New Delhi, April 11 (Calcutta Tube) Bollywood singer Manhar Udhas,talks about his new album Sai Mehar. ‘Sai Mehar’ has eight tracks. The singer has sung in Gujarati, Punjabi, Oriya, Assamese and other languages as well as playbacked in Hindi movies. Nowadays ghazals and devotional music keep him busy. He has churned out more than 60 albums by now.
Talking about his new album ‘Sai Mehar‘, he said: ‘It is not preachy, it is more about asking the almighty for a refuge. It is quite different from the usual stuff that we hear. It is very different, not a regular bhajan album. It makes one get involved in it completely.’
Manhar started his journey as a playback singer with ‘Aap se hamko bichhade huye’ in ‘Vishwas’. He later went on to sing many chartbusters such as ‘Hum tumhe chahte hain’ (‘Qurbani’), ‘Too is tarah se’ (‘Aap To Aise Na The’), ‘Loote koi man ka nagar’ (‘Abhimaan’), ‘Har kisiko nahin milta yahan’ (‘Jaanbaaz), ‘Ilu Ilu’ (‘Saudagar) and ‘Tera naam liya’ (‘Ram Lakhan’).
The singer who has sung for more than 300 movies and given hits like ‘Hum tumhe chahte hain aise’ and ‘Har kisiko nahin milta’, is no longer active in Bollywood. But he says he is still ‘obsessed with playback singing’.
‘My first love has always been playback singing because it is very challenging and very interesting too. In fact, I am still quite obsessed with playback singing,’ Manhar, who recently released a new devotional album ‘Sai Mehar’, told IANS in an interview.
He is the elder brother of ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas.
Asked why he took a backseat, Manhar said: ‘I did not purposely take a backseat. The fact is that times have changed. My generation has gone.
‘I used to sing with Shailendra Singh and Mohammed Aziz. Then came the next generation with Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu, then they were preceded by people like Sonu Niigaam. Now slowly even they are reducing their work and younger singers are coming in. Change is a way of life.’
So does he like the music that is doing the rounds nowadays?
‘Today the music is very different from what it used to be. There is no question of it being good or bad, my liking it or not. The fact is that it sells,’ he said.
As far as ghazals are concerned, Manhar’s last album was ‘Akshara’ that released in 2009. He is now working on a Gujarati ghazal album that is expected to hit the stalls in July.
He says he usually does 15 concerts a month after the release of a new album; otherwise it’s four in a month that includes events in India and abroad.
When asked if his music had changed over the years, he said: ‘Earlier, when I used to make albums, I didn’t know what people would like. So at that time, I used to get good lyrics, good music and something that I thought would be appreciated. Now I know what people’s preferences are and I create my albums accordingly.’
Does that mean his own personal creativity takes a step down?
‘No my creativity is always at centrestage because quality has always been my priority. So there is no compromise on creativity,’ he said.
(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)