run continues.

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Any music composer who tops your wishlist?

I was lucky that my debut as a playback singer had A.R. Rahman’s blessing and my song in Raavan, Behne de got noticed. It was my childhood dream of working with him, and god made that happen. I consider myself fortunate to work with Himesh sir (Reshammiya) and Mithoon. But one composer that I really want to work with is Vishal Bhardwaj. I have been following his work since a long time and I hope that dream is fulfilled someday.

Was singing always on the cards for you?

I don’t have a musical background. People in my family continue to be surprised at the way I am progressing in this field. Singing came to me naturally and I consider it as god’s blessing. It all started when I met my school music teacher, Ramachari sir. During classes, he noticed my talent and was the first one to encourage me to enhance my skills. Later, I started training under him, became a member of his academy, Little Musicians in Hyderabad, and even performed at shows. Although my parents were supportive of my singing, they never approved my decision of taking it up as a career. Since I had a degree in engineering, my father wanted me to take up a job, which I was sceptical about. I didn’t want to take up a regular job. Instead, I preferred to take up singing seriously and shift to Mumbai. I had to face a lot of opposition from my family, especially my dad. Initially, I had to go through some struggle and convince my parents that this is the right way to go. But thankfully, things started falling in place after a couple of years and the result of my work has made everything normal.

What were the initial hurdles you faced as a playback singer?

Shifting to Mumbai was a huge step, because I didn’t know anyone here. I couldn’t find a way to enter the industry as a playback singer, so I thought of giving reality shows a try. I participated in shows like Amul Star Voice of India and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee TV, where I was among the top five singers. Fortunately, the song in Raavan came my way, because of Ramachari sir, as I had performed at the annual function of his academy in 2009. Dr. S.P. Balasubramaniam was invited as the chief guest and when he heard me singing live, he became emotional and told me that he will recommend my name to Rahman sir. So, Raavan happened in 2010. Later in 2012, I won Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar. In a way, television shows helped me to establish myself, at least in the city.

What about your future projects?

I have sung Tu hi tu in Kick. Then, there is a romantic number in Singham Returns. There are quite a few other projects as well, but I am not allowed to talk about it. I am waiting to see how people respond to my work. But, you will definitely get to hear a lot of me in the coming months.

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