Vikings unplugged

A tete-a-tete with Neeraj Shridhar on `Chod do aanchal', his foray into Bollywood and more

HAVE YOU seen the recent video, rather videos, of Chod do aanchal? Well, they look similar, in terms of sets, style, etc. It points to the fact that remake of remixes is replacing the trend of remix of old songs.

"This is a sad thing to be happening. Compare this with cuisine. If all restaurants start to serve the same kind of cuisine, what will happen to people who want to go out and eat?

It is killing the music industry," observes a rather upset Neeraj Shridhar aka Bombay Vikings. "Technically, we were the first people to launch the album. Chod do aanchal has not just topped national music charts but also stands on No.16 on the U.S. Pop Charts. I feel elated to be placed alongside the other legendary artistes," he says.

Known for Hinglish mixes, Neeraj has created his own style. Unlike the jhinchak tempo prevalent across remixes, his songs have a softer note — he prefers a Ek tere pyar ka ghum (Tera mera pyar) to a Chadti jawani. And he makes sure his remakes retain the core emotions of the original number.

"Kya surat hai had this fun element that I wanted to maintain. Raju Sundaram, Prabhu Deva's brother, did justice to it. Woh chali has an MTV Unplugged feel about it, very basic sets, to let the viewers interpret the song in their own way. Unfortunately, while in Europe, radio accounts for the popularity of a song, it is the video here," he says. He shuttles between Stockholm, his home, and Mumbai, where he plans to have a base especially since he is making a foray into Bollywood now. "I have sung for Cha Cha Cha. I also plan to get into music direction and have offers on hand," he says.

An ardent film buff, Neeraj drew inspiration from Kishore Kumar, Mehmood and Sunil Dutt. The result, Mai chali from Padosan. And now interestingly, he has a fan in Dev Anand after his Chod do aanchal, from the Nutan and Dev Anand hit Paying Guest.

"It was great hearing Dev saab say `bahut acha kam karta hai Neeraj.' Also, when I went to Don Bosco, Akshay Kumar, an alumnus of the school, joined me on the stage for Hawa me udati jae. Abhishek Bachchan met me and said `my family loves your music'," he says.

One finds a lot of pep for the youth in his new tracks, penned by him as well — Ek badal, an anthem for the Generationext and a melancholy Kahan ho tum that will hit the music stand shortly. His motto is to make songs for family listening. "I ensure that the lyrics are neat and don't make songs putting a pole dancer on a bar counter for the video, in order to keep the dignity of the legendary music maestros alive. I cater to a different audience. And the popularity of my songs talks about my following," he sums up.

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