Interview By: Rohan A. Sawant

With an effort to break his monotony from his trademark style, to giving out his first rock-classic single and enjoying its success; Ankit Tiwari seems to be on a high currently. You certainly can understand how he is cherishing his success by listening to his caller tune of the recent hit. Amidst all that, we talk to this Badtameez’ singer about his success, his thoughts about failure and future projects…

“I am first a composer and then a singer”

What was the starting point of ‘Badtameez’?

The idea came from the punch line of the song. When Manoj Muntashir gave me this punch line, I thought it is very unique. The word ‘Badtameez’ has its own attitude and that initiated everything simultaneously.  We discussed with Bhushanji, the director Sidhant Sachdev along with my brother. In a single you have this free hand to do anything. You can imagine and deliver anything because unlike in any film there are no boundaries of the story or situation. I was doing romantic songs for films which were kind of a safe zone for me but my brother and Sidhant came up with this idea that we should do something different and something which is not Ankit Tiwari. Every song that I have done for the films the situations was more or less the same. So that is how the punch line, the idea came and we got a green signal from Bhushanji and my brother so then we took it ahead.

How was it getting Sonal into the video?

What we believe is that every story without a love story is not a good story. And when we got this specification that there should be one love story in the video we started looking out for a face who could justify the innocence of the male protagonist in the video. So all of us were convinced that if Sonal Chahuan could come in, but we initially were not sure if she would get convinced. But when explained her the concept of the song, she was excited to do this. That’s how she came into the picture.

As you mentioned earlier, giving out a single track is different from a track which is of a movie, because you have to build the whole story around it in very little time. So what were the dos and don’ts that you had in mind while doing ‘Badtameez’?

We actually had not decided what should we do for this track initially, rather, we’d decided what not to do. As I said, we wanted to do something which Ankit Tiwari hasn’t done before, something which isn’t related to Ankit Tiwari. ‘Badtameez’ has a kind of angst, anger, the attitude which is not at all connected to my earlier songs. All the earlier songs would see heros romancing heroines in a beautiful location and so on. So it had become quite monotonous for me too! So we had to do something never done before by me and this was the basic idea that the whole team had in their mind. This was like an experiment which could have failed otherwise.  But everyone on the team had a conviction and also every artist has his/her hunger to do something different from what they have done in the past.

Do you prefer to sing the songs which you have composed?

As a composer my responsibility is to deliver a product or a song which can justify the situation. So it is not necessary according to me to sing every song that I compose. It is the demand from the director, producer and the situation if I can sing that particular song. For me, I am first a composer and then a singer. When I am composing a song I know what mood of the song is, which makes it easy for me to sing it as well. To compose a song and its melody it takes somewhere close to a week or so and then you have to live with that song for a month or so. So when you are sleeping with that song for a month, the song automatically grows into your body. So you know the essence of the song, so definitely when you sing that song you do it from your heart.  But again it also depends on various factors and most importantly the situation.

Because this is your first single, did it make you nervous?
I think even if any track fails, but if you have that passion, capability, capacity and dedication to do more singles you will want to do it more irrespective of the failures.  And I think every artist or singer has this dream that he/she should have their own singles. Previously there was one time where albums were doing well, but now the time has changed and singles have started doing well. Also I feel that failures are a later part because when we are making a song we make it with a conscious effort that everyone should like it. No person in this world will work to give out a flop product; everyone wants to go the best. Once the song is ready and out for public, it is the audiences call if they like it or not!

You have composed songs for various films in the past out of which some have been real life stories and also you are doing ‘Rustom’, which is also based on the same lines. So is it difficult to compose music for film based on real life stories?

It is obviously a huge challenge as a composer. The challenges are more because those are real life stories based on real people and incidents. So the important part that I have to worry about is where or in what situation the song is in the film because we don’t have songs in our real life. Real life isn’t as filmy. So to make this real life filmy on the reel life you have to put in colours along with the directors input, because they add up to the entertainment factor to the film. So keeping these things in mind and to maintain the balance of the film we have to characterise the song accordingly. Our constant effort in such scenarios is that we try to create the programming of the song correctly. There’s a lot of research involved like to what instruments were used that particular time or what was the type of music that was heard by people of that time. These are very minutes details that every composer has to keep in mind when he is doing such a film. In India, no mood can be perfectly defined without songs. India is one such country wherein for every incident starting from birth till death we have ragas and songs.  So we have to keep all these things in mind while composing because songs are the best way to express one’s feelings in a very concise manner.

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