As he leads his band ‘Farhan-Live’ for a concert in Melbourne and Sydney this February, Rajesh Sharma from team Indus Age caught up with the ‘All Rounder of Bollywood’ – FarhanAkhtar quipping him about music and his eternal love for it!
Excerpts from the interview: –
Indus Age: Apart from being an acclaimed director, producer and actor you give a lot of importance to your musical career, what made you do that?
Farhan:I have truly been intrigued and interested in the world of music from childhood, and my parents got me a singing teacher when I was 5, for three years I used to play harmonium and sing but even before that also I used to sing, play music. I remember listening to background scores of films and trying to transcribe them phonetically in my own childish way. Finally at the age of 16 I got my own guitar, started playing, but then it took a back seat as I started writing, directing, producing films, and it again came back to me in 2004 when I was in Ladakh for 5 months shooting for “Lakshya”, later inadvertently I was offered “Rock On” which was about music I liked and could relate to. And then when ‘MARD’ was founded in 2012 we used Music as a vehicle to reach out to masses and connect with them.
Indus Age: In all your movies you come out as a perfectionist like Amir Khan, still you take out time for social work. Your initiative ‘MARD’, is something where you are giving back to the society. All your movies give a cause, BhaagMilkhaBhaag, Karthik Calling Karthik and it all started with Rock On, so what made you do Rock On?
Farhan:It came to my life at the time of my curiosity towards the world of music, it happened at the very right time. I had just finished working on Don, I was in search of what to do next. It was a transitional phase, I met with Abhishek where he told me a story about a band that breaks and reunites after 10 years. It just felt the right thing to do. I could identify with the characters, the music and how music is such an important part in any relationship. For me it was a great medium to express my love for music. Also guidance of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy with whom I have worked since the beginning of my career made it comfortable for me to do it. The experience of this film gave me the confidence, made me believe that I can act. I felt a certain kind of artistic liberty. It gave me strength to move on and play the various roles you talked about.
Indus Age: Who all have been your inspiration and your pillar of support?
Farhan: Different people have played different roles in my life, for music my biggest inspiration would be “Beatles” and in life my family has been my biggest support system, they inspire me to do my best in whatever I do, their approval gives me a lot of strength.
Indus Age: Back to back films and yet you find time to evolve as a musician. How do you manage that?
Farhan: The good thing about being in films is that when the work is intense it really consumes you and all your time, but once it’s done you can find yourself completely jobless. So in between of the projects it happens that you get a month or two where you have to check the scripts and development or may devote your time in some studio but that’s not going to take your 24 hours and you can always make time to do things that you want to make and I truly believe that personal time on some level is very flexible and you will make time for the things you really want to do.
Indus Age: Can you throw some light on your band, ‘Farhan Live’ and ‘MARD’?
Farhan:The idea of ‘Farhan-Live’ came from AnuragRao who manages the band and also plays guitar, he handles events and talents and I shared my idea of ‘MARD’ and taking it to colleges and schools and reach out to people. So he came up with the idea to form a band and through music make them understand about ‘MARD’, make it a memorable event for them so that they can remember it for a long time. So we created a vehicle for ‘MARD’ with the music and started performing. So there’s AnuragRao, Sarosh (guitar), Shanon (vocals), these are for me the must haves on every concert. Apart from that we have different keyboard players, drummers, but predominantly Darshan, Umang, Anupam for percussions and Dibya(bass).
Indus Age: So what do you have for the audience in Melbourne on 7thand 8th February in Sydney?
Farhan: Well, they definitely will get a lot of entertainment, a set of 90-100 minutes, also once in a while we throw in covers.
Indus Age: What do you see the future of ‘Farhan-Live’?
Farhan: The focus right now is on creating a lot of content outside the film space because this is an ongoing thing, a job that we do and we will always require songs for our movies, so some will be associated with me personally some wont but outside this I think there is a lot that I would like to share about myself a perspective with the world that can only happen in a independent capacity that can not always happen in a film so the focus will be for the band to create more and more regional content may be not just me singing but also with collaborations, like we did with Salim and Sulaiman, did a song called ‘Chhu Le Aasmaan’ which was for the MARD initiative to help get women online to be able to educate themselves, use themselves, community building, seeking advice, that’s something we have tied up with Google.SalimSulaiman and I have composed the theme song, we will be playing this song in the concert.
Indus Age: Any message for the viewers?
Farhan: I am really excited to comeback that’s all I truly have to say. I have spent a lot of time in Sydney when I was filming there and an equal amount of time in Melbourne, I have family there. It’s nice to come there and just to revisit all those places I have been. It’s been 10 years since I have been to Melbourne and 14 years to Sydney. But I am really excited to be back and comeback in a different capacity from what I did the first few times and just to engage with the audience and the fans, to have a memorable fun evening, I will request them to carry their voices with them because you will be asked to sing.