PlanetBollywood.com correspondent Amanda Sodhi had a chance to briefly speak with the voice behind many soulful songs including Madno and Zameen O Aasmaan (Lamhaa), Tose Nainaa (Anwar), Dhol Yaaraa Dhol (Dev D) and Mushkil Khushaa (Dus Kahaaniyaan): Kshitij Tarey. Below follows an interview in which Kshitij talks about his musical journey, his experience working with various composers, upcoming projects and more. Read away!
You learned music from the age of three…Tell us a bit about your musical journey.
Was the transition from Rajasthan to Bombay difficult?
No, it wasn’t that difficult because I had a few family friends here in Bombay who were very helpful. So, I didn’t feel out of my comfort zone.
How you got your break as a singer in Bollywood in Anwar?
Lyricist Sayeed Qadri ji, who also wrote the songs for Lamhaa, is also from Rajasthan and he heard me at one of my ghazal concerts and asked me to meet him in Bombay. He is my godfather and I got my entry in Bollywood due to him.
You’ve also recorded a few jingles…
Yeah, I got the opportunity to record jingles after Anwar. Usually first you sing jingles and then you get songs, but for me it was a bit ultaa—I first got a break in Bollywood and then jingles. I’ve done jingles for Maruti, Moov, Bournvita, Champions, Monte Carlo, Sunfeast, etc.
You have worked with Mithoon Sharma, Amit Trivedi, Bappa Lahri and Raghav Sachar. Any observations on their approach to composing?
They all have their distinctive styles. Like you can tell by listening to their work if it is by Mithoon or Amit or Raghav. I think they are all very good and have their own styles.
How long does it usually take to record a song?
The songs in Lamhaa took two days.
Wow! Two days?
(laughs) Yeah, it took a long time. The Dev D song took 15-20 minutes. The song for Mithoon’s album took half an hour. It varies.
Do you play any instruments?
I play the guitar a little bit. I’m not that good at it. I play for fun and for friends.
Do you have any favorite singers and composers?
From the current generation I like KK’s work and Sunidhi and Shreya’s work as well. Of course, Rahman sir also! And, from the younger generation of composers I like Amit, Mithoon…everyone does good work.
Are there any singers or composers in particular whom you want to work with?
I want to work with everyone! Whomever I get a chance with I will work.
Is their an actor you’d like to sing for?
It will be a big day for me the day I get to sing for Shahrukh Khan. But I want to work with everyone and do good work, more importantly.
Any advice for aspiring singers?
I am not that big to be giving advice to others, but I think it’s important to keep it simple and be honest.
You have been in Bombay for eight years—are there any changes you’d like to see happening in the music industry?
Everyone should get due credit yaar. And, piracy should go away but I don’t know if that’s possible. Lamhaa’s music released and when I came home already it was available for downloading on all these Web sites. Piracy should go away but I don’t know if it will. And, everyone involved in a song or movie should get their due credit.
What are your upcoming projects?
Allah Ke Bandey which has music by Chirantan Bhatt, Will You Mary Me? which has music composed by Sachin Gupta and 2-3 Marathi movies including Be Lagam and Marathon which has music by Nilesh Moharirand.
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