| 22 Mar 2023
Lyricist Neelesh Misra - There is sincerity in the current breed of lyricists

With the deteriorating state of 'lyrics' in the Hindi music industry today, Neelesh Misra is here to make a difference. He is many faces rolled into one - journalist, lyricist and novelist. A senior editor with The Hindustan Times, music is his first love. With a number of hits tucked under his belt, Neelesh has managed to create a niche for himself in the industry.

"I have been writing songs since my college days. I never thought I would pen lyrics of film songs. While doing research for one of my novels, in Mumbai, I met Mahesh Bhatt. He liked my work and that is how I entered the industry."

Neelesh has written some of the chartbusters like Jaadoo Hai Naasha Hai from Jism, Bepanah Pyaar Hai from Krishna Cottage and the recent Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai from Woh Lamhe. His recent track of Jannat has also created waves.

Talking about the current lot of lyricists, Neelesh says, "Today the scene is much better than the 90s. People like Prasoon Joshi are doing a great job. There is great deal of sincerity in the current breed."

Neelesh laments on the dire situation of lyricists in the country. He believes apart from the likes of Javed Akhtar and Gulzar, songwriters country over are not getting their due. Lyricists are doing a thankless job. "They are treated as backroom boys and things need to change soon. FM channels, radio and television are popularizing songs without giving them any credit,"states Misra.

The creative man takes offence at driven down position of lyricists from the film hierarchy. "There is a lot of mediocrity taking place in Mumbai,"quips Misra. He adds, "As Bollywood is spreading its wings, it is necessary to have a work environment which is more professional."

He has his hands full with Bollywood projects which includes Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and John Abraham starrer 'Happy Birthday'. He has also forayed into writing screenplays; including Sanjay Gupta's next yet to be released film `Alibaug' which features Sanjay Dutt. The script of Boney Kapoor's next project directed by Aneez Bazmi is also on the cards.

Talking about his preference for the Bhatt camp he says, "My day job is that of a journalist. I cannot be physically present always. The Bhatts' don't mind working over long distances. The comfort level with them is great. Their music is always good and I'm happy to associate myself with them."

Neelesh has composed lyrics for almost all top musicians including Annu Malek, M.M Kreem, Pritam. His forthcoming projects include Shankar-Ehsan-Loy for an Adlabs production, Vishal-Shekhar for Puraani Jeans, Sandesh Shandilya and a Studio 18 flick.

However, his expertise goes far beyond Bollywood. He has authored three books, one of which is based on the Nepal massacre titled "End of the Line: The story of the killing of the Royals in Nepal,"other 173 hours in Captivity: The Hijacking of IC 814"and the third one, Once Upon a Timezone. He is currently working on his next novel titled "India Under Seize"a dramatic non-fiction book based on a journey of a reporter with naxalites.

"I look at myself as a storyteller. The medium ceases to matter,"affirms Neelesh.