Salman bhai loved ‘Mashallah’, was excited about it: Wajid Khan

India’s first private channel, Zee TV, is all set to complete 20 years of providing unprecedented entertainment to people. To commemorate two decades of its existence, Zee TV will re-launch its premium show ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ that translates dreams of aspiring singers into reality. The 2012 season of the singing contest will feature music director duo Sajid-Wajid and Rockband Indian Oceans’ lead vocalist and bassist Rahul Ram as the judges who’d be mentoring participants.

Wajid Khan, the voice behind ‘Mashallah’ spoke to Gayatri Sankar of about the chartbuster, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’, and a lot more in a freewheeling chat. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Every season of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ turns out to be an absolute delight for music lovers. What can we expect from the show this time around?

The show wouldn’t have just one winner and for the first time ever on the show, the viewers would get an opportunity to evaluate the performances of the contestants. Videos of the performances will be uploaded online and a contestant’s entry will depend on the amount of traffic/likes the video generates. So that suffices the fact that the latest edition of show has something really different up its sleeves. Music knows no barriers of language, caste or creed. Music is a language that people understand universally. The audience is never biased. They make the real good judges: else new talent would have never been able to make a mark.

You and Saijid have judged the previous season of the show. What is that one thing you are looking forward to in this season?

A voice that touches the heart.

What was the inspiration behind ‘Mashallah’?

‘Mashallah’ is mashallah. Preparation is a must. Basic sur banaker rakhta hai. (We prepare a basic tune). We had composed the tune of the song and never thought it would feature in the film ‘Ek Tha Tiger’. We had once made Salman Khan listen to the tune and he quite liked it. Since we weren’t composing for the film, we thought it would be unethical from our end to suggest the song for the film. Once, when we were casually discussing the song with Salman Bhai, who had by then forgotten the song, he was super excited. He gave us few suggestions and asked us to prepare for it. And later asked us to give a demo. A demo is as good as a recording and we generally don’t give demos. But in case of ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, we had to. Aditya Chopra is someone who always has some suggestion or the other to give after listening to a song, but after listening to ‘Mashallah’, he asked us to give the song as it was.

Given a chance, which legendary singer would you like to work with?

There are many. Difficult to name one. I would have loved to work with Manna Dey, Mohd.Rafi, Kishore Kumar and of course Lata Mangeshkar. I feel blessed to have met Adinath Mangeshkar, who, in turn, told me that Lataji loves my song ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ from the film ‘Dabangg’. It is the biggest compliment of my life. Though I couldn’t hear Lataji tell this to me in person, but I am glad her message reached me. I even sang this song on Ashaji’s birthday. I am a big fan of theirs.

However, as a person grows old, he/she succumbs to certain limitations. We do feel like making them sing for us, but it is not possible.

Your favourite genre?

I love all genres. In fact I love all that gives me work satisfaction.

Your future projects…

We love composing songs of all genres. Especially when it comes to composing songs for flicks, we make sure they are commercially viable. We have several projects in the near future, which include ‘Ishkq in Paris’ ‘Ajab Gajab Love’, ‘Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal’, ‘Chamshme Baddoor’, ‘Kick’ and ‘Sher Khan’. Preity Zinta’s debut film as a producer, ‘Ishqq in Paris’, has really lovely songs. ‘Ajab Gajab Love’ has a youthful and an international appeal, while the music in ‘Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal’ is in complete contrast with the others. There are no heroes or heroines in the film. Characters are the main protagonists in the film and hence the music has a different appeal. I am glad to have got an opportunity to work with Priyadashan, my favourite director. Had not worked with him earlier, but I am glad we did three films this year- ‘Tezz’, ‘Kamaal Dhamaal Malaamal’ and a new film titled ‘Rangrez’. We have several other projects lined up in the near future with him.

What do you like more-singing or composing?

I love composing more. By God’s grace, all the songs that I have sung have been received exceptionally well. I sing really very fast and hence I think I am much better as a composer.

How easy or difficult is it to judge singing on a show?

You have to be true to yourself. That’s what is more important. If you know what you are doing is right, then everything falls in place.

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