INTERVIEW The multi-faceted Farhan Akhtar, who performed recently at Nokia India Fest 2013, talks about his childhood love for music
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 Nokia India Fest 2013 in Goa recently.
Do you think growing up as Javed Akhtar’s son gives you an edge in music and poetry?
I believe that it does give me a leaning towards it, if not for genetic reasons then for environmental reasons. Since I was six or seven years old, I’ve been playing some instrument one way or the other.
Even when I was growing up, I was surrounded by him writing songs, narrating poetry and reciting lyrics. He was after all, a writer and a poet; so were his dad, 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 have training for four years, when I was around eight. But that was long back and obviously there was a big gap since then and when I started singing professionally at some level like in the movie Rock On! . Music was something I believed I could contribute to in some way as a singer. I don’t have great adaptability but in my genre of music, I could definitely do more.
What 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 that pushed me but something I’ve genuinely enjoyed doing. I do play the guitar and when I first started playing, I wanted to play more of Pink Floyd and stuff. 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 be given an opportunity to go and sing songs, especially in a movie like Rock On! , collaborating with Shankar Ehsaan Loy and my dad for lyrics, inside a studio, that gave me the motivation to go and do it.
What are your thoughts on 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 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 professional experience. Now let’s see how the audience takes it.
Music was something I believed I could contribute to in some way as a singer