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Sukhwinder Singh: It took me six months to get my next song after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

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31 October,2014: Whether it’s the passionate ballad ‘Bismil’ in Haider, the groovy birthday anthem ‘Happy Budday’ in ‘Kill Dil’ or the peppy ‘Satakli’ from ‘Happy New Year’, Sukhwinder Singh pretty much masters every song he lends his vocals to. The singer, composer and lyricist talks about his upcoming projects, competitors and his mantra to succeed in the industry.

What are you currently working on?
Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi, who made the movie Pinjar, is directing a very different kind of film, called Zed Plus. Hrishitaa Bhatt and I are playing sutradhars in it. We have composed 3-4 songs that have been picturised on us. It was a great experience, as we shot in Mandawa (Rajasthan) at a heritage palace. Though I have faced the camera before, this was a different experience as I got to work with a very passionate and intelligent filmmaker. I have also recently sung an English number for the international play Monsoon Wedding, based on the Hindi film by Mira Nair. We have composed this English song on a Pahadi raga; this will be the first of its kind in the world.

How do you choose your songs?
I don’t put conditions on the kind of songs I want to sing. Luckily, I have always been offered peppy, dance-based numbers. In fact, in my entire career, I have never sung sad songs, except for Layi Vi Na Gayi (Chalte Chalte). But during live stage performances, audiences dance to even that song! Music directors usually come to me with celebratory songs. Maybe because I cannot be bound or ordered to sing a particular way; I am spontaneous and I sing very randomly. There is a common saying about me in the industry: ‘Yeh pinjre ka sher nahi hai, yeh toh jungle ka sher hai.’

Are you fazed by competition and the new crop of singers in the industry?
Competition works only in sports, not in the field of music. When you sing, the only thing you win is hearts… I don’t make a list of how many songs I have in my kitty. I just go with the flow. If I keep counting how many songs I have sung or how many awards I have won, I won’t be able to sing wholeheartedly. For a passionate person like me, it’s difficult to maintain a patient, slow and steady approach towards work, but I have trained my mind into doing that. Being aggressive doesn’t work. After singing for ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, it took me six months to get my next song! But I believe it’s okay even if I sing only 10 songs a year; they should be sung well.

Who are your music inspirations?
I have learned a lot from my seniors. I haven’t seen a single picture of Kishore da or Rafi sahab not smiling during a performance. Even today, I am learning from Lataji and Ashaji. Lataji may have retired from singing in movies, but even at her age, she practises daily for hours. As for Ashaji, whether she is travelling in an aircraft or cooking in her kitchen, she is always doing her riyaz. These people have set an example for me. Despite being legends, they don’t believe in increasing the count of their songs; they only believe in singing to the best of their abilities.

Source:The Times of India

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