A National School of Drama graduate, Piyush Mishra who started off as a theatre actor eventually started writing and received critical acclaim for his songs in Black Friday (2007), Gulaal (2009), Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), etc. But Mishra says it would be difficult to pick between acting and writing lyrics. “I won’t be able to choose. Whatever comes my way, I do it. I don’t compose as much.”
He recently lent his voice to a documentary, titled Kripya Dhyaan Dein—10 People Will Die Today, made by Culture Machine for their YouTube channel, BeingIndian. The documentary throws light on the number of people, who lose their lives while travelling in overcrowded local trains every day in Mumbai. Commenting on the scenario, Mishra says, “The local trains in India are trying to accommodate people beyond their capacity. We need to reduce the population of our country to help this situation,” he says.
Mishra, who has also written the lyrics for Tashan (2008) says the soulful lyrics are inspired by life’s experiences. “If you sit and observe, you will find a lot of things to write about,” Mishra says. He also played a pivotal role in the Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury directorial, Pink (2016) and says that he wants to direct a film now. “I should direct a film. I am in a somewhat comfortable space now, so I am not ready to shift and move around. To direct, I will have to make an effort and it will definitely happen someday,” he says.
Watch the official video of Husna here:
He is also known for writing poems and shers (couplets). The difference between writing a sher and writing lyrics for a movie song, he points out that it is the freedom that comes with the former. “Shayari is written for oneself, for one’s happiness. Lyrics to a song are written in accordance with the producer’s wishes,” he says. Thankfully for him, his lyrics of a song in a film are “incidentally aligned with that of the directors.”
The songwriter also feels that Urdu poetry is becoming obsolete. “The last thread left of Urdu shayari is Javed Akhtar saab and Gulzar saab. Urdu shayari was a big contribution to Indian cinema. There is good music today as well, but the number of people writing good songs is very few, says the ‘Husna’ hit-maker.
Mishra is currently busy with his novel titled Hamlet Kabhi Bombay Nahi Gaya.