Wasn’t a writer when I started, says lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya
One of Bollywood’s leading lyricists,
came to Mumbai with the dream of becoming a singer. And even though he has sung for quite a few films over the years, his claim to fame remains his ability to write a wide variety of songs, ranging from intense numbers like Zinda (from Lootera; 2013) to quirky tracks like Paji tussi (from Happy Ending; 2014).
Here, Bhattacharya tells HT about his inspirations, what his writing process is, and more.
Would you have rather made it big as a singer?
Not really. I was in a dilemma for the first few years, until I got Aamir (2008) and Dev D (2009). But then, as more work started coming in, I became more involved in writing. I started exploring myself as a writer. It became a new-found passion for me; it became my occupation. I started going back to old film songs to understand the nuances; I learnt a lot from
saab’s style of writing. I feel I am still exploring the writer in me.
What is your writing process like?
Because I was not a writer when I started out, I don’t belong to a specific school of writing. That is also why I think I was able to take the liberties I took to explore new styles. I consider myself more of a technician than an artiste. I handle projects like actors do ,I get into a zone.
Since I am also a singer, my inspiration for writing a song comes from the melody. I can’t just generate thoughts.
How long does it take you to write a track?
It’s very subjective. It depends on the melody and the team I am working with. The minimum I have taken is 15 minutes, and sometimes I have also taken four to five days.