Music Composer Zain Khan Interview: I had never thought that my first song ‘Pallo Latke’ would get so much of love from everyone!
In an exclusive interview with BollywoodMDB, promising music composer Zain Khan speaks about a lot of things.
Music has always been an integral staple of our Bollywood films. There is a long list of movies which worked just because their music was chartbuster. Our industry sees a massive influx of music composers every year, but only a few of them succeed in leaving a mark. One such talented composer is Zain Khan, who impressed the listeners with his first rendition only. Khan, along with composer Raees and younger brother Sam, is the man behind the chartbuster song ‘Pallo Latke’ from the film Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana. BollywoodMDB correspondent, Mohnish Singh, recently caught up with the talented music composer for a candid conversation. In this interview, Zain talks about how he forayed into Bollywood, the trend of recreated music, his upcoming projects, and much more. Excerpts...
Q. Tell us something about your beginning and how did you get into the field of music?
A. Actually, music has always been an integral part of my family. My grandfather was a sitarist who taught music for a long time. We had music schools in Holland and America. I am the last descendant of Tansen family. So, music is in my blood.
Talking about Bollywood music, I used to listen to a lot of Hindi film songs in my childhood and while growing up. Despite being more inclined towards classical music, which is very different from film music, I had a thing for this kind of music as well. I learnt to play the piano and guitar and some other musical instrument. After that, one day, my father gifted me a computer which was powered by several musical software. I learnt them all. While learning all these things, I had sort of made my mind to compose music for Bollywood films, and now I am here.
Q. You have been receiving a lot of appreciation for your first song, Pallo Latke, from the film Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana. How did you bag the song?
A. Making an entry in films is not easy. But by God's grace, I did not have to struggle a lot. Mr Anurag Bedi, who heads Zee Music Company, was very helpful. When he heard my song, he decided then and there that he wanted it. Gone are the days when film directors and music directors used to take part in the process of creating music for films. Now, the game has changed 360 degrees. So, when I approached Mr Bedi with my song, he liked it and he helped me get a good team, which comprised of a melodious singer, a talented rapper and a good lyricist so that the song turns out to be totally different from the original one.
Q. Had you ever thought that your first song would garner so much of praise and appreciation?
A. Frankly speaking, no. I had never thought that my first song would get so much of love from everyone. It recently won an award at Zee Cine Awards. It is a big thing for everyone associated with the song. Receiving so much of appreciation and recognition for your first song itself is amazing and, at the same time, unbelievable.
Q. Do you think that the runaway success of your first song will put some kind of pressure on you to deliver more in your next songs?
A. See, this kind of pressure is always there for creative people. If your first song is a success, people will definitely expect more from you in your second and upcoming songs. Living up to the expectations of your listeners with your second song is even more important because if you fail, people start thinking that you were just a one-hit wonder and have no talent to deliver further.
Q. Pallo Latke is a recreated version of an already popular song. How do you see the latest trend where filmmakers have started recreating old, popular songs, instead of creating new and fresh music?
A. Personally, I am not very fond of recreated music. If a song is already a hit and has attained an iconic status over the years, it should remain untouched. Suppose a song was released ten years ago, and you decide to recreate it. Does that make any sense? No. The majority of the audience has already heard that song, so for them, there is no novelty factor in it. However, when you recreate a really old song, it sounds new to the generation that has never heard the old song. Pallo Latke came in 1979. So, I am sure that many people from the current generation have not heard that song. In that case, a recreated version helps.
Q. Who are your favourite music composers?
A. My all-time favourite music composers are Mehendi Hassan Khansaab and Madan Mohan. I believe that the kind of music Madan Mohan Ji has created, no one can match up to his level even after hundred years. Whenever I listen to his song, 'Lag Ja Gale' it takes me to another world. No matter how you are feeling, this one song can elevate your mood. From the current lot of music directors, I really admire Salim-Sulaiman. They have inspired me a lot. Pritam is also very good. All these music composers have proved their worth time and again.
Q. And what about your favourite singers?
A. From the olden period, Lata Ji, Asha Ji, Kishore Kumar and (Mohammad) Rafi Saheb are the best. I used to listen to a lot of ghazals while growing up. Almost everyone in my family loved classical music, so I have heard Gulaam Ali Khansaab and Mehendi Hassan Khansaab a lot. They will always remain my favourite. If we talk about contemporary singers, Arijit Singh is unbelievable. He can sing a ghazal, a romantic song, an item number and a breakup song with ease. He is one of the most versatile singers that we have around.
Q. What are your upcoming projects?
A. I have just signed a film called Band Of Maharajas, starring Chitrangada Singh, but I cannot reveal much about the same. I have already recorded two songs for it. You will get to see my versatility in those songs. One is an out-and-out peppy, fun, dance song, the other one is a semi-classical, raag based song. I have used ethnic instruments in the song, instead of electronics. Aside from this, I am doing a couple of more films with Zee Music and one with Eros.