'Competition is only in the mind'

Mithoon Sharma, composer of one of the popular songs of 2013 Tum Hi ho, and son of Naresh Sharma who has composed music for several Bollywood films, doesn’t believe in competing with anyone, but himself. The 30-year-old asserts that he doesn’t hold any expectations in his life and music too. In an interview with Metrolife, the Mumbai-born artiste talks about his journey, music and future of Bollywood. Excerpts:

How has your journey been till now?

A blessed roller coaster ride. The journey began here at home. I wanted to follow my father in everything, including the way he entered a studio and conducted an orchestra. My father always used to tell me that if you want to see the good and the bad, you don’t have to go far away, look within the family. I had to go and find my own identity and yet be part of it.
 
Tell us a little about your early life. 

My first memory of music was probably when I was four or five years old. I was very fond of the song So Gaya Yeh Jaahan from the movie Tezaab. I remember a tambourine in my living room and I would pick it up and try to have fun by playing it. And when I was in college, I got my first film offer, all thanks to my father and one thing led to another and here I am.
 
How’d you define your music?

My musical philosophy follows my philosophy of life. I have certain patterns in the way I think, act and do my tasks. I also do not believe in setting any expectations in life or my music. I like it to be minimalistic yet melodic and soulful. When I create music, I like to explore the genre of world music, the sounds of different cultures and countries, like merging a Kashmiri carpet song with an Iranian folk melody. In fact, I have done something like that in a forthcoming film directed by Onir.
 
What do you like more — singing or composing?

Composing will be first because that is the heart of the song, lyrics will be the face of the song and that comes second. Singing, I feel, is a tool that every composer should have in his kitty because it becomes easier to express what he has composed.
 
How did Tum Hi Ho change your life? 

Before Tum Hi Ho, there were a lot of opinions, advice from everyone including well-wishers, but after the song, everything has changed. Some people called it revolution, some called it a storm. The magnitude was huge and it reaffirmed my faith in the path I have chosen and have decided never to divert from it.
 
Is there any one you want to work with?

It is difficult for me to point out who is doing well given that most of them are doing great work. I’m looking forward to work with Rekha Bharadwajji and Sonu Nigam.
 
What are your views on the present scene of music in Bollywood?

I’m not opinionated and I regard and respect everyone’s space. Good and bad has always been there and the balance of yin and yang exists in every sphere of life. So I dwell on things I have to deliver. Of course, a lot of good work is happening and we can see and hear that in the movies that are releasing.
 
Anyone who you see as a competitor?

I think competition is only in the mind. I don’t mean to sound arrogant but I don’t view anyone as competition apart from myself. I keep competing with myself to perfect my skill. It’s the best way to be at the top of your game.
 
Can we draw a comparison between Bollywood music, then and now?

 I believe each era has its own magic. The one that passed was beautiful especially the lyrics but contrary to popular belief I don’t think that is completely dead yet. We still have beautiful songs of the kind that touch our souls and I’d like to believe I contribute to that a little. But nevertheless everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
 
How difficult it is to make a mark in the Indian music industry?

Maybe 10 years back a break in the music industry would have been difficult. Everyone was playing safe. Nowadays, if what you produce is good and clicks with the masses, it’s a hit. It’s the sensibility that matters.
 
What is the future of Indian music industry?

Music is a reflection of every generation and when people change, ideas change, thoughts and perceptions change and hence music also has to change and that
change is good.

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