Farhan Akhtar directed films always have one thing as constant – good music. The broad range of the songs from earworms, pacy tracks, romantic numbers, the melancholy, the inspirational tracks or the dance numbers, his films always have everything in terms of a consolidated soundtrack.
How does he manage to incorporate such brilliance in his soundtracks? Well to say that the musical team of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are one of the strongest pillars of Akhtar’s film, won’t be wrong.
Be it the new age ‘Koi Kahe’ from ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ that exploded on the clubs in 2001, the Sonu Nigam crooned ‘Tanhayee’, the words of which (written by Farhan Akhtar’s father, the legendary Javed Akhtar) could send a shiver down your lonesome spine, ‘Kandhon Se Milte Hain Kandhe’ from ‘Lakshya’ that fills you with pride for our national heroes or ‘Zara Dil Ko Thaam Lo’ from ‘Don 2’ which oozes flamboyance perfectly in sync with Shah Rukh Khan’s charm, the soundtracks of his films have something for everyone.
When Farhan Akhtar directed the video of Shankar Mahadevan’s ‘Breathless’ along with his sister, filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, he didn’t know that he was about to strike a friendship with Mahadevan that would change the face of Hindi film music.
Farhan Akhtar told IANS, “Shankar and I first met when Zoya and I directed the music video of ‘Breathless’, this was somewhere around 1998 and that’s when a friendship that would go on for decades formed”.
Farhan Akhtar teamed up with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for the music of his directorial debut ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, a film that changed the landscape of Hindi cinema in the early 2000s with its urban storytelling, styling and of course the music which has stood the test of time even after 22 years now.
The director-musician-actor further mentioned, “Shankar and I have been working together for 23 years now and I must say that I think of him and his family as an extension of my own. I have so much respect for him as a person and as a musical genius that he is”.
“And with him, it never feels like working, it’s fun to jam with him because he brings so much to the table”, he added.
Farhan Akhtar, who is known for lending his voice to tracks such as ‘Tum Ho Tum’, ‘Picchle Saat Dinon Mein’ and many others, will be performing at this year’s VH1 SuperSonic music festival.
When asked about what’s the best thing about performing in front of a live audience, he said, “There’s nothing better for an artist than engaging with a live audience and performing in front of them. There is so much active give and take between the performer and the audience in that moment that it can hardly be put into words.”
He added, “It’s an experience that only the stage can bring. I love to see the expression of joy and happiness on the faces of my audience at something that I live to see as an artist. When I’m on stage I don’t put excessive thoughts into my performance. I just go with the flow, I mould my performance according to the mood of the audience and that’s what appeals to me as I said, to gauge the mood of the audience, their emotions and the space that they are in.”
Sharing with IANS the set list for his gig, he said, “We will be playing songs from ‘Echoes’ the album that I released three years ago. There will also be new tracks as well there will be other additions to the list which will be more spontaneous going by the mood of the crowd.”
The director-musician-actor also feels that the Internet has largely helped the artiste community though there’s a lot more that can be done.
“The Internet has helped the music community to bypass the struggle of going through music labels. You log into any audio streaming platform and you will be surprised to explore such a large pool of talent who are not associated with any label but their music has the power to move the audience across physical borders. So the Internet has really empowered the art and the artistes, more so the independent artistes though we still have a long way to go”, he signed off.
Farhan Akhtar will be performing live at the VH1 SuperSonic music festival along with other talents such as Anne-Marie, CKay, Prateek Kuhad and others. Vh1 Supersonic 2023 will be held at Mahalakshmi Lawns, Pune from February 24 through February 26. Fans in Bengaluru can watch two of the headliners from the main festival on February 24.
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