Himesh Reshammiya has stunned Bollywood, the critics and audiences alike, with how well his debut film Aap Ka Surroor has done at the box office. Especially, since it was opening against two other big films Apne and Awarapan. But, like he said,”I think June 29 will disprove the myth that only one film at the most does well on any Friday.”
Of course, there are many critics of the star or as they have called him, “The phenomenon called Himesh Reshammiya”, but it seems they may be proven wrong. Recently in an interview, the music director turned singer turned actor answered his many critics and gave a lot of insight into why and how he makes his music.
The first thing he addressed was the backlash from critics for his movie Aap Ka Surroor saying, “Main bahut chota insaan hoon, bahut neeche se aaya hoon. (I am a very small man. I have started from the bottom).” I have never claimed that I am a star. I am not a conventional singer, music director or an actor. Everything that is unconventional has worked. Everyone who is against me has a reason. I have come a long way. There is some negativity from 1% of the critics….. hamesha se.”
He went on to say, “I’ve not been able to silence my critics. That 1% is still against me while 99% people have blessed me. But that 1% has criticized ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ and my nasal singing. They have not been kind to Aap Ka Surroor but Box Office is showing another picture. The film has done very well commercially. And it has been appreciated by the masses as well as classes who have gone to see stress free entertainment. We had never decided to make an art film like Banaras, which earned critical acclaim but didn’t do anything at the Box Office. Aap Ka Surroor was meant for commercial purpose, for entertaining the audience. But that 1% is still against the film. I appreciate them. I want to win them over and Inshallah I will win them one day.”
He also said in response to the critics who used to hate his singing but who are now saying that they would rather listen to him sing than watch him act, “As an actor I feel my fans have loved me. And its very important that I satisfy my fans completely. Aap Ka Surroor is a tribute to all my fans. This happened to Sholay, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and many more films. There are so many films that created Box Office history but were not appreciated by the critics.”
Himesh said that he believes that something else has helped him reach his level of success. He has not had a plan, things have just fallen into place and perhaps it is destiny. “Otherwise it is too odd for a music director to turn a singer and get all the awards, and for a singer to do the shows and videos. And now this film opening well and doing well and being called a hit,” he said. He believes God and his fans have helped him and that since he is not on the conventional path it will take longer for critics to accept him.
Sharing a bit on his feelings about his work he said, “I’m trying hard. I want to do my best. My fans have blessed me. I’m unconventional but I’m common man’s hero. The common man can see the journey of a true lover in me. When I sing a song, compose a tune, then, I feel it from within. I see to it that every word is heartfelt and it reaches everyone who has been in love. It touches that chord somewhere. I feel love is a universal emotion that connects globally.”
One of the raaz or secrets of his originality is that he always tries to do something new, never copy anyone or any song. Many times he will improvise to keep that freshness alive, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not, but if it does work it is a hit.
His fans not only include audiences all over the world, but also many of the stars in Bollywood including, Madhuri Dixit. Reshammiya was really touched when she said on Koffee with Karan that she liked his music.
Speaking of Koffee with Karan, Himesh is scheduled to be a guest on the talk show and that is a huge milestone in anyone’s career. Of course, he is very happy about it and would love to be able to compose or now he has the acting bug maybe have a role in a KJo film. In fact he said, “For Mr Karan Johar or Sanjay Leela Bhansali ji, Farah Khan ji or Yash Chopra ji, Aditya Chopra ji, Sooraj Barjatya ji, I would do anything. I have not got the opportunity to work with them. They are legends. I’ve been requesting them. I will try my luck again. If I get the chance I will be on top of the world.”
He has a strong faith in God and the blessings he has given him. And says that, “Music is something that directly connects to God. ‘Ahista Ahista’, ‘Namastey London’ even ‘Tanhaiyan’ song in Aap Ka Surroor and ‘Ye Tera Mera Milna’ are very divine tunes. Of course the orchestration is modern to appeal to the youngsters but basically they are very divine. Words given by Sameer ji are very touching, giving a lot of personal identification. When I compose a song, I pray to God to please bless me with a good song. The divine thing works and something comes from within and that’s the way I compose. I can’t take the credit.”
Then the interview went back to Aap Ka Surroor and one scene in particular where auto rickshaws play an integral part. Auto-rickshawalas are one of Himesh’s biggest fan groups and though it maybe odd to see them in Germany it was a tribute to those fans. He added the, “auto sequence was conceived by Prashant. I give him full credit for that. I used to compose music which was very Indian, like ‘Tere Naam’. The auto-rickshawwalas were my big fans. But when I changed my style to DJ, club, Sufi Rock…’Aashiq Banaya Aapne’, Just Chill etc. they changed their style and they played my music. It was a big gesture on their part. So, we did this sequence where they come to Frankfurt for saving me.”
Since it has done so well, there will be a sequel to Aap Ka Surroor and also in the pipeline are two more films for Himesh, the actor. Of course, he will be doing all the music for the films as well and hinted that though commercial they won’t be your run of the mill films.
Fans also love to see Himesh in concert, his shows always sell out and he performs songs from all his hit albums. The concerts can last up to 2.5 hours and he can perform an amazing 100 songs. His new tour will be centered around Aap Ka Surroor and since he now knows he can deliver a line, it will have dialogues as well. With the tagline, “Let’s convert the stadium into a night club,” these shows surely must be a sight to see.
He says about his concert performances that,”When I perform, main duniya bhool jaata hoon (I forget the world). When I sing I don’t think ki ye dekh raha hai woh dekh raha hai…ya meri shakal kaisi dikh rahi hai. (When I sing I don’t think of who’s watching me or how my face is looking.) That connection is important. When you connect with God, its bhakti, dua…it makes me concentrate. Music or work is worship.”
Finally, he talked about Sonu Nigam, saying that though he has heard stories that there was a problem between the two of them that,”He is a colleague, for me he is the best singer in India. He has also sung in Apne. I love him, respect him. I don’t have anything against him.”
Though many critics say,”Why him? Why Himesh Reshammiya?” His fans say,”Why not? He entertains us.”
It is obvious that he works hard at his craft, feels he is blessed by God and only wants to do good work in his career. We applaud his energy, his not listening to critics, but to his audiences and his heart and most especially his desire to entertain. We are sure we will hear much more about this artist and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next to entertain us all.