Bollywood singer and judge of music reality shows, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, chats up with Brunch. From Kanpur ki chaat to chartered accountancy, everything is on his radar.
If you weren't a singer what would you have been?
I have studied chartered accountancy. And, if I wasn't a singer, I would have been a businessman.
One song you love to sing over and over again.
It's not easy to choose, but I guess Chand taare tode laun would definitely be one of them.
An actor for whom you have really enjoyed singing playback.
All I can say is that I have been lucky enough to be the voice of every Bollywood superstar.
One cherished memory of the song Ole Ole.
When I was called to sing this song, I had no idea that many other singers had already been rejected for it. So as soon as I finished, I saw everyone clapping and saying "Ho gaya! Ho gaya!". Then I was told that I had saved the song from being scrapped from the film.
A classic Hindi film you would have loved to sing for.
I would have loved to sing all the songs in Amar Prem.
Your biggest inspiration in terms of singing is...
How has Bollywood changed?
Unfortunately, today, more than the singer, bad lyrics and tracks dominate the industry. Earlier, the singer used to be the biggest draw.
Your all-time favourite music director.
RD Burman, who was way ahead of his times.
Bollywood's most romantic lead pair.
For me, it's Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan.
One song that currently defines your state of mind.
Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo muqaam… I miss the good old days of my childhood and also the time when we used to have proper recording studios.
One singer you have really enjoyed teaming up with.
Not only as a singer but also as a co-host on several shows, my chemistry with Alka Yagnik has been quite good.
How have talent shows changed from the time you were a judge?
Earlier, they used to be like a learning process for the participants, because we used to criticise each of them constructively. Today, unfortunately, you can only praise the contestant and do nothing else.
Any style of songs you don't feel comfortable singing?
Luckily, I haven't been asked to sing any weird songs like the ones you get to hear nowadays. I still remember when I sang
Main Laila Laila chillaoonga, I thought it to be a bit vulgar.
Your favourite street food.
I really love Kanpur ki chaat, which is awesome.
The biggest risk you have taken?
Coming to Mumbai to become a singer and singing opposite Kishore Kumar in my very first film, Anand Aur Anand.
What makes your day?
Drinking a cup of my favourite Darjeeling black tea in the company of my two pets.
What ruins it?
Not getting that cup of tea.
You destress by...
Heading over to my farmhouse in Lavasa for a visit, where I not only have lots of fruit trees, but I have also kept a lot of birds in a huge enclosure.
BIRTHDAY: October 30
SUN SIGN: Scorpio
PLACE OF BIRTH: Kanpur
SCHOOL/COLLEGE: Ramakrishna Mission School, Christ Church College, Kanpur
FIRST BREAK: Anand Aur Anand (1984)
HIGH POINT OF YOUR LIFE: When I got to sing the most number of songs for Yes Boss (1997)
LOW POINT OF YOUR LIFE: When I lost my mother three years ago
CURRENTLY I...Have just wrapped up a new album that should be out soon
From HT Brunch, April 20
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