What are the projects that are keeping you busy now
Im working on an album of devotional songs that are based on ragas, are Indian at heart, but have an international feel. Im also in the process of setting up a new record label that will focus on non-film music. And talent for this will not be judged depending on what a panel of judges says or what the TRP ratings say or what the person looks like. Pure music will be the criteria. Apart from this, my work on experimenting with different forms of foIk music continues.
How do you compare non-film music today with what it was 10 years ago
Today music is seen rather than heard...the video is more important than the audio. When I started making music, I did so out of Delhi, not Mumbai. And I made music that had nothing to do with Bollywood. People used to laugh at me then. After all, anyone who wanted to make a mark as a singer then had to sound like Kishore Kumar if a male or Lata Mangeshkar if a female. And here was I trying to project people with original voices, with totally different timbres. But these people started doing their own thing, and succeeding. What matters is the song. And I think a good song remains for ever. Thats why Ali More Angana by Shubha Mudgal still gets to be heard today, even though it is more than 10 years old.
When you set out to compose a song, what do you keep in mind
It depends on one, the subject whether it is meant to charge up or relax the listener. Two, what the voice quality is like, and the level of training. You have to make the voice do the talking after all. And three, the tune should appeal to the common man, should be simple, have recall value and sound pretty.