MIKA bares his heart to JYOTHI VENKATESH in a frank heart to heart chat
Tell me about your new album?
The highlight of the album Nazre Milanewali is that it is for the first time that I have not only written the lyrics but also composed all the songs and sung them besides acting in the video too as a model. Arshi who has earlier acted in the music video of the albums Dekh Jawani Dekh and Again Dekh Jawani Dekh has acted with me in the video. I have sung eight romantic songs for the album, which will be brought out by Apple Music.
Is it true that you did not set out to be a singer initially?
Yes. It is true that when I was assisting my brother Daler in his shows, I did not want to be a singer at all. I wanted to be a music director. My favorite was R.D. Burman. In fact I had even started learning guitar, drum way back in 1991, because I was told that a music director ought to know how to play all the instruments.
How tough is it today to be a music director?
When you compare the music directors of yesterday with those of today, with the exception of a couple of them, it is very easy to be a music director today. All you need is to hire an arranger. Today you can even hire a guy to give you tunes and you can churn out your numbers as a music director
Do you consider Daler Mehndi your competitor?
Tauba Tauba. Dalerbhai is a big star. He is a rocking star. It will be a great achievement on my part even if I come somewhere near him Unke saamne main kuchh bhi nahin hoon.
Is it true that you are now keen on taking up acting as a career?
I have turned down almost a dozen offers to play the lead. Would you believe it, I had even turned down the offer to play the villain opposite Sunny Deol in Jo Bole So Nihal, because I did not want to be beaten to pulp by Sunny in the climax in the film.Ultimately Kamal Khan did the role
Yet you have been bitten by the acting bug!
I am acting in two films now. One of them is Loot in which I am doing a guest appearance, along with other actors like Govinda and Suneil Shetty. I am doing it because Suneil Shetty who is my dear friend asked me to do it. I am also acting in the sequel of Tom Dick & Harry as a blind man.
Can we expect to see you as a lading man like Himesh Reshammiya in films?
Why should I too jump into the fray as a leading man, just because Himesh Reshammiya is acting as a leading man in films? Himesh has the backing of a big music company like T Series. I feel that it is easy as well as difficult to be a hero. It is easy if you have the backing of a production company and difficult because you have to carry the entire film on your shoulders.
Can you recall any embarrassing incident recently?
Recently Akshay Kumar asked me to sing the number Kitne Armaan after complimenting me for singing that number and it was embarrassing for me to tell him that it was sung by Himesh and not me.
How do you feel when people imitate you like recently Salim sang Maa Da Laadla in your style for Dostana?
I do not blame Salim or any other singer who imitates me because it is the music directors who insist that they clone me because they feel that I am expensive and settle for people who charge less.
Is it true that you are money minded?
When I sing for Suneil Shetty, I do not even ask him how much he is going to pay me, because I cannot forget the fact that it was he who had given me a big break I films as a singer with Ganpat. I accept whatever producer Sanjay Gupta or music director Preetam pay me. Recently I sang the title song for my friend Paramveer for his film Mr Singh, which has Guggi playing then title role. I am interested in good songs, not money, because I earn good money through my shows.
You seem to take on more reality shows of late!
When a channel calls you to be a part of their reality show, the reason is that they know your potential. I charge the channel Rs 14 lakhs per episode. I do only one show a year. After Jhalak Dikhla Jaa last year, I am doing only Four Two Ka One now
You are working with Raakhi in the show after forgetting your grouse against her!
In the first place, from my side there was no perpetual grouse against her. In any case I do not let my personal likes and dislikes affect my profession. Whether Raakhi was there in the show or not, I would have gone ahead and taken part in the show. When her raakhi brother D.J. Shezwood asked me to sing for the sequel of Tom Dick & Harry, I readily sang for him.
What is the difference between singers then and today?
The main difference is that you remember every song of Rafi today even when he is no longer there whereas today there are 300 clones of Rafi including Sonu Nigam. I should say I am lucky because every song that I have sung be it Ganpat or Mauja Hi Mauja or for that matter Dekha Jo Tujhe Yaar Dil Mein Bhaji Guitar has turned out to be a hit and people know that I have sung it, whereas no one knows who has sung hit numbers like Pappu Can’t Dance Saala or for that matter Kabhi Kabhi Aditi in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.
You have not sung for A.R. Rahman till date!
If only I had asked my brother Dalerbhai to put in a word for me, I could have sung for Rahmanji but I did not. I am ready to wait for the day when Rahmansaab thinks I can do justice to his song.-(SAMPURN)