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Tuned to perfection

BIDISHA MAHANTA
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INTERVIEW The multi-faceted Farhan Akhtar, who performed recently at Nokia India Fest 2013, talks about his childhood love for music

VERSATILE ARTISTEFarhan Akhtar
VERSATILE ARTISTEFarhan Akhtar

Conquering different avenues is not unusual for actor, director, writer and singer Farhan Akhtar. Foraying into Bollywood with films that grabbed eyeballs to being an actor preferring to sing his own songs, Farhan has never been one to conform. Music being one of his earlier loves, Farhan explored yet another facet with a live performance in the Nokia India Fest 2013 in Goa recently. Excerpts:

Do you think growing up as Javed Akhtar’s son gave you an edge in music and poetry?

It did give me a leaning towards it, if not for genetic reasons then for environmental reasons. Since I was 6-7 years old, I’ve been playing some instrument. When I was growing up, I was around writing songs, narrating poetry and reciting lyrics. He was after all, a writer and a poet so were his father, uncle and grandparents, so I’m assuming there exists some genetic connections.

Considering you never had any formal training in music how was the transition to playback singing?

I did undergo training for four years, when I was around eight. But that was long back and obviously there was a big gap when I started singing professionally at some level like in the movie Rock On! . But music was something I believed I could contribute to. I don’t have great adaptability but in my genre of music, I could definitely do more.

What really pushed you to break out of the mould of a director or an actor to become a singer, especially with a movie like Rock On !, which became a cult film for the youth?

It’s not something I was pushed into but something I genuinely enjoyed doing. I do play the guitar and when I first started playing, I wanted to play more of Pink Floyd. So being able to play ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ was quite an achievement. I wanted to play and sing my own songs.

And to get an opportunity to songs in a movie such as Rock On! , collaborating with Shankar Ehsaan Loy and my dad for lyrics, inside a studio, motivated me to go and do it.

What do you think about live concerts?

I think that it is one of the most enjoyable things for a musician. Whether to play in front of a crowd as big as the one that turned for the fest in Goa or a roomful of people, the kind of energy sharing that goes on is what creates the magic. The interaction between you and the audience is what makes it so special.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has already created a buzz. Excited about its impending release?

Honestly speaking, it has been one of the best experiences. As an actor, I have felt it to be an extremely rewarding experience. Now let’s see how the audience takes it.

BIDISHA MAHANTA

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