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Copy, tea or me?

Pritam Chakraborty speaks to Rachana Dubey about plagiarism allegations and controversies.

music Updated: Dec 17, 2008 20:19 IST
Rachana Dubey
Rachana Dubey
Hindustan Times

Pritam aan milo.. and he does.. for a guftagu with Rachana Dubey..

There have been half a dozen plagiarism allegations on you.
(Smiles) I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you.

A certain Sukhinder Shinda from London wants to sue you for lifting his composition for one of your bhangra-style tracks.
This allegation doesn’t deserve a comment.

A Taiwanese singer claims that the Zara zara (Race) composition was lifted from her song.
I haven’t heard anyone say this. Where are these people who claim I’m copying their songs?

Sandesh Shandilya claims that Aaoge jab tum in Jab We Met is his.
It’s his song. We’ve shared the credits everywhere from the album sleeve to the award nominations. Originally, the idea was to have one composer per song. Then, Sandesh had to do the full album.. which he didn’t. Then, I was brought into the picture.

Eight albums this year.. aren’t you biting more than you can chew?
From next year, I’ll do only four-five movies to give more time to every project. Actually, I’ve seen composers work on 30 films at one go. So, eight or even 10 albums in a year is no big deal. You can either be exclusive or be prolific. I would accept most of the offers that came my way.. now I have to be careful about my health which I’ve been neglecting so far.

You said that you would never work on a project with multiple composers. So how come Kamran Ahmed’s Char dina da was on the Jannat soundtrack?
Precisely the reason why I didn’t accept Raaz — The Mystery Continues. Anyway, my song Zara si did much better on the charts than Char dina da. So, it doesn’t matter.

What about Mit jaaye by Sandeep and Sanjay Vyaas in Kidnap?
Sanjay Gadhvi is a friend. For Jannat and Kidnap, I didn’t have a written contract with the producers. At times, I put up a fight for as long as I can and then I give up the project. I will now want everything in black and white before starting work on a project.

Sandeep and Sanjeev Vyaas have been quoted as saying that the Kidnap CD sold because of their track?
Who knows? It could be possible. I haven’t checked the song-wise sales figures.

You did the soundtrack for Golmaal Returns. Vishal-Shekhar did Golmaal. Does this lead to bad blood?
No way! I clarified this with Vishal. In any case, whether I compose or anyone else does, the Golmaal brand will belong to Vishal-Shekhar. In fact, I used bits of the original Golmaal title track.

Tell me, weren’t you supposed to sing for a Bengali movie?
(Cuts in) That film is not happening. I was offered to compose the soundtrack.

Your band, Metro, hasn’t come out with an album yet.
We’re waiting for Anurag (Basu) to finish Kites first. Then, if he makes Metro 2, we’ll work on that. Otherwise, we’ll do our album.

Of late, you seem to be fascinated with Neeraj Shridhar’s voice.
Apni kundli milti hai. We deliver hits together. Our jodi works for us.

Sonu Niigaam hasn’t sung for you in a very long time. Have you fallen out?
Not at all! We’re really good friends. He’s singing two songs for one of my projects. .

He had once said that you’ve sold yourself to the T-series camp.
I am sure that wasn’t Sonu. There are nasty quotes about me floating on the Internet.

Are you helping James with his Hindi album?
I didn’t know he’s doing one! I haven’t asked him and it’s not my business to ask him that. He’s singing a couple of songs for me. If he needs help, I’ll be there for him.

Salim Suleiman and Vishal-Shekhar get plum projects from Yashraj Films.
I am doing two films.. Anurag Singh’s project and Kabir Khan’s New York. And that’s good enough.

Apparently, Anurag Basu and you ran away from a roadside place without paying the bill?
Rubbish, Anurag had paid the bill.

What’s up with your son..he’s nearly a year-old now..isn’t he?
Purvash is my carbon copy. If you compare our photographs, it’s difficult to say who’s who. I’ve given him a pet name.. Salsa.. don’t go for the logic here. He can say Singh is king and Pappu can’t dance in his kiddy voice. He even dances a little bit..

First Published: Dec 17, 2008 17:56 IST