Anup Jalota in an intimate chat during the music release function of his latest bhajan album Girdhar Ke Rang at Iskcon temple says that his biggest regret in life is that he became too famous too soon, as a result of which he could not get enough training in music.
How different is your latest bhajan album Girdhar Ke Rang from your earlier albums?
Girdhar Ke Rang, in which new singer Preety Bhalla and I have belted out some devotional bhajans in praise of Lord Krishna is beautiful and unique since it is different from my the albums, in the sense that the writing by the late Pt. Girdhar Prasad Jaipurwale is different. I have written about fifteen to twenty bhajans earlier but I confess that I do not think that I know the job well, because it requires special people to write bhajans.
What is the USP of the album Girdhar Ke Rang?
The recording blends various styles and genres of world music, making it a complete fusion album, while keeping the authenticity of spiritual India intact. This approach in fact gives the listener a unique listening experience. There are different colors to the songs in the album and people can even dance to some of them though they are bhajans.
What is the message that you want to drive home through Girdhar Ke Rang?
I want to convey the message that Lord Krishna is trying to spread many colors in the form of devotion, duty, love etc in every one’s heart in order to give every one peace and happiness.
You seem to be ready to sing with a lot of new singers!
I cannot forget the fact that 30 years ago, I too was a new singer. It is a new experience with every new singer. I try to give them enough time to practice so that they are comfortable when we record the songs, especially since I also compose the songs.
Besides Preety, who are the other new singers with whom you are planning to come up with albums?
I will be singing with Anshu Sharma, Nandita Basu, Sangamitra Barali, Jasmine Kapadia and Sumeet Tappu.
Why have you stopped singing for films of late?
The reason is that I realize that there are several good singers who sing for films and I do not want to force myself. Every singer has his own distinct style of singing and I enjoy making them sing to my compositions. I have made Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu etc sing for my films. It is an irony that though I select them to sing my songs, when I sing in front of them before they record the song, they inevitably tell me to sing the songs but I convince them why they should sing and get the songs recorded.
What is your take on remixes?
When you disturb the original version and come up with a ruined version, it is known as remix. You do not kill the originality in the version songs. I am of the opinion that remixes are not at all good, for the simple reason that it does not serve any purpose. Purpose is served only in version music, because version music has introduced several bright and talented singers like Sonu Niigaam, Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet, Anuradha Paudwal, etc.
Can you tell me why remixes do not serve any purpose?
The most popular remix of the century has been the song Kaanta Laga. However till date, though every one knows who has danced to the remix number, is there any one, whether it is you or me, who can tell who the singer of the track was?
Have you been offered any remix song?
People are scared to approach me with an offer to sing any remix because they know that I will straightaway refuse them. However, I have sung classical and patriotic versions of great singers like Rafi saab and Manna da.
Do you think film music has deteriorated over the years?
There is nothing wrong in music in films today. Today’s music is dictated by the content of films. How can you compose songs like Chaudhvi Ka Chand or Suhana Safar in Madhumati for a film like Biwi No 1? Films today get the songs that they deserve. You cannot deny the fact that good films come up with good music, like Veer Zara, Love Story 1942, Border, Parineeta etc. The trouble is that good films are hardly there and you can count them on your fingers these days.
Isn’t it quite a long time since you had come up with a ghazal album?
I will be singing for a ghazal album with a new singer from Washington D.C in the U.S. The album will have ghazals composed not by me, but Khayyam saab who is a great composer. His work will be special and hence I have asked him to select the ghazals which he wants to compose for the album.
Do you have any regret when you look back at your career stretching 30 years?
My biggest regret is that I became very famous very soon, as a result of which I stopped learning music, because I could not get enough training, specially since I became busy with my concerts all over the world, leaving me with little time to train myself in music. I think I needed at least five years more to train myself, like my father Purushottam Das ji.