‘Indi-pop died even before it was born’

David marks your come back to Bollywood after many years... What made you accept this film?

Lately I'd been thinking of getting exclusively into film music direction. I was a bit tired of doing playback, though some of those songs were wonderful too, and gave me some of my biggest hits. When Bejoy approached me I said I would do the tracks on condition that I directed, composed and recorded the music myself, and he agreed. So this was the perfect film at the perfect time for me.  

How was the experience of working for David ... what was the brief about the film that was given to you, and what kind of music did you have in mind when you started work?

It was great. Bejoy came with Maria Pitache specifically in mind. We agreed the film version ought to be a little different from the one on an earlier album of mine, and that half the verses should be in Hindi to appeal on a national level. The second track, Lighthouse Symphony, allows me to express my side as composer and arranger, as it is a background piece projecting different moods through the same simple melody played in different ways.

You have said Bollywood is only kind of music that interests recording companies today... Have you had a problem finding companies to release your music?

Of course. Some time after
O Meri Munni,
record companies started insisting that even established pop and rock artists pay for their own recordings, promotion and music videos - which I refused to do. They would only sit back, sell, and collect the moollah. Can't blame them fully; internet and online piracy hit the world big time just then. But companies could have fought and persevered, the way they've done abroad. I feel they chose the easy way out and went with mega-selling movie releases, letting the Indian independent pop and rock scene die before it was even fully born.

What about the audience... do you think they appreciate different kind of music if they get it?

The audience, who is the final entity for whom all this is produced, is usually the most underestimated link in the chain. The audience is intelligent and discerning enough to want something new and different, as long as they can relate to it.

New projects... anything that is exciting you at present?

Yes, I have directed, composed and sung the title track for a new film called Luv U Soniyo by first time director Joe Rajan. Howard Rosemeyer, that obscenely over-talented man, has directed the music video. It is simple, but highly effective and exciting. The film introduces hot stud Tanuj Virwani, Rati Agnihotri's son, and beautiful Neha Hinge, Miss India 2010.

In spite of your reluctance to conform to the popular genre of music in India... your popularity has never diminished over the years... reason for that...

Ah, thank you! Perhaps that very non-conformity is the reason? And I guess this non-conformist music appeals to people...
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