You have been sung popular songs like ‘Go Go Govinda’, ‘Har Har Gange’, ‘Jaaneman Aah’, ‘Butterfly’, ‘Halo Re’ but which one is the closest to your heart and why?
I have sung many peppy commercial numbers and I am proud that people have loved it so much. However, the kind of songs that I love, are not that popular. The song, ‘Hum Tumhe Kaise Bataye’ from ‘Ekkees Toppon Ki Salaami’ is one of my favourites. These songs are underdogs; they feature in good films but were not promoted well. Today, it is all about promotions. A singer gives his 100 per cent when he sings but can’t control what happens to it after it is released. For me, all my songs are important; I don’t change my priorities based on the actors who it will be filmed on.
You have provided playback for all the three Khans of Bollywood. How does it feel?
It’s a great experience. However, I have not sung for Aamir Khan in a movie. It has been for his show, ‘Satyameva Jayate’. Ram Sampat is not just a music composer; he’s a true artist who knows the pulse of every artist. I have huge respect for him; he’s more like a friend to me. Mostly, when you reach a certain level, you stop respecting other artists but that’s not the case with him.
What are your views on untrained actors singing their own songs in films and music videos?
I feel that one should have formal singing training. It gives your voice a different lift and depth altogether. When you are learning classical, the whole graph of your voice changes because you learn modulation, which helps you make the song yours. Otherwise, it’s just copy-paste. When you know what you are singing, there is a certain freshness to it. The biggest plus point of knowing music is that you know what you are singing. Once you amp up your classical game, you are at the better end of it. Even knowledge of western classical music will take you a notch up in your career. Given technological advancements, anyone can become a singer. They record their voice, put a thousand plug-ins, use pitch correction software and autotune, so when you hear it the tune will be right but the soul will be missing from it.