What kind of reactions are you getting for Naiyo Lagda?
I am getting a great response for ‘Naiyo Lagda’. I am glad that people are liking the song. It doesn’t matter whether the song is modern, new or old, it should just have soul and melody. Himesh Reshammiya has composed very nice tune for the song. Wherever I go, people come up to me and tell me how much they loved the song.
Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan is one of the most awaited films of the year. Did you feel any pressure while writing the song?
I think the pressure is always there. Salman Khan is someone you want to work with again and again. I felt pressure because it is a big film and it is releasing on Eid. I had to make the song commercial and catchy. I had to keep in mind the combination of Salman-Himesh-Shabbir. When you work with different musicians, you have different challenges and pressures.
Salman has always put a lot of faith in me and has always encouraged me. I have tried to live up to the trust they have placed in me. After ‘Pathan’, Salman’s aura has reached another level. There are many expectations.
Did you get a brief of what the song should be like?
I was told that this will be the first time that Salman Khan and Pooja Hegde will be seen romancing on screen. I was told that the lyrics of the song should be simple and meaningful so that it is catchy. I am glad that people have liked the song.
You have worked with Salman Khan in the past as well. How has been your experience so far? How is the actor as a person?
Salman Khan is a name that rings bells in my heart whenever I hear it. I love working with him. He is a kind and helpful person by nature. He is someone who believes in giving opportunities to people. Whatever I am today is because of them. Salman Khan is next to God for me. He is my godfather. He has done so much for me that I will always be indebted to him. I absolutely love her!
Apart from Bollywood, you have been creating waves in hit pan-India films like KGF 2 and Vikrant Rona. How’s working on those projects?
Yes, I have worked in films like ‘KGF 2’, ‘Vikrant Rona’ and even ‘Kabaaja’. I am also working with composers like Devi Sri Prasad, Vidyasagar and others. I have had a great experience working in the South. People in the south do worship work. The people there never forget their culture and take it forward with them. My career is flourishing both in Bollywood and South and I am very grateful to God for everything.
Was Yash an ally as an accomplice? Did he give you lyric suggestions?
I loved working with Yash. Just like Salman bhai sits during the recording and gets involved in the making, so is Yash when it comes to work. After working all night and till the next day, I went home from the studio to get some rest. However, Yash did not give up. Even after I left, he stayed there and worked on the lyrics, music and visuals. I love working with such dedicated people.
We have some extremely talented lyricists – be it Gulzar, Amitabh Bhattacharya or Mehboob. Who has been your inspiration?
All these people are very talented and I respect them a lot. However, the people I look up to are Raja Mehdi Ali Khan Sahab and Anand Bakshi. I never had any guru in my life and I consider Bakshi Sahab as my teacher. I listen to his songs a lot.
Of the recent songs, which song’s lyrics impressed you?
This is a very difficult question to answer. I love all kinds of songs. I really can’t pick one as my favourite. Everyone is working very hard.
Of all the actors you have worked with, who has been an absolute delight?
I love working with all the actors. However, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Yash sir will always be my favourites.