Santanu Hazarika has been making headlines ever since he got spotted with Shruti Haasan. The two have been dating for quite some time, and have been quite open about their bond. However, Hazarika is famous in his own right as well. Not many know that Hazarika was part of the FIFA 2022 World Cup anthem.
Yes, you read that right!
Hazarika was one of the selected few who was not just cheering for the football teams from across the world in Qatar but was also a part of the mega event in whatever way it was. The FIFA anthem definitely was a huge deal and gave him a status that many in India would die for. Prateek Sur from Outlook caught up with Santanu Hazarika for a small chit-chat about the anthem, his career and his journey from start till now. Excerpts from the candid conversation:
Tell us a bit about the football anthem that you were a part of for the FIFA 2022 World Cup. From where did the germ of the idea come?
It was the Budweiser, FIFA anthem for 2022 since Budweiser they were the primary sponsor of the event. And the idea came from the fact that this song is a remake of an old classic called ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World By Tears And Fears’ by a pop band. So, it's a remake by the famous American rapper, Lil Baby. So, the concept of the whole song revolves around the fact that how all of us have our own struggles. All of us actually, battle a lot of hurdles, a lot of tunnels and a lot of stereotypes and limitations and face a lot of difficulties to actually go forward in life and achieve things which are greater than what we could ever imagine. This was kind of like an ode to all those people who have put in their blood, sweat and tears to achieve something greater than themselves and actually make a mark in the world.
You collaborated with quite a number of celebrities for the song. Does having celebs in anthem songs help the songs to get the necessary visibility among the fans? Or does it take the attention away from the song and towards the celebs more?
I don't think having a bunch of celebrities on the song takes away from the song itself. It actually amplifies it. And also, the song is by Lil Baby, who already is a big rapper, and all the people that have been featured there, have a unique story to tell. It is quite inspiring because all of us have come from nothing and been through countless hurdles. So that is quite inspiring to a lot of people. And at the same time, it's a very short song and they are like 200 people with similar like stories that have been invited. It's not that everyone has a lot of screen time because of which they'll take away or domain essence of the song. So, I think it's a good thing to be incorporated and to be celebrated on a global stage like this.
Being part of a football anthem is a dream for many young kids growing up. Did you also have such a dream?
Yes, of course. I had a dream of me being part of FIFA in some way or the other because I've grown up playing the video game, I've watched FIFA, I've watched football, and it's a huge thing where I'm from. So, I think it's a big, big deal for me.
Coming to talk of your profession, what are the difficulties that you face on a day-to-day basis in the field of doodling?
Initially, there were a lot of difficulties, actually to make a mark, to be recognised, to have an artistic voice and to be known for your work and because of your artistic style. But over the years and like working really hard and putting my work out there, I sort of have made a mark and, by now, the day-to-day difficulty is actually having a balance between personal projects and commissioned and branded projects because of which there's always a shift going around and that’s why I'm always in a dilemma. And also, at the same time, finding time to upgrade your skills with the new technology and new things that are being made right now, like starting from AR to all of this stuff that's happening around, the artistic field right now. It is always good to be well-informed and be up to date with how things are changing, and how the realms of art are changing. So, I think being more aware, getting more knowledge about the field of work and having a good balance between personal and commission projects is the key. I think these are the few difficulties I would say that I’m facing right now. But other than that, I'm really grateful to be in this situation and the position that I'm in right now.
What next can we see coming from you?
There are a lot of things coming out this year. I'm really hoping for it. I ended 2022 with a bang. So, hopefully, 2023 is going to be even bigger. There are a bunch of projects. Also, I'm planning to get into a little bit of filmmaking, designing and fashion, and also, planning a new exhibit this year. And along with that Red Bull World Championship is also happening. I'm going to be actively part of the global campaign and take things forward. So yeah, I'm quite excited.