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Few Filmi Ghazal Hits

  • Honthon Se Choo Lo Tum
  • Jhuki Juhki Si Nazar
  • Tum Itna Jo Muskura
  • Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar
  • Tum Ko Dekha To Khayal Aaya
  • Woh Kagaz Ki Kash Ti
  • Hoshwaalon Ko Khabar Kya
  • Aaye Hain Samjhane Log
  • Koi Fariyad Tere Dil Mein Dabi Ho Jaise
  • Main Nashe Mein Hoon
  • Pyar Mujh Se Jo Kiya

Jagjit Singh – the poetic fervour within the hearts get aroused by this name. A colossus in the world of music, Jagjit Singh in real life is simple, humorous and unassuming touching the hearts of both, the connoisseur of music as well as the common man. The singer and the poet in him has come a long way since the release of his first album The Unforgettables in 1976. Since then audience around the world have witnessed and pictured different emotions with his Ghazals, the themes of which varied from romance/love, separation to grief, sorrow, loss, pain, break-up, misunderstandings, happiness and celebration. One just does not seem to get enough. The reason he is the Ghazal Maestro or the Ghazal King is not limited to his poetic expressions in the form of his rendition but to his voice and his style that carry so much depth and emotion. How we instantly correlate our lives with his Ghazals forms the essence of his success. Capturing our hearts in his own inimitable style, here’s presenting the one and only rich voice of our generation, the master of Ghazal, the world renowned Jagjit Singh –in conversation with Anu Gopalakrishnan, an miindia.com exclusive.

Some excerpts of the conversation during Jagjit Singh’s recent visit to Michigan:

Welcome to Michigan! Why and how did you lean towards Ghazal as the genre?
Ghazal, film and non-film, was my favorite form of music. I have listened to several great singers, composers and studying Urdu literature has only helped me appreciate the genre of music. The fluidity in emotions and the depth of poetry can only be seen and justified in the Ghazals. I grew up listening to Talat Mahmood, Mehdi Hassan and also bollywood was Ghazal based and it became but natural for me to embrace this form.

Tell us about your team members – not much has been discussed
You are correct. My team gives life to my voice. Deepak Pandit is extremely talented, a great violinist who is an integral part of all my tours. Abhinav Upadhyaye has been outstanding from the word go. Narinder Saleskar who plays the guitar is another talented musician. The instrumentalists are the soul of any concert.

If you have to choose between philosophy and romance as a theme for your album, which one would it be?
It is difficult to answer as both are real close to me. I would choose poetry that has simple language and depth of meaning. The thought of the poetry should be good. Even if it conveys pain, the lyrics should be soul stirring.

 
For a Ghazal singer to have this big an impact is not easy, tell me what makes you click?
Every musician should understand that hard work and constant improvement of oneself – voice, tone, rhythm, music, melody etc should be better than what was originally created. Tomorrow’s concert should be better than today. There is no easy way out. Especially in live concerts, a mistake is a mistake and people will remember you forever. So, I would say success does not come easy. Hard work and quality in performance makes a musician click.

Have any of the electronic innovations made an impact on your music productions?
Progress is always good. Technology will constantly be changing and improving and that is good. In our days, some facilities of music can be changed, the treatment of Ghazal is changing but the poetry and the depth of meaning in that poetry cannot be changed. In other words, the clothing and fashion may change but the person, the identity cannot be changed. It is like a new fashion accessory or clothing. I like the human touch. I insist on using the harmonium instead of allowing some thing else to dictate my music. It is important to maintain that integrity. Some of the musicians today can set the rhythm in advance and then plug in some words, make copies of western hits and there you go, it’s a film album. Using the innovations wisely without manipulating the content and richness of vocals is very important.

How did you manage to make a niche for yourself in terms of your style despite having to share shoulders with greats like Begum Akhtar, Talat Mahmood and Mehdi Hassan?
When you listen to a particular musician, the quality is what strikes you. The handicaps of that person also strike you. So, as a trained singer/musician, I used to listen to all these great singers, got inspired by their renditions, picked the arresting qualities of the singers, took each of their best delivery and created my own style. Basically if you see, I would have taken the best of everybody. And there is nothing wrong in that as long as you do it innovatively without merely copying or imitating someone. As a musician, you should have your own identity. It is very critical in your success.
 
For someone who has launched Kumar Sanu, Talat Aziz, Ashok Khosla and several others, what is your take on the youngsters pursuing music today?
The standard of music has definitely changed. Music to youngsters means bollywood music. That’s what the art form has come down to. More noise. The stardom is definitely there. But the budding musician should realize that stardom begins and ends there and it is overnight. Whatever talent you have is not your own, it is borrowed talent that one is exploiting. If you are truly interested in music, learn the art form for a few years, language, grammar, delivery, after which you pursue your talent. Contests are beneficial to the channels. The channels have no love for music or no love for talent. They are only interested in their ratings. This is not an overnight game. In order for you to sustain, your voice today should be better than your voice yesterday. If you pursue glamour and money, be ready for a short stint.

Tell me about your statement on A.R. Rahman and his lack of knowledge about Ghazals. What was that all about?
That’s the truth. A.R. Rahman knows nothing about Ghazals. And if he claims he does, then where is it? He is a good brand. Ghazal as an art form would need that help. I think he should do a Ghazal album so that Ghazal as an art form gets popular. He should be the brand to improve the fading art form. The media hardly supports this art. You don’t get to see Ghazal concerts or classical music in prime time, do you? Ghazals have a bleak future. A few of us are doing concerts to spread awareness of this pure, rich art form. People like A.R. Rahman can help.

What is your best album and what are your forthcoming projects and shows?
I am working on two Ghazal albums and one devotional. I just completed six shows in India, completed the Australian tour last month. My best is yet to come. For me every concert, every album or every song I sing is a new beginning, a new start.
He gives life to the ethereal combination of verse and melody. His unique compositions and deep voice have acquired him a legendary status among millions of his fans worldwide. Ghazal was perceived an elite art form accessible to the royals and the rich. The art form was dying. It was Jagjit Singh who changed that equation and gave one of the most beautiful musical traditions a new lease of life. He introduced western instruments into this traditional art retaining its classical form. Several groundbreaking albums, mainstream Ghazals in films such as Prem Geet, Mirza Ghalib, Kahkashan, Saath Saath, Arth, Sarfarosh among many others, Jagjit Singh is leaving an indelible mark in the Indian musical landscape. Enthralling and mesmerizing millions through his live concerts around the world, he has redefined Ghazal and brought it closer to people’s hearts and souls. Of course, the Detroit concert rocked, the event was houseful and the audience loved and cherished every moment of pure poetry with a lot of substance.
 

Interviewed and Written by Anu Gopalakrishnan
An exclusive for Miindia.com Copyright© 2009

 
Balaji Management is responsible for Jagjit Singh, Live in Concert shows in the United States. Ghazal Maestro Jagjit Singh performed to a captive audience on Sunday, November 15th at Washington. He will perform live at Houston on November 20th, Dallas on November 21st, Phoenix on November 25th and New York on November 28th.In existence since 1994, Balaji event management group has produced several star shows that included Sonu Nigam, Adnan Sami and Asha Bhosle, Hrithik and Sharukh’s star stopper, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Daler Mehendi and Karishma Kapoor to name a few. Stay tuned for Shreya Ghoshal and Mohit Chauhan’s live concert in March 2010. Do not miss Sukhwinder and Sunidhi’s entry in 2010.
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