Lyricist Sameer says he has still a long way to go

From “Mujhe Neend Na Aaye” to “Malang”, Sameer has given verse to mainstream Bollywood. With Dil, Ashiqui and Saajan Sameer became a household name. Always tuned to what sells with the public, if he has written songs like “Chandni Raat Hai” he has also penned “Crazy Kiya Re”. Son of popular lyricist Anjaan, Sameer left his job in a bank to pursue his dream of writing songs for Hindi movies, and once he got started he has certainly been prolific. He has already written more than 4000 songs for over 500 films but he maintains that he is still “struggling”.

Says Sameer, “During my three-decade-long career, I don’t think there is any major music composer I didn’t work with. When I came into this industry my seniors, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, R.D. Burman, Anand-Milind, had a different sense of music, and I adjusted and moved ahead with them. Then came Nadeem-Shravan, I did 90 per cent of my work with them, and now I write for the young talented composers. I always tried to adapt to the requirements of my colleagues and move with the times. It has been a learning curve for me to be creatively involved with such diverse composers.”

Sameer has recently written a Lohri song for 92.7 BIG FM Delhi’s initiative “Kudiyon Di Lohri”. Called “Meri Maa”, the number was played on the channel for a week. Traditionally, Indian families celebrate the male child’s first Lohri with great fanfare but the same is not done for a girl child. Blessed with two daughters, Sameer says, “I hope this song will send out a strong message of gender equality to the masses and spark a new revolution.” Asked to comment on the linguistic makeover in film songs, from poetryto the head-banger sort of music popular today, Sameer says, “Every generation in its youth has a liking for a particular genre. Even as they age they maintain their preference for it. It doesn’t mean that the next generation liking a different genre is at fault.” He believes the industry is flooded with young talented technicians who are dedicated and focused in their line of work. “It gets a little awkward at times due to the ‘senior-junior’ issue. Their sensibilities, language, working style is quiet different, but there is no choice, we need to strike a balance and communicate better to keep working.”

He feels that changes are inevitable in cinema as the whole world is changing every minute. “Cinema reflects society. If society develops a new lifestyle then it dominates our functioning in the industry. I have observed that after every 10 years, the trend changes and audiences look for fresh music and different genre of movies. In the ’80s, songs had a different feel and when Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak happened it brought a new version to music. It’s my intuition, time is about to change again, the culture of item numbers and loud music will be over soon; people again want to listen to good melody and poetry. In 2014 the trend is going to change,” says Sameer, who is looking forward to the response to his romantic track “Tere Naina” in Jai Ho.