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The Rediff Interview
/ Anu Malik
'Youth is in my blood'
Syed Firdaus Ashraf |
September 16, 2004
I, me and myself.
That is Anu Malik when he grants an interview.
After Murder, Main Hoon Na and Fida the composer is ecstatic about his score for Gurinder Chadda's Bride And Prejudice.
"I have six songs in the film. People who have heard them say they are too good!" Anu tells News Editor (Entertainment) Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
He has also signed an agent to get more work abroad. Anu wants to go international you see!
He has also created a web site so that fans and producers can get in touch with him.
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"There have been many offers. I just want to break in that [West] scene," says Anu.
You want to go international?
It is a great feeling to be called an international composer in the true sense.
I have always been an international composer as far as Indian music is concerned. My films -- Main Hoon Na, Fida and Munnabhai MBBS -- were big hits in the UK, US and Canada.
Now Bride And Prejudice is doing excellently. It is a musical. People who have heard the music are completely bowled over by it!
What kind of music does Bride And Prejudice have?
Very friendly music. Not techno, but soul.
It is music that comes from the roots of our country.
People in the West want to hear Indian melody, not someone who is aping the West. So the music is simple and straight from my heart.
There are six songs.
Ashanti -- the famous singer in the US -- has also sung for me. This was the biggest high for me. She has sung a fantastic song. It has been shot in Goa.
There is a garba, a wedding song, a bhangra that is homage to Yash Chopra. He is the greatest living legend of Bollywood. I also have a great love song between Martin Henderson and Aishwarya Rai (bottom, right). The lyrics are in English.
You have an agent in the US now.
I was invited to the US in October. People there are eager to work with me.
And that is why you have a web site?
It is important because people want to know more about me. If they want to e-mail or be in touch with me, they can do so.
Why didn't you do all this earlier?
I did an English album called Ice earlier but it was too ahead of its time.
Secondly, I was stuck here and never thought of going beyond.
After Main Hoon Na, things have changed.
Karan Johar referred me to Gurinder, and she liked me.
India is happening now. I want my country to be present everywhere in the world.
Anu Malik is giving hit after hit. What's the secret?
To be honest, when other composers came, I took a backseat. Then remixes came into fashion. Music was not selling, and vulgar videos were doing well.
I asked myself what am I supposed to do? Where do I stand among them? Then I formed a game plan.
I started with Munnabhai MBBS.
Then Bheenge hooth tere [Murder] almost became a national anthem. Main Hoon Na's qawali became a big hit.
I have always wanted to set a trend. I did that with Main Hoon Na.
Farah said she wanted a qawali. I told her if I do, it would be in my way.
If you hear the song Tumse milke dil ka haal, I have added the words 'What's up! Wake it!'
No other person would have accepted those. But I am grateful that Farah did.
You have also started acting?
Vipul Shah offered me a role in Waqt -- Race Against Time. I felt the role was promising. I have never been shy of acting.
I acted in Baazigar. I don't know if people would like to see me on screen. I have sung a Holi song and it was the most rocking Holi song ever!
I would love to direct a film one day. With the kind of films made today, I think I will do a better job!
I have loads of ideas but no time.
How do you handle composing for so many films at a time?
I manage because I am in love with my music.
Nothing else excites me more, except my career and family. I put my soul, heart and all my energy [in it]. I come up with ideas constantly.
So many people want to work with me today. New heroes want to be launched by me. In Zaher, I sung a song though I did not give its music. That was one of the best songs sung by me because no one believed it was me! It has been picturised on Emraan Hashmi.
People have heard me singing numbers like Janam Samjha Karo and Oonchi hai building. But this song is completely different.
I like challenges. When people said no song can be made on this line Oonchi hai building, I said I will do it.
I have seen many failures in life. They have hardened and strengthened me.
I am a very insecure person. I work on nervous energy. I am hungry all the time.
I got the Screen Award for Best Composer of the Decade. I got a National Award for Refugee.
You are very good at marketing yourself, aren't you?
Let me tell you that one cannot sell trash. You cannot sell stone in the name of the gold.
In today's times when music companies are going through bad times, I have given them hits.
People come to me because they earn money through me. It is a simple game. The music must sell.
It is not that they love my face. It is not that I have started looking like Brad Pitt!
Won't you agree that you go to producers' offices and ask for work?
How do you market stuff that is not good?
Asking for work is not marketing. In fact, I am helping the producers.
But why must a composer of your stature need to ask for work?
Work is work. If I have made a good tune, I will tell producers that I have made this song, would you like to hear it?
What's wrong in that? I am not cutting my price.
You must understand what is marketing. Are top companies not marketing their products? How do you buy any product?
If you don't see an advertisement of a product, how will you go and buy it?
You can't sit at home and expect people to find out about you.
(Interferes) Listen to me. Marketing is here to stay. The world must know about you. No one will come to your house and ask you: 'Hi! Anu Malik, how are you? What do you eat?'
Anu Malik has to go to top producers like Yash Chopra, Karan Johar, Sooraj Barjatya and Ram Gopal Varma.
He has to ask Yash Chopra, 'Sir, I want to meet you.' If he says he does not have the time, you say 'okay, some other time, sir. I have the talent. Use it.'
There is no harm in doing this.
Don't you feel bad doing this?
Not at all.
Anu Malik has no ego.
Anu Malik is Anu Malik because of his love for work.
If you have an ego, you cannot work.
Do you pray or meditate?
I am not a perfect human being. I believe in supernatural power. I believe someone up there is ruling your life.
I believe in all religions. You can take me to a mandir, a dargah or a church.
I owe my talent to Saraswati Ma.
Though you are getting older, your fans are very young.
Any young boy who sings for me says I am younger than him.
Youth is in my blood. I identify with youngsters.
I was born in 1961. I was 16 when I started composing music. So I feel I am only 23 years old. My biggest fans are 15 to 20 years old. I think based on their sensibility.