Neil Mukesh carries forward grandpa's legacy

Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) Budding actor Neil Nitin Mukesh, who is the grandson of legendary playback Mukesh, is turning singer for new director Jehangir Surti's thriller "Freeze".

Neil, who debuted with the critically acclaimed thriller "Johnny Gaddar" and whose father Nitin Mukesh is also a singer, will sing the theme song for the film. Pritam Chakraborty is composing the track.

"I wouldn't call myself an extremely accomplished singer. But, yes, I am much more than a bathroom singer. I carry my notes well. But having grown up on my grandfather's songs and watched my dad struggling to get out of Mukesh's shadows I was scared to try my hand at singing as a career," Neil told IANS.

Although Neil, who will be seen in Kabir Khan's next movie for Yash Raj Films, has chosen to be an actor, he's an accomplished singer and was at one time toying between a career in singing and acting.

Pritam is all praise for Neil and said: "Neil will be singing the theme song. It'll be somewhat like the James Bond theme in mood because that is the mood of 'Freeze'. I've always been a Mukesh fan. I couldn't compose for him, but it's such an honour to compose for his grandson.

"I'll listen carefully to the texture of Neil's voice and then compose accordingly. But since he is the grandson of Mukesh and son of Nitin Mukesh, I'm sure he sings well.

"Also, being a good actor, there would be no problem for Neil in expressing the emotions in the lyrics. I'm quite kicked to have an actor singing for me. Unlike other actors turned singers, Neil won't be just a glamorous USP in the soundtrack. He knows what he's doing."

Neil and singing go back a long way.

"As a child I did accompany my dad on his world tours and even sang on stage, but never my grandpa's songs. I preferred Kishore Kumar. I never intended to sing professionally, but it seems god and the movie industry have other plans for me," said Neil.

Interestingly, Mukesh too was an actor to begin with but he gave up his acting aspirations to concentrate on singing.

"I'm aware of my grandfather's films. I grew up listening to his songs. I also know how to play the piano. I think that gives my singing an edge."

Neil's song for "Freeze" will be designed to enhance his vocal qualities and to accentuate his antecedents.

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