For the last 40 years, Rajesh Roshan has made the stars “sing”. From his award-winning soundtrack for Julie in 1975 to his work with Filmkraft, including Koi…Mil Gaya and Krrish, Mr. Roshan has composed some of Bollywood fans’ favorite songs in over 150 films. His newest project is Kites, starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori. Mr. Roshan said composing the music for the film was a challenge, not only because of the unique story, but also because the film is more for the global market; these challenges were a source of inspiration for him. In an exclusive with BollySpice.com, Mr Roshan talks composing and his thoughts on Hindi music, and tells us about Hrithik crooning a tune! Read on to find out more!
Since Kites is more of an international film, was it different composing for this than from other projects?
This is a very nice thing you have asked about the film being global and international. That was the source of the main inspiration for me: that it was for a more global audience. I wanted to make some good music, which remains forever and which can be called a classic tune. When you hear that song, ‘Kites in the Sky’, I imagine a song by Tom Jones or Englebert Humperdinck – those yesteryear singles. Those songs are very close to me; they are evergreen songs. I wanted to make some music like that. Even with the modern stuff, I wanted to create a trance song that could match one of the finest trance songs universally. At the end of the day, I don’t know where I have reached, but the feedback I have gotten from everyone is very, very good and very, very satisfying. I am very happy.
Tell us about Hrithik and his song, ‘Kites in the Sky’.
Actually, he was very hesitant at first. It was Anurag and Rakesh who coaxed him into this, because he used to hum that tune in the music room where we do our work at home. He used to hum, and so they said, you know, you are really sounding nice; there is this nice bass in your voice. So, he took up the challenge. After a little while when he first went on the mike, he got a little upset and he said no, no, this is not my cup of tea, I cannot reach that note. Though I am singing so loud, how come I can not reach there? There were many whys. You know, there is one simple method of singing – you have to enact the role of an actor in your mind, so I told him to do that. I told him this is like acting, but there is no movement of hands or legs or eyes or anything. You have to close your eyes and imagine you are the actor and then sing. Sing means you have to just throw out from your heart, only then will it touch the hearts of others. It shouldn’t be anything fabricated – that “;I am trying to sing” and all. He got that nuance, he practiced that, and I think he has come out with a very nice track. I think it will be remembered. ‘Kites in the Sky’ is a very nice song from him.
It was interesting because you had Suzanne in the duet with him singing in Spanish.
I am also very happy with her singing. I wanted it to sound like an international track. When you hear the start of the song, she is singing first, you can compare that to any one of the finest songs you have heard. The voices really come out VERY nice. She has done a wonderful job.
I really love the lyrics of the song as well. They seem to touch, or tell a bit of the story.
Well, I don’t think we wanted to reveal anything about the story, but if you understood something then it’s like, good for you! (Laughs)
Since the film does have Hrithik’s character only speak Hindi and Barbara’s character only speaks Spanish, and it is a newer way to tell a story, did you have to change the way you thought while making the music?
Yeah, that really was the inspiring part. Actually, because it was not in Hindi, it was just a little in Hindi, this was a newer game we were trying to play. The challenge was new for us. Something new, and also going international/global, both those things got mixed and made the source of inspiration for me.
When composing a song like ‘Fire’, which is the dance number for Hrithik, do you approach that differently than composing something like ‘Kites in the Sky’?
Yes. He was very keen on a trance sort of a song. These are meant for clubs, actually. Trance is a little in the background; you have to get carried away with the tune and the singing. I also wanted it to happen nicely, so that it should match with any good soundtrack abroad as well. We tried very hard, and I think it has come out very good.
What are your feelings on remixes?
The remixes are actually meant to just have more numbers on the album. The music company thinks the more you give, the happier the buyer, so they create remixes for them. Remixes are not introduced right away; they come a little later on when the song is liked. They have to do these remixes for selling purposes. Sometimes they come out very nice. Like that song ‘Tum Bhi Ho Wohi’ [he sang this; I wish you could hear! -ed]; that song has come out very nice on the remix. It has come out really nice. I like the beat.
What is your favorite song on the album?
I like Zindagi a lot. It really gives me a feeling of nostalgia and of very desired romance.
Will you also be releasing the background score?
Background has been done by Salim-Sulaiman. They are professionals out here and they specialize on background. Of course, they are composing songs also and they have become quite famous now.
What do you think of Hindi music industry today?
When I am listening to foreign music and when I am listening to Hindi music, what I feel is that Hindi music is now a little better off than the foreign stuff. They have got hooked to just one rhythm and they are not willing to budge from that rhythm. Each song, whether it be any A B C D singer, however big they are, does not like to experiment now, so they are falling in the same type of rut-aura. In India they are experimenting a lot. There are English words – there is Hindi – there is a classical piece going behind. Though our films are not so well made according to foreign standards; for example, in the US and UK the making of film has gone very, very high and see we cannot match that – they have left us far behind. However, in music I feel we have overtaken them. Just to prove that I am right: the way Rahman was appreciated. It was because of the newer beat, the new beat that he experimented with the songs that he was appreciated. It is not only him; all of our music directors are very, very sharp and getting on to it like anything. The only thing is most of the music directors don’t have the chance to go international. There was only one film made like that, and that was Slumdog Millionaire, which was properly released in the US and the UK with an Indian composer on it. I am sure if the people out there reach out to us, we will be able to give new music and newer stuff. Hindi music is more spicy, it’s more colorful, it’s more enjoyable.
How do you decide which voices will fit your songs?
Actually, it is not I who decides, it is a decision jointly taken by Rakesh and Hrithik and Anurag. Often it happens that one singer sings a song and we don’t like it at the music room here. These days there are many facilities but we just use a mike in the music room and try it. The singers are very, very nice out here and they don’t mind coming here and giving a try. If it suits, they say it’s good – otherwise bye-bye. They don’t mind; they are very nice people out here. That is the way we choose a singer. Many a time if one guy says, ‘make this guy sing, make this guy sing’, then we have to call him to the music room and make him sing. We make everybody hear and then find out the faults and then reject him. It can happen like that.
Overall are you proud and happy with the music of Kites?
Yes, it has taken me by surprise. This was not the impact I was thinking I would get, but fortunately, my good stars, my good luck, that unanimously it has been received very nicely. There is a genuine feeling; I can hear when somebody praises the song or I can see it in the eyes. That I have seen after a very, very, very long time. So, I am really very happy about the whole thing. I wasn’t expecting anything like this.
Have you seen the whole movie? What did you think?
The movie is very big – big in the sense that it is a feast to the eye. You cannot watch this film on a TV. You have to see it on a big screen only then will you feel the impact. Suppose Hrithik is only walking on the sands: for that shot in the main theater on the big screen you will realize WOW, it is very nice! It really is a feast to the eyes. It has come out very nicely. You must go and have a look.
What will we hear from you next?
There is one film under production, but they are still finishing up all the signings, etc., so I don’t want to disclose anything now. It will get launched maybe in July and then we will tell the name and everything.
You can hear all of Mr. Rajesh Roshan’s fabulous songs for Kites, including Hrithik singing ‘Kites in the Sky’, when the film releases on May 21st! We are going to have even more special Kites coverage, so keep your browser open to BollySpice.com!