Musician Suraj Jagan, singer of Give me some sunshine from 3 Idiots, last month featured on an online birthday tribute video to late Beatle John Lennon.
Record label EMI, YouTube and Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono collaborated to come up with a YouTube channel to commemorate Lennon’s 70th birth anniversary. A number of musicians put together a video testimonial to the late singer. Jagan, the only Indian musician on the video, featured alongside musicians Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
"EMI contacted me and said they wanted a short clip in which I speak about what a big influence John Lennon has been," Jagan says. "I’ve felt a connection with his music since my childhood and got on board instantly."
In his one-and-a-half-minute clip, Jagan has spoken about his favourite Lennon track, A hard day’s night, and Matchbox, a band he’d formed while in Hong Kong, which extensively covered the Beatles. The inspiration to play their songs, he says, came from how simple, yet complex, their sound was.
"Lennon was one of the few musicians I’ve looked up to ever since my uncle in London brought me cassettes of the Beatles. We were such great fans that we tweaked their songs and played them as mainstream rock tracks," he says.
Although Jagan didn’t get a chance to interact with Ono or the other musicians on the video, he says the clip was worth the effort. He adds, “Within a month, the viewer count has gone up to roughly 40,000. And most are from Canada and the US.”
Having sung a number of Bollywood tracks including Rang de from My Name Is Khan and the title track of Karthik Calling Karthik, Jagan made his acting debut with Rock On!!. He has also lent vocals to songs on forthcoming movies Saat Khoon Maaf and Zindagi Milegi Naa Dobara, and now tours as an independent musician.