Himesh and Sunidhi back on track

Himesh Reshammiya and Sunidhi Chauhan talk music and style

  • Published 30.08.15

Ahead of the finals of The Voice India on &TV (Sunday, 8pm), t2 speaks to two of the judges who have returned to TV with a new look. 


You are the only composer among the four judges in The Voice India. Does that give your team members an advantage?
I have been part of shows from where new voices like Neeti Mohan, Mohd Irfan have come up. I have more experience in selecting an unconventional voice. Otherwise there is no advantage. The best thing about The Voice is it has an extremely interesting format. This buzzer round and blind auditions were never seen in India. 

You have lost a lot of weight...
Yes, 20kg for my film The Xpose (2014). I have been hitting the gym to get a toned look and abs for my future films Guns N Roses and Heeriye. 

Do you miss the cap?
The cap was a part of my look seven-eight years back. I miss it. But I reinvent myself every two years. In all my 650 hit songs, reinvention is what has kept me going. You can’t keep giving the same kind of music and having the same look.

After Aap Kaa Surroor, people said you had blundered by shifting to acting. 
I was not doing anyone else’s music only during the making of three or four films as I was doing the music for my own films. After Aap Kaa Surroor, those films did not do well. Then I gave five superhits in a row — Bodyguard, Son of Sardaar, Khiladi 786, Bol Bachchan.... Then my film as an actor, The Xpose, did well. Now everything is back on track. I am doing Prem Ratan Dhan Payo as composer, two more movies as actor, reality shows…. 

In 2006, Himesh mania was at its peak. In hindsight, is there anything you could have done differently since then?
I have been very lucky. Andaz, my serial as producer on Zee TV, was a hit, Odhli chunariya (from the 1998 film Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya), my first song as composer, was a superhit, Aashiq banaya aapne, my first as singer, was a blockbuster, my first film as actor Aap Kaa Surroor was a blockbuster, my first reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa was a blockbuster. Because my first film was a hit, though the next few films did not work, still I was getting offers. 

You are also co-producing your next film Heeriye. You face the biggest pressure to deliver as composer, as actor or as producer?
As a composer I cannot afford to go wrong because the entire brand would go for a toss. But as an actor I am still growing. I am looking forward to do sensible work. Those who called me a one-film or two-film wonder have now stopped. A lot of people have changed their opinion about me. 

Who do you go to for feedback on your acting?
I keep taking advice from Salman bhai (Khan). And I have worked with 100-plus film directors as composer. I go to them. Every Friday, I watch a film with the audience. That gives you a definite idea about what works and what doesn’t work — musically and in acting. 


Compliments on your new look. What made you decide to lose weight?
One day I decided ab mujhe gym jaana chahiye aur correct khana chahiye. I did so and within a year this happened. 

Were you into junk food?
Who’s not?! I love samosas and jalebis. That’s my weakness. Woh sab chhodna pada. But I have reached a stage where on Sundays I can eat whatever.

Is it essential for a singer to look good these days?
Looking good makes you feel good. That makes you perform better.... I can feel the difference. I feel light on my feet. Stamina badh jaata hai. I can interact better with my audience. So it’s interconnected. 

Have you got acting offers?
A few came but they are all based on a singer’s life. Why should I bother acting what I already am? I want a normal character’s role. 

How was it working with Anupam Roy for Piku?
He is really talented. I am looking forward to doing more work with him. It’s (the title track) a nice, fresh, breezy song. Lots of people said I am sounding different in it. It’s a way to move on from Aisa jadoo dala re!

There was a time when people came to you for item songs and to Shreya Ghoshal for romantic numbers. Did it bother you?
I am proud of it. I made my name because of that genre. That perception was broken by Anu Malik, who made me sing a romantic song for Kareena Kapoor in Ajnabee — Meri zindagi mein ajnabee. He knew me for long and trusted that side of me. I had shared with him that I loved singing romantic songs too. Then Chameli happened, Fanaa happened. 

As if competition among singers was not enough, now the leading ladies have started singing as well. How do you react to that?
There has always been competition and there always will be. I love the way Shraddha (Kapoor) and Alia (Bhatt) sing and Priyanka (Chopra) has an album! I wish them well. 

Sudeshna Banerjee
Pictures: Sudeshna Banerjee