Many music directors and singers, including Himesh Reshammiya, Sonu Nigam and Shekhar Ravjiani, have ventured into acting. Following his peers is now music composer Salim Merchant, who recently tested his acting skills in a short film opposite Tillotama Shome. “I have been creating music for as long as I can remember. The music industry is an ocean, and I wanted to drown in it. When I started preparing for my role as an actor, I realised the difficulty I was facing. My heart and soul still lie in music, of course,” says Salim.
While most music directors have chosen to do full-fledged films, Salim chose the unconventional route. “I have been approached to do films several times in the past. But I wasn’t comfortable with the roles, as I was being offered small parts. I’ll be honest. For my first acting role, no matter how small, I wanted to play the lead,” he says.
The music director, who will also be seen in a Farhan Akhtar’s starrer, says he was inspired by the films that he has created the music for. “Being in this industry, and while working on different films, I have always followed great actors like Amitabh Bachchan saab and Nana Patekar. I have scored music for films in which actors have played their parts so well. I never thought I’ll act, but when I finally indulged in it, all those movies became my inspiration,” says Salim.
He also feels that “music and acting are connected”. He adds, “Even when you’re singing, you’re performing. It’s like you’re performing an actor’s part, but in the form of a song. And when you’re creating music, you are actually creating an emotion that is cinematic. So, both these fields are quite similar, which is why it wasn’t difficult for me to act.”
However, Salim realised how much hard work goes into acting. “I did a lot of workshops to hone my acting skills,” he says.