He was the voice of ‘Jordan’ Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar. Now, Mohit Chauhan who rose to fame in films with the song ‘Tum Se Hi‘ in Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met and ‘Masakali‘ in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6, is on to a much bigger kick. Mohit whose Rahman tracks in Rockstar have gone a long way into giving Ranbir a ‘Rockstar’ image is now in the process of putting together a tribute to one of the most musically-inclined filmmakers of all times. Nasir Hussain.
Speaking on the project Mohit, who is currently basking in shared adulation with Ranbir Rahman and Rockstar, says, “The music in Nasir Hussain Saab’s cinema was phenomenal. Right from Dil Deke Dekho to Teesri Manzil to Yaadon Ki Baaraat to Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai…the impact of Nasir Saab’s music is encyclopaedic. So yes, I am doing a tribute to his music.”
Unwilling to divulge more, Mohit clams up on the subject. But a friend of the singer says Mohit Chauhan’s tribute would handpick numbers, a large selection from Nasir Hussain’s films featuring Shammi Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor. Some of the tracks would also be re-mixed. Apparently, Rishi and Randhir Kapoor would help Mohit with the selection of the songs.
At the moment, Mohit is super-enthused about his new non-film album. He feels non-film music has a present and future. “It is true that most of the music today originates in cinema. But private albums are also in demand. My last album Fitoor spawned popular tracks that are much in-demand at my concerts. So I am hoping my new album too would have an impact separate from the movies.”
Mohit not only sings in his album, he also composes his own songs. “I also write my own songs. But I have to admit I am not that good with the poetry.”
Says Mohit, “It is indeed an honour that I was chosen to be the only voice for Ranbir in Rockstar. Both the director Imtiaz Ali and the music composer A R Rahman were sure that they wanted only one uniform voice to sing for the musician-hero. They didn’t want 3-4 playback singers for Ranbir. I guess I was fortunate to be the chosen one. Rahman, Imtiaz and the lyricist Irshad Kamil and I had an absolutely revealing time searching out the songs that finally went into Rockstar.”
Mohit established a terrific rapport with Ranbir, and it shows on screen. “Ranbir was an ally all through the genesis and evolution of the music. We spent a lot of time together during the recordings. Many times he flew to Chennai for Rahman’s recordings. That kind of involvement from actors is just not there any more. When you see Ranbir on screen you know he isn’t faking the words music or voice. He feels them from inside.” Mohit also caught Ranbir strumming riffs on the guitar.
“He wasn’t only playing a musician. He was completely into the groove,” says Mohit who grew up listening to all the singing greats from Talat Mahmood, Mohd. Rafi and Kishore Kumar to Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali but finally decided to copy none of the above.
“Today, if I am know as the voice of Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar, it’s because I don’t sound like any of the greats. The film required an original voice.”