Art & Entertainment

Vishal Mishra: Nobody Can Predict What Will Work, There Is No Recipe, But I Would Advise Everybody To Be Original

In a candid chat, Vishal Mishra talks about his long-standing collaboration with T-Series, how different is it performing live than recording in a studio, how he likes to help youngsters make a mark, how he avoids certain music labels for their love for remakes, his quest for originality and lots more.

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Vishal Mishra Photo: Instagram
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Vishal Mishra has been one of the most prolific music composers of India in the past few years. He has been giving hits back-to-back and fans have been grooving to his songs always. His songs with T-Series recently for ‘Animal’ became a massive hit and have remained atop the charts since the release.

Talking to Prateek Sur, Vishal Mishra opens up about his long-standing collaboration with T-Series, how different is it performing live than recording in a studio, how he likes to help youngsters make a mark, how he avoids certain music labels for their love for remakes, his quest for originality and lots more. Excerpts:

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Q

You have composed for various labels. What’s there in T-Series which stands out in them?

A

It’s a pleasure to be working with all the labels. It’s always a beautiful experience with all of them across the country and I have had the pleasure of working with everyone. What’s different working with T-Series is the personal involvement of Bhushan Ji. He is so keen on music and actually everyone does it. Bhushan Ji’s passion translates into the content that is coming out.

Q

How different is performing live compared to recording in a studio?

A

When you are in the studio you are true to the film and true to the job you have been given. If a character is in a certain mood or a certain backdrop then it needs to be sung like that. When you are on stage it’s all about your people and fans and it’s you and them and there is a connection that is beautiful. In the studio you are connected to the source of the song, the soul of the song, the film and the reason why you are doing it.

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Q

What was that one song or singer who inspired you when you were growing up? And how do you get inspired in the creative context?

A

I have been inspired by everybody. Everybody is so different and they have their own individuality. If you open yourself as an artist you get to feel yourself with all the voice that you have on you and everything that the people need to offer. All the individuals have something to offer to you. It’s about perspective. When I was growing up, I used to listen to a lot of RD Burman music and Sonu Nigam. Sonu Nigam was my God and I used to love him. I am glad that we share a beautiful bond now and it’s like I am meeting my God all the time. He has had a very big impact on me to make me a singer. I saw ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ and it just made me so restless that I had to play the piano and that’s when I started playing piano. I told Shankar Ji that it’s because of him that I became a composer. Lata Ji, Kishor Da have been a catalyst in shaping up my career and I try to learn something from all of these people.

Q

We have heard that you ask young singers to send you their songs by email. And if you like them, you try and give them an opportunity to sing in your compositions. Is this true? Tell us a little bit about this initiative of yours? Also, share the mail id, so we could also help out some newcomer singers in getting to you.

A

Oh yes, I try to do that. Now the number has become a lot so it takes time to access all the recordings but I have been through the grill. Times have become easier now and when I came to Mumbai in 2012, it was very difficult to get a contact number. Now everything is digital and people are more easily accessible but yes people are not being discovered on that trait. People are not letting themselves out. If I can help somebody and guide myself in my career, I have gone through that grill where I had nobody to guide me, I came from a small town and knew nothing about Mumbai, there are so many people like me as basic as I am. If I become the light in their lives that it will be the most beautiful thing I can contribute to as a musician. Yes, my email id is vishalmishrastudio@gmail.com.

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Q

What do you do about the critics...Are they looking for catchy-tunes or deep emotional lyrics these days?

A

Music is timeless and it’s always a good creation whether it’s in 1700 or 2024 it doesn’t matter. Any good song that is made today will probably be recreated after 80 years and reheard after 100 years.

Q

Have you consciously avoided composing for some films or labels because they ask for remakes constantly?

A

Yes, I have had instances where I have said no to songs but it’s purely a creative call. When it comes to recreations, if I feel inspired, I will do that. I believe in original melodies and that inspires me to create melodies that don’t exist. If I feel inspired to the recreation then I will definitely do it.

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Q

What is your perspective on the remakes of old iconic songs, do you think the originality is reducing?

A

Nobody can predict what will work. I feel my recipe for music is to be honest. If it’s a film, I cater to my director, my script and I flare on those boundaries and if it’s an independent song then nobody tells me where to go but I have to be honest and I have to be original and be myself and then accumulate all the expressions that I have garnered and make it an individual sound and individual sonic and that is what people connect to. People connect to something which is nostalgic and is said in a very different way. There is no recipe but I would advise everybody to be original.

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Q

Was speaking to a few other music composers the other day, and they told us that audiences are being bombarded with remakes and that’s why they think that’s the only thing. So, originality is reducing. Do you echo the same thoughts? Are we losing original songs trying to make a viral remake song?

A

No. I don’t think so. As there is so much original work happening. You can see ‘Animal’, ‘Tu Jhooti Main Makkaar’, ‘Khuda Hafiz’, ‘Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga’, ‘Gadar 2’. It’s all about how you receive it. There are a lot of things coming out. There are beautiful original singers and composers and songwriters and I think they are making music that would be relevant for a lot of years which might be recreated later.

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Q

What next can we hear you or see you compose music for?

A

After ‘Animal’ it’s been a beautiful journey. I can’t name a lot of projects. I am doing my album which is going to be interesting. I am doing ‘Aaj Bhi 2’, the ‘Aaj Bhi’ cult song and I feel people are eagerly waiting for that one. I am doing a lot of songs with T-Series and so many film songs are coming. All my future films have solo albums. 2024 is going to be a massive year and 2023 was magical. I can’t wait to play all the music that I have created this year. I don’t think originality is reducing. All of the songs that I have made in the past 6-7 years have been loved. ‘Janiye’ song from the film ‘Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga’ was the fastest 100 million song. It’s just upon what you are creating and how you are creating. It’s just that so much music is coming out that we can see recreations also.

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Q

Anything with Salman Khan? You are known to work a lot with him.

A

Salman Khan is like my guide, my mentor and my brother and there is only respect and love for him.

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