Till recently, he was all over tellydom as a judge on the reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Suddenly, the glib-happy Ismail Darbar went out of circulation. With a music album and an American project on hand, he’s back.
What’s this album you’re doing?
It’s called Rasiya Saajan. It’s the first time I’ve recorded for an album. I’ve done it for a friend in the music company Mauj.
I think it’s the right time to experiment with music. There are five compositions and there’s all kind of beat and rhythm. We recently shot the video. I’m really impressed with the way it’s been shot.
Recently, there was news that you composed for an American film.
That’s right. It’s called Unforgettable. I’m creating the background music for the film currently. I’ve recorded a song with Sunidhi Chauhan.
I don’t call the singers personally but this time I made an exception because I felt only Sunidhi could have sung a particular number. It’s a song that ideally should have been sung by Lataji (Mangeshkar) but Sunidhi did a great job.
Why are you not composing for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya?
Sanjay and I are like cat and mouse. One moment we’re fighting and the next we make up. Yes, I’m not doing Saawariya but there’s no problem between us. Trust me, I want Saawariya to have the best music of all times.
Didn’t you get upset when he chose Monty to compose for the film?
That’s his decision. Saawariya’s music is by Monty, someone whom I’ve seen grow up. He is Pyarelalji’s (of Laxmikant-Pyarelal ) nephew. I’ve learnt music from Pyarelalji’s brothers and their father Pandit Ram Prasad Sharma.
I feel proud that someone from our family is composing for Saawariya. I can’t tell you how happy I am for Monty. I used to drop him to school. He arranged the title song of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. I’m not lying but that’s my best song ever.
How much have you learnt from your father, the late Hussain saab?
My father was a saxophonist. He played for Kashmir Ki Kali. When Laxmikant-Pyarelalji heard him play, they regretted the fact that he had wasted his talent. But my father was like that. He had no intentions of making money. He was in love with the art.
It’s believed that A R Rahman and you don’t get along well?
That’s untrue. I call him ‘guru’. He also respects me. As professionals, I admit we have crossed paths with each other twice. I remember he won at two different award functions; he went on to win for Taal and Saathiya.
See the humility in him..he called me through lyricist Mehboob and said that I deserved both the awards (for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas). That’s why I respect him.
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