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Following the footsteps of his illustrious father Shankar Mahadevan, Siddarth Mahadevan has made his name in the music industry as a singer and composer. He has given a slew of hits in the past few years in both Marathi and Hindi movies. As he recently came to Guwahati to perform at Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Management and Technology (GIMT), he spoke exclusively to Northeast Now.
Q: Is this your first-time visit to Northeast India?
A: No, actually this is my second time here. I have performed here before once. I did MTV unplugged here. The response was fantastic and so, I am really looking forward to tonight’s performance.
Q: What is your take on the music scenario in Northeast India?
A: I think great independent music happens here and some very talented bands have emerged from here. Some of the leading Bollywood artistes hail from here. In fact, my leading base player is also from Guwahati. This place is very special when it comes to music.
Q: What are your expectations from tonight’s concert?
A: I know, people of Guwahati love their music and I am hoping to have a rocking night with them. Hopefully, it will be a night they will remember for a long time.
Q: When did you decide that you want to pursue a career in music?
A: There was no particular moment when I had decided this. I was interested in music since a very early age, whether it was composing or singing, playing drums or programming. I always knew that I wanted to do something in this field.
Q: Please tell us something about the influence of your father Shankar Mahadevan about you.
A: He has been my greatest inspiration. He has always been my mentor as well as my friend, philosopher and guide. He is always there for me when I need him. I feel very blessed for the kind of exposure I got while watching my dad create his music in his studio.
Q: What according to you has been the turning point for you in your career?
A: Turning point would definitely be when I composed for my first film, which was a Marathi film. Also, when I made my Bollywood debut as a signer for the song Zinda in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and also got a Filmfare Award for it. That was a very special moment which changed my life.
Q: It is said that today’s Bollywood songs don’t have longevity. What is your take on that?
A: I don’t think it is because the songs are not good. Good music is still being made. A song like Dil Diya Gallan has done really well. Earlier, number of films made were less. Nowadays, every week we seen four new releases. We are constantly bombarded with new songs and that is why lifespan of songs are less. During the 90’s and 2000’s, songs were coming out less frequently and their lifespan was more.
Q: What do you think about iconic songs of yesteryears being recreated?
A: There was a phase in early 2000’s when this happened and it was called remix then. Now it is called recreation. If it is not done too frequently it is nice. But only recreations are not the way forward. Because there is no dearth of creativity in our musicians and creating original music is very important.
Q: You have composed for both Marathi and Hindi films. What according to you is the difference between two industries?
A: Well, nowadays in Hindi movies, there is a trend of using musing multiple composers. In Marathi films, a single composer generally composes for the whole movie like old days. Marathi audience is very receptive to new approaches in music. In Bollywood, it has become a game of pitching.
Q: Are you open to working in Northeast India as well?
A: Yes, why not? As far as music is concerned, I am ready to work with anyone anywhere.
Q: What are your upcoming projects?
A: There are quite a few projects I have as a singer. Actually, we sing many songs and we don’t even know where they will be finally used. I have sung for a Yashraj production which will be released this year. I have also sung for few upcoming Marathi films as well.