Breezing through the tracks

The Bombay Vikings took the long and rough road to arrive on the music scene and release two hugely popular albums. "I am managing a hat-trick with the third album,'' Neeraj Sreedhar, the man behind Bombay Vikings, tells T. Lalith Singh.

`Kya Surat Hai' and `Woh Chali'. Two albums, which rose swiftly on the popularity charts and refused to come down for a long time. And now, the third album `Hawa Mein Udati Jaye', which is making news. A cool and confident Neeraj Sreedhar, more popular as the Bombay Viking, smiles, "a hat-trick is tough, but I managed it.''

From Jalandhar to Stockholm and then making successful forays into the musical world has been a long and arduous journey for the stylish entertainer. But he went ahead armed with only one weapon - true grit.

Neeraj's growth hasn't been musical at all. He worked in steel factories, bakeries and restaurants for a livelihood, but persisted with the passion for music. He strolls down the memory lane and reminisces, "those were tough days, but I was determined. Nothing could change my ambition.''

Around 1992, he along with a few like-minded friends started the band `Bombay Vikings'. Colourful rings on all fingers, a couple of silver bracelets and a dark goggle, Neeraj comes out a truly stylish entertainer.

He doesn't like bombarding the listeners with album after album. "I believe in giving long gaps. Overexposure is not good.'' That explains his coming out with only three albums in a decade.

Neeraj Sreedhar is not very enamoured of Bollywood, but is a great fan of old Hindi film music. "Melody, which is an essential element of Bollywood, is missing in today's music. It has become more like our kind of music.'' He is quick to explain the difference. "Private albums have a shorter life span.

They are heard and forgotten. But Bollywood music, if scored properly like in the old days, can stay for a long time,'' he says.

Like old music, he loves to stay awake long. This Viking is surely a night bird! "I love to work late in the night and have a good time. This is the time when I am flooded with ideas,'' he winks.

The popular performer earns big and spends big. "I like to live my life. Don't know, when I have to leave,'' he says.

Having travelled across the globe, this guy has fallen in love with Hyderabad. "People here are brainy. That could be the reason for their success in the IT field,'' he says. The local cuisine is what floors him. "Know what, on checking in here, I first ordered for a `masala dosa','' he says.

In the City to participate in the Bacardi show, Neeraj says he is already planning his next visit to the City. "Around December, I will be back here. I'm checking out the real estate scene here,'' he smiles.

A home away from home on the cards, eh?

Photo: Satish H

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