In what turned out to be his last recorded interview, late ghazal legend Jagjit Singh candidly spoke at length about his struggling days in the city, the changing times and his new projects.
The hour-long audio interview, interspersed with unplugged performances by the singer, was recorded for a mobile music series two days before he was admitted to the ICU. Singh said, “Ek zamaana aisa tha, I was the hit party singer. Lekin waha se kaam nahi mila mujhe. Sirf partiyon mein gaake timepass kiya, aur naam aa gaya. (I used to be a hit party singer at one time, but never got any playback singing assignments. But still, earned a name for myself).
Not many know that the first job offer Singh received was for a role as a Gujarati film hero. “Mujhe first break mila Aziz Merchant se, Gujarati music director the. Pehele toh Aziz mujhe hero banana chahate the, Gujarati film mein. Meine kaha maaf karo baba, mujhe gaayak hi rehene do…. Toh usne bola theek hai… ek bhajan gaa diyije (My first break was in a Gujarati film whose music was directed by Aziz Merchant. At first, Merchant wanted to offer me the hero’s role but I refused politely,” said Singh to the interviewer, music composer Shameer Tandon. Singh went on to hit the big time in films like Saath Saath (1982) and Arth (1982).
This interview was the first episode in the music series, ‘Music Mehfil’ planned by Universal and Airtel. “I think it was destiny that made us begin with Jagjitji, and we are honoured to have had this interview recorded,” says Ashish Joshi, Universal Music.
Airtel users can listen to the full interview by dialing 544115.