Mohit Chauhan, it seems, is the very definition of serenity, which is writ large on his face, which emanates from his voice and presents itself in the choices he has made in his life. Though best loved for his romantic songs, Mohit has been a versatile singer in Bollywood, where he made an entry via Khoon Chala, a song from the film Rang De Basanti.
In Chandigarh on Saturday for a brief stopover before heading to perform at a youth festival, Emanation 2013, organised by Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technologies, Mohit talked about his career-defining moments.
“My journey in the world of music has been quite satisfying and smooth. Even after doing so many projects, my plate is full with big banner films apart from a solo music album that I will release by this year’s end,” he informs with a smile, while reveling in the ambience of City Beautiful. “I have a strong connection with Chandigarh, with my earliest memories of the city including visits to the KC theatre in Sector 17,” says the singer.
Born in Nahan, Himachal Pradesh, Mohit formed a music band called Silk Route in 1996, which churned Dooba Dooba amongst other songs that became instant hits. However, two albums later, the band dissolved.
As a playback singer in Bollywood, Mohit recalls his favourites. “The song Khoon Chala from Rang De Basanti and Tum Se Hi from Jab We Met have been my career-defining numbers. But, it was the film Rockstar that was a milestone for me, in which tracks such as Phir Se Udd Chala and Kun Fayakun are close to my heart. Working with music director Pritam for the film Barfi! was also an experience in itself,” he says. Mohit received his first Filmfare award for best male playback singer in 2010 for the song Masakali from Delhi-6, followed by another in 2012, for the song Jo Bhi Main from Rockstar.
“I have been amongst those lucky singers,” he says, “who have seen both sides of the coin in the music world. While one side is about experiencing freedom while composing for a solo album or performing with my former band; the other side is represented by Bollywood.”
When he takes on a project, Mohit says he tries as best as he can to make unique contributions. “It is a challenge to put yourself in the lyrical emotion offered to you.
Even while travelling to the studio, I keep imagining how the song would be picturised and how I could add to it,” says the singer, adding that adaptability and flexibility are pre-requisites for a playback singer.
Since Mohit hasn’t received any formal training in music, we ask him if it is necessary to achieve success. “Music has nothing to do with learning. It is an art which demands one’s connection with the soul. I am like a shepherd who sings with the sheep, for shepherds are born with their own music. For that matter, even singers such as Kishore da had no formal music training,” he adds.
This year, Mohit was chosen as the ‘Voice Champion’ by British Council and NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training). “I will be promoting music in all NCERT schools and those affiliated with the British Council across India. Music is an amazing part of our lives, so why can’t it be made mandatory at the school level? And, even if children don’t take it up as a profession, its study will benefit them,” he signs off.