Sitarist Shujaat Husain enters Bollywood music industry

Mumbai, June 13 (Calcutta Tube) Renowned sitar player Shujaat Husain Khan is entering Bollywood as a music composer with ‘Mr. Singh and Mrs. Mehta‘ and says he wants to revive the format of ghazals in Hindi films.

‘What I’m looking for through this film is to be able to revive the style of music that seems to be hazy now – the whole ghazal format, where words and melody are very important,’ Khan told IANS in an interview here.

Khan has composed six songs for the film by debutant director Pravesh Bhardwaj and he says he has not restricted himself to a particular music format.

‘I have tried and used everything I can. I haven’t stuck to one particular genre for the film,’ he said.

Asked why he didn’t create music for films earlier, the Grammy Award nominee said he had got offers, but nothing to his liking.

‘I was getting offers from different people for films but I have to understand that I can’t do the usual contemporary-style songs. At the same time I don’t want to have just one Sufi kind of song in a big film…that doesn’t matter to me,’ said Khan, who is acclaimed for his vocals as well.

The film, which stars newcomer Prashant Narayanan and Aruna Shields, is a story about relationships.

‘The concept of this film is beautiful. Pravesh asked me about it and it seemed that he understands what I want. So I took it up. Earlier it was always what filmmakers wanted out of the music, not what I want to do. This is the first time that someone offered me something more sensible,’ the 49-year-old musician said.

The son of legendary sitar player Ustad Vilayat Khan, he has performed at various music festivals in India and has taken his music to places across Asia, Africa, North America and Europe. He was nominated for the Grammy Awards in 2004 for his album ‘Rain’.

Coming back to the music of his first film, Khan revealed that the soundtrack has influences of Sitar, but it’s not overpowering.

‘Sitar is a part of the music because that is my personality and I can’t run away from it. But it’s not overpowering, we have used many other instruments as well,’ he said.

But does he think that the kind of music he is known for and has created in this film will have a mass appeal?

‘My work is not for masses. Even this film is not for the masses. It’s for people who have some thought process going on in their minds. It’s for people who want something closer to reality.

‘So I’m not looking for a commercial mass media exercise but at the same time it’s important for people to know that this is something different and might be interesting to touch upon,’ Khan told IANS.

Asked about his future projects, the musician, who has more than 60 albums to his credit, said that he is working on an album with veteran playback singer Asha Bhosle.

‘I am working on an album in which I have collaborated with Asha Bhosle. Both of us are singing. Some of my compositions, some old folk compositions and some compositions that my son has composed. It is an album with live music,’ said Khan.

The album is slated to hit music stores in August.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at

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