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Second coming

Composer Nikhil, of the duo Nikhil-Vinay, comes into his own.. quizzed by Nikhil Taneja.

music Updated: Mar 07, 2009 16:09 IST
Nikhil Taneja
Nikhil Taneja
Hindustan Times

After 17 years in the industry, are you satisfied with your work profile?
Yes absolutely! My last private album with Agam Kumar Nigam, Woh Bewafa, was my 150th project. I’ve done work on my own terms and am proud of it.

How’s it going post the split with Vinay?
I’m very happy because now I can give my producers complete attention. Bhushan Kumar placed a lot of trust in me when he gave me Phir Bewafai as a solo composer. I put in a lot of devotion, and the results were brilliant!

Your albums Yaad and Jaan, with Sonu Niigaam were huge bestsellers. Why haven’t you worked with him since?
We just didn’t get the right project. I’m going to approach him for an international project now and something will surely happen soon.

Your albums with Agam Kumar have sold well in rural areas, but what about metros?
T-series recently felicitated me with a triple platinum for my 4th consecutive hit, Woh Bewafa. My recent albums have sold more than 5 lakh copies, even during recession. No producer has ever lost money on my albums. But yes, the general perception was that they weren’t too upmarket. Divya Khosla has now directed a video for me so are getting a great response in malls as well.

You don’t use much western arrangements. Do you think you need to reinvent your music to keep up with the trend?
I’m already doing that right now actually. I have international albums with US-based singers Trisha Amin and Koli Dutta, where I’ve given hip-hop music. I’m not an old composer with a harmonium.. I record and sequence my songs too. I was typecast because I was lax about marketing myself. But with God’s grace, it’s all changing now.

After working on A-list projects like Tum Bin and Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam, what made you take up Deshdrohi?
As I said, I was not very good at marketing myself. I couldn’t cash in on the success of those soundtracks. But now that I’m my own decision maker, I’ll handle my career better. In any case, Deshdrohi has done well too!

Ever see yourself doing reality shows?
No.. what’s the point of money if it’ll give you sleepless nights? Reality shows are b*****t. They play with the careers of young singers. It wasn’t the case in Sa Re Ga Ma’s time. Now it’s all a money making racket. Bhushan Kumar launches true talent. We’ll have a talent hunt soon, so the winners can be a part of our music videos. I have introduced 20-30 singers already, so I’ll judge shows only if they aren’t rigged.

Why haven’t you sung on an album yet?
In fact, something will happen within the next three months. It will be a Sufi rock album called Tera Hi Aks Hai Sanam.

What’s next?
There’s Anil Sharma’s cousin, Sanjay Sharma’s movie, Jaane Bhi do Yaaron, there are albums with Agam Kumar and Raman Kapoor, the two international albums, and Aisi Deewangi, Mere Humsafar and Mussoorie Moon.