I have a flair for languages: Vijay Prakash

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 29 August 2017

We had done a proper video within an allocated budgeted but watching it, we weren’t sure if we wanted to release it. That’s when my wife shot this video and my friends and colleagues from the industry loved it. Many people like Shaan and Salim Merchant tweeted about it

Singer and composer Vijay Prakash, who feels at ease singing in multiple languages, believes that local dialects help us understand our traditions and cultures  

Vijay Prakash, one of the four vocalists for the song Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire), which won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Original Song, has launched his first Hindi single — Kayanaat. The composer and singer says that the song, written by Manoj Muntashir, is his first Hindi official single. But what’s interesting about the single is that his wife has shot the video on her iPhone while they were on a holiday.

An excited Prakash says, “We had done a proper video within an allocated budgeted but watching it, we weren’t sure if we wanted to release it. That’s when my wife shot this video and my friends and colleagues from the industry loved it. Many people like Shaan and Salim Merchant tweeted about it.”

Prakash says that the song is a romantic, soulful number and about the person who means the world to you. “Keeping to the theme of the song, we have made the video very realistic and beautiful,” he adds. Ask Prakash about the person who means the world to him and he promptly says, “Without any doubt it’s my wife. She means the universe to me.”

The singer, who has sung for Bollywood films like Blue, Yuvvraaj, Swades, Kaal, Lakshya, Matrubhoomi, Tere Naam and others, is taking his Bollywood musical career a little slow because he is judging music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee Kannada. But he says that he has a few interesting projects lined up. “I have a couple of Bollywood projects too. Besides, I am busy with projects down South. I have a few good offers coming my way. I have a sung a song for Avadhoot Gupte’s Marathi film Boyz, (releasing on September 8). The song has already released. I have sung two songs in Kannada film Hebbuli and it’s almost crossed 30 million views.” He sounds excited about the positive response.

Prakash has sung in numerous other languages including Telugu, Bengali and others. He says, “I have a flair for languages — a tool to understand the tradition and culture of a particular community.” But how does he sing a song in a language which he doesn’t understand? “There’s a certain way of working. The writer provides the lyrics and also discusses the meaning of the song. I have to understand the content of the song and in case if I go wrong somewhere, they can correct me. The music director and the lyricist have a natural way of binding the emotions, so while singing it flows automatically.”

Ask Prakash how he chooses a song and he says, “It’s the song which chooses us. If you look at the bigger picture, you will understand that I never choose a song. For example, Jai Ho chose me. Having said that, the lyrical content of the song is important for me. There should be some kind of melody.”

As the discussion moves towards reality shows and its impact on children, Prakash says, “I think reality shows make a great contribution towards the growth of budding talent. However, we should not make the children work too long or push them towards shows. We need to be disciplined and parents too need to take care of their kids.”

Talking about the new generation and how they are getting increasingly dependent on technology, even for making music, he says, “Though technology is being increasingly used one shouldn’t compromise on human emotions. Everything is being created through machines. Where’s the soul? Where’s the simplicity?” he asks.

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