Singer Javed Ali on juggling projects in various regional languages and his latest release ‘Tum Tak’ from Raanjhanaa
For the first seven years that he was part of Bollywood, no one really knew of Javed Ali, the singer. Numerous insignificant songs later, things finally changed when he sang ‘Ek Din Teri Rahon Main’ from Naqaab and then when Hrithik Roshan lip-synced to ‘Jashn E Bahara’ (Jodhaa Akbar) sung by Javed, people started taking note of this young singer.
Today, Javed has to his credit a list of popular songs such as ‘Arziyan’ (Delhi 6), ‘Guzarish’ (Ghajini), ‘Chinnan Sirisuga’ (Kunguma Poovum Konjum Puravum). His latest is ‘Tum Tak’ from Raanjhanaa. “‘Tum Tak’ is a ‘musical word’,” says the singer over phone. He even sings a line to explain what he means. “The song brings out various facets of Benaras, where it has been picturised. It has been composed by A.R. Rahman and the lyrics are by Irshad Kamil,” says Javed adding, “I always learn something new from Rahman sir. Recording for him gives me satisfaction.”
Having recorded songs in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Assamese and a host of other languages, he says he finds it a tad difficult to sing in Tamil because of the pronunciation. “It’s difficult to pronounce zh. I remember recording a song for S. Thamam and practising the pronunciation of zh. While pronouncing it was easy, singing at one go was difficult. Jo difficult hai usi ko gaane main maza aata hai (Whatever is difficult is fun to sing).”
Recently, he recorded yet another Tamil song — ‘Sonapareeya’ from soon-to-be released Maryan. “There are a host of talented singers down South who can render any song to perfection, but sometimes, singers are brought in from Bollywood to give the songs a different flavour,” he says.
Javed started singing at the age of 11. His father too was a singer. “I used to listen to my father doing his riyaaz and got interested in music. I had the good fortune of training with Ghulam Ali ji. Erytime he’d come to Delhi, I would stay with him and perform in shows with him. That was quite an experience.”
Apart from Ghulam Ali, he’s grown up listening to Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar... his favourite singers. Among his contemporaries, he likes Shreya Ghoshal, Mohit Chauhan and Sonu Nigam. “There are so many versatile singers in the industry today. There’s a healthy competition taking place. I like listening to their songs. In fact I listen to what I sing just once and listen more to what my contemporaries are singing,” says the singer who has also had a brush with television as a judge on a singing reality show. Any more shows he’s part of? “I’ll take up something that’s really interesting. As of now I am just focussing on something I love doing — singing.”