"It is not easy for people to accept a composer/singer turning hero in such a manner" - Himesh

image

By Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM

Today is Himesh Reshammiya's birthday. In Part I of this exclusive

conversation after the release of his much awaited and immensely

successful debut film, Himesh gets candid with Joginder Tuteja. As he

turns 33, he reflects on how he has been finally accepted as an actor with

Aap Kaa Surroor.

Himesh, Aap Kaa Surroor is now a qualified hit. Did you see that

coming?

I was quite confident since I had vast belief in my fans. They have

been with me throughout and I was sure that they would come and watch

the film at least once. Now I have been informed that they are giving the

film a repeat watch. I am grateful to them and owe my success to

them.

Agree. But then can only fans make a film a hit? If that was the case

every top composer or singer could have become a hero!

[Smiles] Yes, one cannot deny the fact that overall project should be

good as well. I could pull in the audience but for them to say good things

about me or the film, the final product has to be impressive. This is where I

see Prashant Chaddha succeeding since he made sure that Aap Kaa

Surroor was an out and out commercially viable flick. He was able to

extract a good performance for me and made sure that the effort didn't go

unnoticed.

But didn't you ever think before starting work on Aap Kaa Surroor that

'hey, let me try to do something offbeat so that I am taken seriously as an

actor'?

That would have been foolish! When so many careers are at stake with

a film, it just doesn't make sense to try doing something out of the box.

There was not even a single thought of making anything art or offbeat. The

idea was simple - make a hardcore commercial film which is fast paced and

narrated as a thriller. The love element with superhit songs only helped it

further.

You seemed confident about the songs from the very start.

Yes, because after being in the industry for number of years now, I

understand what kind of music has a potential for the masses. In case of

the music of Aap Kaa Surroor, I could see the songs becoming

chartbusters. That was quite visible too when the album hit the stands.

Since the songs were quite popular even before the release of the film, I

was sure that the movie too would take a very good opening. We all saw

how both Banaras the film as well as its music suffered at the box office.

We couldn't afford to do that with Aap Kaa Surroor

You didn't experiment much with the music too.

Ek Baar karke dekh liya tha Banaras mein; sabko maaloom hai album

kitni badi flop thi! You have to look at the kind of setup before

experimenting. I remember suggesting the producer of Banaras even then

to incorporate some commercial elements in the music. We all saw how

both movie as well as music suffered at the box office. We couldn't afford

to do that with Aap Kaa Surroor. As you must have noticed, all my songs

are 'raaga' based. I work hard on molding my compositions based on the

parameters of the situations in a film. Banane ko main bana deta ek classy

score but fir commercially sab gadbad ho jaati!

Was that the reason why a song like 'Assalam Walekum' was more

prominent in promotion than far better 'Tere Bina'? After all the song was

the best of the enterprise and it's placement in the opening credits just

perfect.

I agree that 'Tere Bina' turned out to be quite pleasant but a song like

that can't be positioned for an album's kick start. You need to hold a

viewer's attention at the very first go and songs like 'Assalam Walekum',

'Tanhaiyaan', 'Tera Mera Milna', 'Jhooth Nahi Bolna' and 'Mehbooba' do

that job better. Once we saw that each of these songs had made the album

a blockbuster, we unveiled 'Tere Bina'. Something similar was done in the

case of Namastey London too where 'Main Jahan Rahoon' was the last

song to be promoted. We all knew that it was beautiful but songs like

'Chakna Chakna' have to be promoted first to attract an audience.

Coming back to the film, could you help laughing when critics were

ripping apart your film whereas audience was making it a blockbuster in

theaters?

It was amusing, yes, but then I don't blame the critics at all. First and

foremost it wasn't the case of universal thrashing of the film. 99% of them

had something or other good thing to say about the movie or me. There

was this remaining 1% which wasn't with me and the film. But yet again,

they were doing their job.

What could have been the reason behind these 1% critics not with

you?

It is not easy for people to accept a composer/singer turning hero in

such a manner. They had their doubts, which is acceptable. But if you

observe closely, even they changed their tune once the film was declared a

hit in 3 days flat. I am not being immodest; it is just a matter of acceptance

and sometimes it comes hard. Nevertheless, I am sure that I will win the

hearts of these 1% critics as well. Main unka dil bhi jeet ke rahoonga!

Critic bashing isn't something new for you anyways, isn't it so?

[Laughs] Yes, it happened the same way even when the music of

Aashiq Banaya Aapne became a rage. It was difficult for some to accept a

composer turning into a singer in such a big way. There is a certain point

of view that they are entitled to have. Earlier they ridiculed the songs but

later when the world accepted them, even they were won over. I got the

Filmfare award for the film and it was shocking for some even then. You

know, it is just a matter of time to accept something which is

unconventional. Main toh kabhi nahi kaha ki meri awaaz unconventional

nahi! Ab to maine ye bhi maan liya hai main naak se gaata hoon! But agar

mere fans mere saath hain to aur kya chahiye!

Let's be honest Himesh, somewhere at the back of your mind, you

would have had at least 1% apprehension about the film not working?

Arrey, I am a human being yaar. 1% kya, there was a 100% nervous

factor. As I said earlier, so many careers were at stake. Howsoever positive

vibes the film may have generated, the music may have been superhit and

advance booking may have been superb, but then you still wait for that first

day first show reaction of the audience. Woh feeling hi kuch aur hoti hai!

Moreover it was my Mummy's birthday on the day of film's release [29th

June] and we didn't want it to get spoiled if the film didn't work. I wanted

the film to be a birthday gift to her.

Ab to maine ye bhi maan liya hai main naak se gaata hoon! But agar

mere fans mere saath hain to aur kya chahiye!

Was she happy with the gift after the first day first show reports were

out?
She was overwhelmed. Believe me; it was surreal to be informed that at

places the movie was being shown as early as 6'0 clock in the morning.

People had stood in the queue for an entire night and the number of people

inside the theaters had double of that outside it. When the reactions of the

public reached me, I knew we had hit the bull's eye.