Talktime | ‘I am a learner and lover of music’

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Talktime | ‘I am a learner and lover of music’

Sunday, 24 October 2021 | Shalini Saksena

Talktime | ‘I am a learner and lover of music’

Vishal Dadlani | The singer, songwriter and music composer is back to judging the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee TV. He speaks with Shalini Saksena about his equation with other judges, his upcoming  projects and how tough it is to remain positive while giving feedback

Are you a singer first or music composer or songwriter?

I am a learner and lover of music. I will do whatever you want, even make coffee, as long as I can be in a room where music is happening.

You have collaborated with international artists as well. How has that affected your own music?

Every musician you meet impacts your music. If you go to my Twitter page or Facebook, every guru purnima I always put out a message that says: Every musician I have ever met or heard or worked with or watched, all of you are my gurus. This is because I never learnt music; I never had that opportunity or the foresight. I never even thought I would have music as a career. Every morning when I get up I am in absolute awe of the pure magic of music. For me, every person I have heard, whether Indian or international, they have all taught me something.

Has there been a trend that has been worst for music?

Music is above and beyond the chhichhorapan of record labels trying to milk it for money. Music is magic that is created out of nothing. You just squeeze the soul and music comes out. Music is much larger.

We still love to hear Kishore Kumar songs.

When senior musicians say aaj-kal to yeh ho raha I always think that anyone who uses this phrase is from kal. I don’t like to subscribe to this. Second, every generation feels that their songs are the best. Lataji, Kishoreda, Ashaji, Rafi sahab all of them, these are people whom I bow to. Music is limitless and runs concurrent to times. Music can’t be quantify.

Why come back to Sa Re Ga Ma Pa?

I was asked to do it by the producers and was than happy to be part of this show. This is from where I started my journey; it was like coming home for me.

What’s the best part, according to you, about this show?

The best part is that it is the show that is most connected with the roots of the Indian musical aspirations. It is the show that people refer to as compared to all other shows when it comes to talking about reality music shows in the country. It is the show that defines music reality television because it is the show that started music reality show. It continues to remain the brand that is much loved and connected to Indian consciousness.

What’s your equation with other judges?

Shankar Mahadevan is one of my oldest friends in the music business. Shankar-Ehsan-Loy have been in a sense been mentors to Vishal and Shekar. We used to work out from the same small studio back in 1997-98. Back then we would meet regularly and have lunch together and we still do. These are people whom I admire. I am thrilled to be sitting next to Shankar.

With Himesh (Reshammiya) sir, I have a whole other equation; we have a history. When we were in 2007 Sa Re Ga... show, we were sitting together and were confrontational. Since then we have got to know each other. I even hosted him on a talk show. I discovered a friendly, enthusiastic and positive person who doesn’t have a bad word to say about anybody.

What kind of talent is there?

The type of people who turn for here are rooted in Indian music. There is depth to their music. There is an underlying seriousness here.

How tough is it to tell the contestant that he didn’t do well and yet be positive?

If I am speaking with a musician, I want them to learn from that conversation. When they come, they have love for music. I want them to go back with even more love. All contestants have my number. I guide them whenever they call.

What are your upcoming projects?

There is Bollywood and there is my independent music. There is a scholarship that I am trying to set up for those who want to learn music. Hope this works our as envisioned.

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