The multi-faceted Farhan Akhtar is all set to take the city by storm this Saturday at a show by The Hindu
Be it the role of the low-on-confidence Karthik in Karthik Calling Karthik, the happy-go-lucky Imraan in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara or the resilient Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Farhan Akhtar plays his roles to perfection. But there’s another role he excels at, that of a singer, entertaining his audience at live performances. And that’s why when the confident and multi-faceted Farhan Akhtar confesses to being a nervous wreck before his shows it’s hard to believe. “My first live performance was with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy during the promotions for Rock On!!. It was nerve wracking. I suffered from stage fright,” Farhan recalls. But that was then. Now, given the kind of following he has and fans vouching for his energetic performances there’s little to be nervous about. “There is a certain degree of anxiety before a live act. But the anxiety is what keeps you sharp,” he says ahead of his concert in Chennai.
The 90-minute act will have Farhan perform a mix of songs including those originally sung by him, his favourites and covers. Look forward to ‘Senorita’, ‘Socha Hai’, ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, ‘Tum Ho Toh’, ‘Sindbad The Sailor’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, ‘Main Aisa Kyu Hoon’, ‘Zinda’… “It’s going to be a fun evening filled with music and songs. Hopefully people will also sing along,” he says.
And will he be playing the guitar? “I don’t know. That remains to be seen. We will be talking about the MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) initiative, something we talk about at all our shows.” He will also be reciting the poem he wrote for the MARD campaign. A lot of his act depends on the mood of the crowd and that means spontaneity and improvisations. Joining him will be a seven-member band and vocalist Shannon.
Between shooting for his movies (next up is a movie with Kareena Kapoor directed by Dev Benegal) how does he manage to cram in rehearsals for live acts? “It depends on how much time is available. We just get together with the band and play. I do play songs on the guitar at home. You could call that riyaaz,” says the actor who received training in Indian classical music as a child.
Ever since his foray into Bollywood as a director in 2001 he has been quite the juggler — director, screenwriter, producer, actor, playback singer, lyricist, television host — there’s so much happening with him does he ever tire of it? “It’s satisfying. As long as I am feeling good about the things I am doing I’ll do it,” he adds.
With quite a few successful shows to his credit, what does he prefer, performing live or recording in a studio? “They are two very different experiences…not even remotely in the same ball park. When I am recording in the studio I am more responsible to the music director and when I am live on stage I am responsible to the audience. Performing live is enjoyable and there’s an energy about it.” For an actor who started his career playing a rockstar in Rock On!!, it’s amazing that he is now one in real life as well!
Farhan Live will be held on December 14 at Wesley Ground, Royapettah. Gates open at 6.30 p.m. and the show is at 7.30 p.m. It is an event by The Hindu, brought to you by Pooja Malhotra and Abba Lighting.
Tickets are available at the venue and also on www.eventjini.com or call 98840 73737/ 076674 02888. Tickets are priced at Rs. 1,000, Rs. 1,500, and Rs. 2,000 tickets are standing space only.