He stormed India's remix scene with Main Chali Main Chali. Catch Neeraj Shreedhar of the Bombay Vikings in a chat with Sonil Dedhia.
Why did you move to Sweden? Wasn't there enough scope in India?
No.. it's not that I didn't have any opportunities here, but my family sent me to Sweden so I could pursue the kind of music I love.
Was it difficult to be accepted as a singer there?
I moved in with my brother in Sweden when I was just 12. I did some studying, but 24x7, I was dreaming music. I had grown up on Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Rod Stewart, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Soon I found myself gigging with Swedish bands. I was `that Indian chap'. When they realised I was as good as any Swedish singer, I was acccepted.
How did Bombay Vikings happen?
<b1>Bombay Vikings was formed way before we came to India, it was known as Vikings. Once, when I was travelling to Germany for a concert, I was humming a Hindi song with a touch of English lyrics in it. My colleagues said why not do that in India?
Did you face copyright problems..because of your remixes of old movie songs?
I did face problems..but then slowly but surely we were accepted. Like we revived the song Main chali main chali (Professor) with our remix. Otherwise, it could have been forgotten.
After that, we did get several offers to compose movie songs..but we bided our time. It's just two years ago that I've settled in Mumbai to do playback singing.
Let me make it clear, I've no intentions of becoming a full time playback singer. I will continue to be a music composer.
Shankar Mahadevan, Kunal Ganjawala, Kailash Kher, KK, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal are excellent singers.
It's believed that the music industry is facing its worst ever recession?
That's because of easy access to the Internet which allows you to download and then there is piracy. Moreover, why are we so imitative of the west. Why are we still seduced by The Backstreet Boys and Sean Paul? Why can't we be original?