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'My songs are targeted at 23-year olds'
Subhash K Jha
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January 16, 2006 15:36 IST

Himesh ReshammiyaFor a man who virtually came in from the cold, Himesh Reshammiya's [Images] career in 2005 was a rocking roster of chartbusters.

"I don't know how it happened," he says, modestly. "But the journey has been exciting, especially in the last year when the big banners suddenly woke up to me."


Earlier, Reshammiya was one of the also-rans, waiting at the fringes of the charts where Anu Malik [Images], Jatin-Lalit and Shankar-Ehsan-Loy ruled. Tere Naam [Images] (2004) was a turning point. "I owe that score and a lot of the other things I compose to Laxmikant-Pyarelal. They are my idols. Unfortunately, that is not what today's average listener wants to hear. I realised that when Just Chill and Aashiq Banaya Aapne hit the charts."


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Aashiq Banaya,
with Reshammiya handling the nasal sufi vocals himself, was the biggest single of 2005. "It really became big... yes, bigger than I thought it would. It is being played at every pub and party. I'm flattered. The good innings that began with Aitraaz last year really grew this year. But I realise the profile of music listeners has changed considerably. Today, the average listener is 23 years old, and he downloads music. My songs have to be targeted at that group. That's the only way a film score can work."


Hence, the sufi-rock sounds of Aashiq Banaya Aapne [Images]. One hears a similar tune in Anant Mahadevan's Aksar. "Yes, I realise that. But I'm not going to pursue that sound this year. I like to create a sound, and then leave it behind. This year, you'll hear  a different sound from me in Abbas-Mustan's 36 China Town, Satish Kaushik's Shaadi Se Pehle [Images], Priyadarshan's [Images] Phir Hera Pheri, Anil Sharma'a Apne and Dharmesh Darshan's Aap Ki Khatir [Images]."


Dharmesh is a significant Reshammiya convert. So far, both Darshan brothers -- Suneel and Dharmesh -- have sworn by the sounds of Nadeem-Shravam. Nadeem had done such chartbusters as Raja Hindustani and Dhadkan for Dharmesh's cinema. Several filmmakers like David Dhawan, who swore by Anu Malik's sounds, have also made a sly switch to Reshammiya. The composer shrugs off the melodist's mantle. "I'm not here to displace anyone. I'd be happy just doing my work. My time has been divided between composing for around six-seven assignments and serving as a judge on the music contest Sa Re Ga Ma Pa."


He is extremely pleased with the quality of singing he has heard on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. "One of the contestants, Vinit Singh, has already sung for me in Rocky. I definitely plan to use other voices, like Himani Kapoor, who is outstanding. We're a nation of singers. Not all Indians watch films, but do you know anyone who doesn't listen to Lataji, Ashaji, Mohd Rafi or Kishore Kumar?"

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