Farhan’s album out on Friday

The debut album ‘Echoes’, which has 11 songs written by the actor-director, releases on April 12.

Farhan Akhtar

The first time we heard Farhan Akhtar sing was 11 years ago, in Bollywood blockbuster ‘Rock On’. His voice was a refreshing change from the others and left one wanting for more. 

Along with acting, he continued singing for various movies. And now, he’s finally releasing his debut album ‘Echoes’ today; a reflecting of his journeys over the years. 

In a tete-a-tete with Anila Kurian, Farhan spoke about the album and its sound.

Your debut album ‘Echoes’ is your life journey. What was it like revisiting those times?
It’s cathartic to share thoughts and feelings and write about them for four to five years. As an artiste, I felt that making this album was the next step. I have been performing on stage for the last seven years. Singing in a movie is not really who I am as an individual. So I felt that I needed to widen that and share my thoughts and feelings.

Would you categorise your songs as different phases of your life?
The writing of the songs is pretty much self-evident. There are different times in my life when I experienced the same emotions as any other person. But it’s how you express that makes your writing different from that of others. I guess that’s what I did.

So if you could go back in time and change certain aspects of your life, what would you like to change?
I wouldn’t want to change anything. I am where I am now because of the things that I have experienced, be it good or bad.

How did you finalise the sound for the album?
The one thing I knew that I wanted was for the album to have an acoustic feel. When Grammy-winner producer Tommaso Colliva came on board, he took it to a whole new level. He just wanted to understand what it was that I was trying to convey through the songs and what I was feeling when I was writing them. He took all that and somehow translated that to create the music to the lyrics.

You said that you have been writing the songs for a few years now. Would you say that your way of writing and that of your dad, Javed Akhtar, are similar in that sense?
I don’t know, to be honest. I wouldn’t call it similarity but what I’ve noticed is that in all his work, he paints a certain image and tells a story. I have imbibed this and hopefully, the listeners can vouch for it.

You and your dad represent different generations of music lovers. Do you see a blend in the age groups or are they different?
He writes music for all kinds of movies — from Lagaan to Dil Chahta Hai, from Rock On to Jodha Akbar. He’s a versatile musician like that. So it’s hard to say that he writes for a certain generation. He’d probably be very upset if he hears that he writes for an older generation (laughs).

Have your musical inspirations changed over the years?
Of course. From listening to new music and discovering new artistes to remembering the older ones with nostalgia, it’s important to be a listener as well as a songwriter.

And who are your inspirations? 
The first band that made me want to listen to them over and over again were The Beatles. I wanted to play the guitar because of them. I also like Pink Floyd and U2. I admire their body of work and creativity but it’s not a direct influence. It’s knowing that they have created these epic songs in this universe and I just want to be a part of that space.

In terms of your movies, when do we get to see you next?
I finished shooting for ‘The Sky Is Pink’ with Priyanka Chopra and Zaira Wasim. I’m working with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra again for ‘Toofan’. We start shooting for that in August.

You already have actor, musician, producer and director on your list. What other fields do you want to explore?
I don’t know. At the end of the day, I am happy with the things that I am doing and I am grateful that people are accepting the varied roles that I have experimented and expanded into. Any opportunity that allows me to learn and grow, my heart is open to it. Till then, let’s see where it goes.

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Farhan’s album out on Friday

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