New Delhi, Feb 11 (Calcutta Tube) Having penned hits like ‘Jaadu hai nasha hai’ and ‘Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai’ and written bestsellers, journalist-author-lyricist Neelesh Misra is coming out with India’s first writer-led band called Nine.
To be launched at the upcoming Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai Feb 12, the band has singer Shilpa Rao as the lead vocalist along with upcoming talent Abhishek Nailwal.
‘We don’t want to restrict ourselves to any genre. The band is rooted in the soul of modern India. Its writing will be very contemporary yet rooted and to begin with our main strength will be Hindi songs all penned by me,’ Misra, 36, told IANS in a telephone interview from Mumbai.
‘I have themes planned for several successive concerts for the band. We’ll be exploring a variety of themes. We want to really experiment and till now the response from people has been phenomenal. We are not restricting the band to any particular number of members. When we travel, we’d like to jam with the local artists from that place,’ he added.
Currently on break from journalism where he worked as a roving editor for the Hindustan Times, Misra has to his credit almost 30 songs from 15 films. Some of these are ‘Jaadhu hai nasha hai’ (‘Jism’), ‘Kya mujhe pyar hai’ (‘Woh Lamhe’) and ‘Lamha Lamha’ (‘Gangster’).
‘Nine is a total departure from the Bollywood style where the song is composed first and then come the lyrics,’ said Misra. ‘Being a writer-led band, it will also start a new trend where writers will get their due credit,’ he said.
Asked about the English title of the band, he said: ‘The theme we wanted to play was on nine lives and the effort was to have a name which was accessible across languages because we plan to play outside the country as well.’
Nine is also ready to cut an album titled ‘Nine Lost Memories’.
‘Our first album is based on songs on nostalgia and is really a love story. It tentatively has nine songs. It’s strung together by a narrative that I’ve done,’ he said.
Talking about future plans, he said: ‘We are trying to place our calendar. We are talking to collaborators in India and outside. Nine will also offer music to films. We are talking to at least two producers now. But that’s a journey we would like to put in plate later.’
‘We’ve registered a concept already and are working on developing a reality show. The band will be at the heart of the show. We are (also) hoping somebody puts us on screen… Things are moving really fast for us,’ added the author of three bestsellers like ‘Once Upon A Timezone’.
Asked if the writer would also take to the centre stage, Misra said: ‘At this stage, I’ll just be on stage for back vocals. But singing is definitely a dream I am chasing. I am going to start learning classical singing very soon.’
And what about lending his vocals for films?
‘Professional singing is a different ball game altogether. I do intend to delve into it some day,’ he said.
Apart from Nine, Misra’s upcoming Bollywood projects include ‘Tera Kya Hoga Johny’, ‘It’s My Life’, ‘Agent Vinod’ and ‘Purani Jeans’. He is also working on two scripts – a thriller and a love story set in insurgency-affected India. A pen-wielding craftsman, his next book on insurgency in India is also due this summer.
(Robin Bansal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)