We met up with him to present the SpotboyE Salaam trophy.
Excerpts from the conversation that followed:
You have won all awards this year including SpotboyE Salaam for Best Lyrics (Bulleya, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil). Did you, at that point of time, think that every song you penned for the film will go on to become a chartbuster?
2016 was a good year for me, one of the lucky years I would say as Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) and Dangal released one after the other. When you are working on the album, you do your best and hope ki woh chale, lekin woh kis hadd takk pahuchega that you can never estimate before it releases. With Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, every song did well from the moment it went on air. I was very happy. I always write after the tune is given to me and this time was no exception.
Were you sure of getting so many awards?
I was hoping to get awards this year and let me tell you why. I had been nominated for 6 years consecutively and considering the ‘DiCaprio’ factor, I was hoping ki mera number lag jaae. ADHM did it for me (smiles).
What was the brief given to you for the music album of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil?
Karan Johar and I have a rapport considering I have worked on a number of Dharma Films before, however, this was the first time I was writing for Karan’s directorial. He didn’t over-brief me, he gave me a narration and I could sense the tone of the film.
For the songs, he told me that I want simple songs because the protagonist is not a famous singer, wo shaukiya gaata hai. As for me, I always write on tunes and Pritam had made such remarkable melodies that there was an instant connection.
Complete music albums like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil are rare. Why so?
If by ‘complete albums’ you mean that every song of the album of the package connects with the viewers, then yes, the frequency of such albums is few. We get a number of albums with every mood...
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Poster
No, in earlier times, all songs of Rajesh Khanna and Rishi Kapoor films were chartbusters. Why has that disappeared?
Sometimes, I feel that albums which are supposed to make it, will do so anyhow. We are just the medium. With ADHM, I was told that all songs worked well. Especially the first 3 numbers that came out – the title track, Bulleya, Channa Mereya – the audience latched on to them.
Which is your favourite song of the three?
Channa Mereya. It is very close to my heart. Not because I won most awards for this song, but from the day we cracked it, it has stayed with me. Pritamda had given the melody to me along with a few optional melodies and we were to present the song to Karan the next day. I remember I was leaving Yash Raj Studios and going to Dada’s (Pritam) studio and gradually I begin thinking of how the song would be and started penning it. On that note, let me tell you that the first draft for the aforementioned numbers was the final one (smiles). And yes, let me tell you one more thing.
Image Source: mansworldindia, twitter/dharmamovies & postpickle