Voice of the hour

Voice of the hour

Duly noted

Voice of the hour

His energetic numbers make one want to hit the dance floor. Nakash Aziz is the toast of the town with back-to-back chartbusters. Harshikaa Udasi talks to the singer who takes things easy.

Back from the frenzy of Madrid where he rocked the IIFA Awards, and was called ‘Jabra fan’ wherever he went, Nakash Aziz is on cloud nine.

“It’s not just the lovely fan following, but also the fact that I was barely even recognised earlier even though people knew my songs. With this song, it’s gone berserk and the face behind the voice is being loved too, so it’s always going to be extra special,” says the ‘Selfie Le Le Re’ (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) and ‘Jabra Anthem’ (Fan) singer, whose voice has got a lot more to offer than the fun and spunk it is famous for; it is a voice that exudes warmth.

Having gone through the rigours of a reality show and not having come out on the top spot years ago, didn’t really dampen Nakash’s spirit. He kicked off his career in television. “It wasn’t a happy place to be in — television can get a tad monotonous. But it was exciting to begin with and, not to forget, a stepping stone to bigger things,” he says.

New-found fame

Nakash chuckles while recalling an incident from a couple of years ago. “I had once gone to pick up some essentials from a medical store. I can’t recollect why, but the shop owner and I got into some argument and he used some choicest words. Later, I laughed at the irony of the situation because when I had entered his shop, he was shaking his head to my song ‘Second Hand Jawaani’ (Cocktail), and minutes later he was fighting with the singer of the song.” Nakash was used to operating in this incognito mode especially since his friends too made no big deal about his rising popularity. “My friends listen to only Western music, and Bollywood is frowned upon. So I wasn’t exactly treated like a king,” he guffaws.

However, it was when he got to assist maestro A R Rahman that Nakash realised he had entered the big league. “Every upcoming artiste wants to work with Rahman sir. It was a really big deal for me when I got the opportunity,” he says. Nakash went on to assisting the ace composer on films like Highway, Ranjhanaa, Rockstar and Delhi 6. “From outside he seemed like god. Working with him in close quarters was a humbling experience. He too has similar problems as we do. It’s his way to solve the problems that possibly sets him apart, besides his genius of course. It made me realise how the rest of us underestimate ourselves,” adds Nakash.

A creative outlet

This was also the time when songs sung by him were creating all the right noises, and he began to perform live. ‘Pungi’ (Agent Vinod), ‘Second Hand Jawaani’ (Cocktail), ‘Saree Ke Fall Sa’ and ‘Gandi Baat’ (both from R…Rajkumar), ‘Dhating Naach’ (Phata Poster Nikla Hero) — he seemed to be hitting them all for a six! “Seeing the audience react right there in front of you during a live performance is an indescribable feeling. You realise the impact you’ve had with your songs, and that feeling is out of this world. People started recognising me as Nakash,” he smiles satisfactorily, stating that the song ‘Saree Ke Fall Sa’ was the turning point of his career. “With that song, I went from being ‘that’ singer to Nakash.”

Adulation and success aside, nothing makes Nakash happier than knowing he is in the company of good people. “It fuels not just my creativity, but also my happiness. Working with Rahman-sir, Pritam-da, Vishal-Shekhar and so many others, makes me happy. I wouldn’t exchange that for anything else.” A huge fan of pop star Michael Jackson, Nakash says that ‘Thriller’ is one song that never fails to inspire him. “I feel that my work should be like that. I should be proud to show it to anyone. Without any hesitation. When I listen to ‘Thriller’, I say to myself that I want to do something like that in the next 30 years may be.”

With the latest from his kitty, ‘Pyar Ke Ma Ki’ (Housefull 3), rocking the charts, Nakash promises there is going to be more. But he is not unduly wary of being typecast as a singer of only dance numbers. “Of course, there is more variety to give, but I don’t want to make any tall claims. Look, I never thought I’d work with Rahman-sir or Pritam-da or that I’d have SRK lip-syncing to my number. Who knows what lies ahead, right?”

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