‘I didn’t see much scope in classical music’
Singer Amit Mishra says he always wanted to become a Bollywood singer; adds that technology plays a huge role in the songwriting process
Amit Mishra has been singing across genres and languages for a while now, but his biggest hit remains, ‘Bulleya’ (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil; 2016). His discography includes hits such as ‘Manma emotion jaage’ (Dilwale; 2015), ‘Radio’ (Tubelight), and ‘Galti se mistake’ (Jagga Jasoos), but the singer says that he always only wanted to become a good singer. Excerpts from an interview:
How has life changed after ‘Bulleya’? There are certain songs that are always special to you, and ‘Bulleya’ will always remain with me. Ever since I heard ‘Bulleya’, from its inception to the final outcome, I fell in love with it. Life has changed considerably, as my name has become synonymous with this beautiful song. And I thank Pritamda (Pritam Chakraborty; composer), Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor for this opportunity.
‘Bulleya’ was very different from ‘Manma emotion’. Is there a particular genre that you are comfortable with? I’ve been training in Indian classical music since I was a child and I have been a big follower of old school rock and alternative rock music. I never restricted myself to a particular genre, because I like exploring the unexplored music in me. It gives me the chance to discover what lies within. I like to be versatile, because that’s what we singers love to do. We love and live to bring some good music to the world, and that is my aim as well.
How difficult is it to sing songs in other languages such as Bengali and Telugu? The trick lies in understanding the song and picking the nuances and diction of the language you’re singing in. Once you get that, you focus on the treatment, and it is a creative process. You learn a lot through this, because you are pushing yourself to sing in a language completely foreign to you, but the song is a part of you, so you try to make the entire experience worthwhile. Also, the team is a huge support, because everyone from the composers to the technicians, sound engineers, arrangers and vocal instructors are your backbone, and they help you in that journey.
Did you always want to become a Bollywood singer? I had a teacher called Raju sir who discovered me when I was in school. I was very good at sports and music in school. I started singing in the choir and participating in assemblies. Music was an optional subject, and I learnt a couple of instruments too. But that was not consistent, because music was affecting my studies, and academics were priority, and I didn’t know how to balance the two. I lost touch with music for three years, but after completing my 12th, I took formal music training from Bhatkhande Music Institute in Lucknow while doing my graduation at Lucknow University. However, Bollywood was something that made me happy, so I felt that I should take steps to make a career in Bollywood. That made sense to me at that time because so many classical musicians had already made their presence felt in the industry. I didn’t see much scope for a career in classical music. And my parents wanted me to have a stable career in music or wanted me to focus on my studies. But when I decided that I wanted to work in Bollywood, my parents were very supportive.