‘Women have always inspired me’

Congratulations! This is big news. You’re debuting with a film directed by Sujoy Ghosh starring the most talked about actor right now in the industry, Kangana. You must be a proud man.

That’s good news definitely – happy I am but not proud!

It’s the start of a new innings. Do you feel the same emotions you felt when you were signed on for Autograph?

No feelings are entirely different – when Autograph was happening, I had no clue whatsoever. I did not sign anything. It was just a friend of mine making a film and using 2 of my songs. 
Never knew it would become so big and would change my life so drastically. This time its entirely different. It’s a much measured approach. I am excited but I have kept my expectations very low.

During our previous interactions, you didn’t really seem particularly keen on Bollywood. So what made you take this up?How did you meet Sujoy Ghosh?

I took this up because I want to grow as a musician. A new exposure. Met Sujoy da in Kolkata – we did a TVC together for a Bengali newspaper. I liked Kahaani, he liked my songs and soon we were friends.

Do your fans back in Kolkata have any reason to worry? Are you planning to focus on working in Mumbai now?

Not really. I am extremely good at time management. I am used to much more work load and working hours. I would love to see me neck deep in work. 10-12 hours of work a day is nothing. My only focus is on fresh sound and meaningful music – whatever be the language.

You’re used to penning your compositions. What happens now? Do you write in Hindi?

I am a poet so images come naturally to me. Playing with words is my habit but my Hindi is poor. 
If I rate my Bengali 10/10, my English will be 5/10 and my Hindi 0/10 – so I’m not sure what's going to happen. I will try something. We might get people to write stuff for us.

You’re a big supporter of independent music. Your third album is in the making. Any plans of a Hindi album?

No plan. I have plans of recording stuff in English since I have some songs already written. Released a single Second Sex last year around this time. And my Bengali albums will continue …

You’ve spoken of your love for cinema, and your wish to make films someday. How do you balance so many things? You’re a poet, writer, singer, composer, lyricist already. Does it ever get too much?
As I was telling you, balancing is something I’m pretty good at. I love to do multiple things. 

I divide my day accordingly. I have balanced my education, music, office, literature throughout my life. Since I got rid of my office in 2011 I have more time these days. 

Artistes are known to have muses. Do you? What inspires you?

Of course I have had muses. Women have always inspired me. Life inspires me. Love does. City does. Nature does. Films do. Books do. 

Your music has an underlying feeling of love and hope. Is that an extension of the person that you are?

My writings in Bengali are mostly about my personal space and life. So they get reflected very easily. Most of them are directly from the heart. I am a very emotional person but I try to hide it carefully. Carefully crafted words, phrases and melody keep me safe from the big bad world. 

Bollywood is witnessing a surge of talent from Bengal. JeetGanguly hit bull’s eye last year with Aashiqui 2, Jisshu Sengupta is acting opposite Rani Mukerji in a film produced by YRF, Parambrata has a big film, Traffic, up for release. Some of Kolkata’s best talents are moving to Bombay. Will the Bengali film industry suffer as a result?

As long as people work in both domains with equal prowess, I don’t think we will suffer. 

Autograph released in 2010 and catapulted you to overnight stardom. How did it affect you? How were you able to keep your feet on the ground?

It helped because I could leave my job and come back to my city, Kolkata. I am too young for all this attention. I don’t take this seriously. 
I have lost so many years in the corporate world. I have to work really hard now and make up for those lost years. I have to keep my feet on the ground. 

Any word of advice to young people looking to follow in your footsteps?

Listen to your heart and keep learning.

What after Durga Rani Singh? How well do you see yourself fitting in Bollywood in this age of Honey Singh and Baby Doll? 

I will have my own brand of music. If there are takers well and good. If there are no – that’s fine too. I will try to be simple and honest with my approach. 

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody knows. Or, share an anecdote. Something about Anupam the person, not the celebrity! 

I don’t like waking up early and I am a football freak.

(Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, hopes to soon finish writing her debut novel, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy.)

Next Story
Share it