After reaching the pinnacle of stardom as the winner of the first season of Indian Idol, Abhijeet Sawant launched his third album, Farida, recently. In this interview, the singer talks about his new project, the way the industry has treated him and his interest in acting.
Tell us about this album.
Farida is a Sufi album. It comprises seven songs composed by four music composers. I feel that this genre is still new to the Indian music industry. There’s a lot of scope for exploration.
Why did it take you six years to release this album?
I got carried away with the flow and lost track. That’s how I got into acting and dance reality shows. I also believe that it wasn’t the best time to come up with an album because the music culture in India was undergoing a change. Now, the industry is open for non-film music.
Describe your journey after Indian Idol.
I struggled a lot after winning the show. My work wasn’t taken seriously. Music composers thought that I’d already achieved stardom and I didn’t need any more songs. People would even taunt me. Once I called up a composer and he addressed me as ‘Oh Abhijeet Sawant, the star!’ The mentality in the industry is to promote an underdog and not give opportunities to a person who has already proved himself.
What led you to try your hand at acting?
I like to get in someone else’s shoes. I don’t want a lot of money or popularity. So my interest in acting has nothing to do with commercial benefits.
Why don’t we get to hear you more often in Hindi films?
I’m very shy and introverted. To do well in this industry, you need to run after people and I don’t think I can do that. I’d love to come up with albums and perform live. That’s my source of bread and butter.
Many reality show contestants eventually get sidelined. Why?
Coming from a reality show is not a degree. Such shows are only platforms for showcasing talent and getting recognition. Winning a
competition doesn’t make any difference to the struggle in your career. Before Indian Idol, I used to sing in temples and mandals. Today, people are fortunate to have many other platforms.
Which among your songs is your all-time favourite?
‘Lafzon mein’ (Aap Ka Apna Abhijeet Sawant; 2005) is my favourite. The title track from Farida is also very special to me.
What are your upcoming projects?
I am working on a romantic Marathi album.