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News |  22 Dec 2018 14:47 |  By RnMTeam

Abhay Jodhpurkar, the voice for Shahrukh Khan's 'Mere Naam Tu' shares his journey

MUMBAI: It’s hard to recall the last time, we paused a song to who see who has sung it. The song Mere Naam Tu, from the recently released Shahrukh Khan starrer Zero is an exception though. A well-known name in the South Indian film music industry, for Bollywood, Abhay Jodhpurkar is a fresh voice.

Though his debut in Hindi films is with a movie named Zero, all his firsts have been with or for all Numero Uno. Have a look at his trajectory and you would what the above statement means. His first ever song was with the Mozart of Madras, AR Rahman. His first song in Hindi films was with the much sought after Ajay-Atul. The cherry on the top was his first ever Hindi film song was pictured on the king of romance, Shahrukh Khan. Could it get better? Actually no and he agrees. “I have been very blessed. I don’t believe in coincidences but in destiny yes! All this was destined and I am glad it happened”, says Abhay.

Abhay shared that he has always been in music, “My father made sure, I listened to Hindustani Classical Music and being a Maharashtrian, Natya Sangeet was a part of my growing up too. My parents wanted music to be my primary focus, however, I wanted to study further. Thus, I moved to Chennai. The scene in Chennai was different, as the music took predominance and studies were secondary. I was exposed to Carnatic music and work of music composers like Illayraja and A R Rahman.” Needless to say, he was blown away.

While he continued to study Biotechnology, he also enrolled at KM Music Conservatory, a music school headed by A R Rahman. “There, once I got an opportunity to sing a few lines of a qawalli in front of Rahman sir. He really liked it. Later, he signed me for my first Tamil song, Moongil Thottam from the movie Kadal.”

Since, then there has been no looking back for this youngster. He has sung for the four major South Indian languages like Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, along with his mother tongue Marathi.

“It is quite a challenge to sing in all the languages. Especially Malayalam, as it is known to be the toughest language. I sang a few tracks in Marathi cinema, as I knew some people there.”

The question remains, what took him so long to debut in Hindi and he says, “It was about the right opportunity. Previously, Rahman sir tried to launch me a couple of times in Hindi and even recorded my scratch versions, but somehow it didn’t work out. Also, I was so busy in Chennai recording for Tollywood, which delayed my debut here.”

As they say, it’s about the right time and right opportunity and so Zero happened. “I had done a cover of a multi-lingual medley of songs, in which there was a part where I sang Jeev Rangala Dangala from the movie Jogawa, composed by Ajay Atul. They happened to hear it and loved it too. Since then we were looking for the right opportunity to work with each other. Then they recorded my scratch version for this song. Thankfully, it suited SRK’s voice and my version was retained,” he adds.

Speaking about Ajay-Atul, Abhay says, “I have always loved their music. I remember listening to their songs on repeat. There is a spiritual connection that I find in their music. “

Abhay is a talent that has had the opportunity to work in South Indian films as well as Bollywood and with the bests from both the industries. He is happy to work in both industries and observes the similarities and differences, “The overall work vibe is the same in both the industries. But South Indian industry is more disciplined and professional. Be it punctuality or payments, South Indian industry is very particular. In Mumbai, it is very relaxed and chilled. However, it is great fun to work in both.”

While he is still taking in all about the Bollywood culture, it is surreal for him that he is the voice for SRK’s new romantic track. “It is surreal to say the least. I have literally grown up singing his hit numbers. Be it Kal Ho Na Ho or Mitwa. It is funny, but my friends used to actually call me Mitwa, because no matter which competition or singing opportunity I got, I used to only sing the song Mitwa.” And now here he is singing one of the most romantic tracks of 2018.

The compliments and congratulatory messages haven’t stopped. However, the two compliments that he cherishes the most are the ones from his mentors and other form his most favorite singer Shreya Ghoshal. “Recently, on Rahman sir’s show ARRived, Ajay-Atul were the guests. It was really nice to know that all three of them discussed about me on the show. It felt great.”

About Shreya, he can’t stop gushing, “She is my most favourite. Personally, I think in the history of singers, who have sung multi-lingual songs, especially those in South Indian languages, there is no parallel to Shreya Ghoshal. She has done justice to all her South Indian songs like no other singer has. Therefore, when she retweeted my cover of her Malayalam song, Shalabhamay and said good work on this and Mere Naam Tu, I was on cloud nine,” says Abhay.

We will have to wait to hear more of Abhay’s voice in Bollywood.