New Delhi: Veteran actor Dalip Tahil has been part of musicals and recently sang live with a band in Mumbai. He says he always wanted to sing in films, but it never materialised.
"It's (singing in films) always been on my mind. I always wanted to do it. But it never happened because of the kind of roles I was doing. People are always put in a box or slot," Dalip, mostly known for doing negative roles in movies like "Shaan" and "Baazigar", told IANS in a telephonic interview.
"In the early days, some producers and directors saw me in the musical 'Evita' and cast me in their movies. They heard me singing on stage also, but they couldn't translate that into a Hindi movie song. I'd love to do it," he said.
Singing is one side of him that's not that known even though he began his career with English musicals like "Evita" and "Godspell" decades ago.
"I also sang on a London stage for (composers) Andrew Lloyd Webber and A.R. Rahman, but it's not necessarily what people know me for," said the "Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai" actor.
A few months ago, he and singer Shweta Shetty judged a dance competition where she heard Dalip singing. This was followed by a meeting at a common friend's place where again his singing skills were displayed.
Finally, they decided to do an intimate unplugged concert with composer Louis Banks on board.
"Soul2Soul - that's our band... from our soul to the audience's soul," he said about the band that performed last weekend in Mumbai's iconic venue -- The Royal Opera House. He hopes the band gets more shows.
"We are very much a band that is out there and ready to take up whatever comes our way," said the fan of retro music.
What about original music? "At this stage, we haven't really thought about composing our own music, but I am absolutely sure it will happen," said Dalip, who made his Bollywood debut with "Ankur" in 1974.
Back then, there weren't as many platforms for singers as there are now, he said.
"The music scene is very vibrant in India. You see technology... in movies, there are different budget films being made because of the distribution... because of various platforms. It's the same for music.
"I remember when I got into movies, the only way singers could be heard was to through playback singing in movies. Then gradually came the music companies promoting independent pop singers," he recalled.
Now, the digital platform has opened up more avenues for singers. "Anyone can pick up an instrument if they want to express themselves or write a song and put it on YouTube. It's always technology that comes and turns around how we think creatively and what we do creatively," the actor said.