He’s a face that the media’s not known.. his voice ironically is a rage. Never to be seen at award functions and premieres, he’s a favourite with music composers today. Best known for Pappe pyar karke pachtaya in Pyaar Ke Side Effects, Lut gaya sardar in Hattrick and most popular for Mundiya tu bachke rahi in Boom, Labh Janjua has proved to be a lucky charm for most music composers he’s worked with. Right now, he’s busy working on a song at a recording studio in Andheri. Without much do or dah I ask:
Why have you been hiding from the press?
I’ve not been hiding; I have actually avoided the media purposely. Whenever I go out for shows and concerts, the audience generally asks me the same question. But now, I will make public appearances and make sure that the listeners know who’s the face behind the voice. I sometimes feel bad that people love my songs but don’t know me.
How did you start your career here?
Initially, it was quite tough. I got my big break with Mundiya tu bachke rahi from Boom, which became very popular. I did it for Jackie Shroff, who’s a good friend. Pritam heard it and called me to sing Chori chori in Garam Masala. We hit it off really well. From then, there’s no looking back.
Today, I have some great projects in hand like Partner, Kash Mere Hote, Toss, Raqeeb and a few others. I’m also planning a private Punjabi album and acting in a Punjabi film Siyasat.
Have you done any classical training?
I have trained under late JS Bhamra, who was a popular composer in Punjabi movies. All the time that I was in school and college, there wasn’t one competition that I didn’t win. In one such competition, Gurudas Maan and I participated together.. I stood second and he stood first. We’ve come a long way since then. I have sung for many Punjabi films and private albums. In fact I’ve been around for some 25 years now.
Why a late entry in Hindi films, then?
I will always regret that it took me a bit too long to get started here. But it’s better late than never. Initially, even after my hit songs, I had to struggle a lot. Every time I’d call a composer, they’d say, ‘I’m in a sitting. Can I call you back?’ And the call would never come.
With Pritam, it was easy to work because he’s a down to earth man and a great composer. He didn’t do that to me. He’s family today. Anyway, I’m not disappointed that I’ve started late. All my songs are hits.
You can’t ask for a better track record.
Tell me a little about yourself and where you see your career going?
I’m a Punjabi Jat. My family is in Khanna, Ludhiana. I stay in an apartment in Mumbai with my wife. Workwise, I’m doing well It’s all Vaheguru and my family’s blessings.
Today I’m working with the best in the industry and several companies are asking me to cut private albums with them. I’m also doing several concerts and shows. What I wish to do now is to bring variety in my work. Actually, no complaints.. Malik ne bahut diya hai.