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Interviews |  07 Oct 2009 15:04 |  By chiragsutar

Himesh Reshammiya - "Karzzzz was a very big mistake on my side"

The music of Himesh Reshammiya's new film Radio has been largely appreciated. It's unexpected, and nothing close to what Reshammiya is known for – but what made him do that? After the failure of Karzzzz, Reshammiya has vowed never to work on remakes, but instead opt for characters that are believable. Radio, Kajraare, Ishq Unplugged and A New Love Ishtory are unique, he says  To add, Reshammiya is taking all the steps to ensure nothing goes the â€?Karzzzz' way - be it marketing, promotions or the films release 

If you thought he was just a singer-composer-actor, think again – the man speaks business, marketing strategies with as much ease as he dabbles with different tunes  

In a chat with's Chirag Sutar, the composer-actor-singer bares his mind, just the way he is known to…

Let's talk about the new sound... you seem to have consciously changed your sound in Radio, what made you do that?

It is not only about the sound, but the look and the sensibilities of this film were entirely opposite of what I have done earlier. This is not the first time that I have done something new. Every two years I have been re-inventing myself completely.

I started with Oodli Chunariya, and then moved to haunting melodies through Humraaz, got back to completely Indian stuff through Tere Naam. Later, I targeted the discos and night clubs with songs like Mohabbat hai mirchi and Janab-e-ali. After that was done, I targeted the contemporary sufi through Aashiq banaya aapne and Aapka suroor.

So, in the last ten years, I have done something different every two years. Radio is completely a different film… it's a very target audience film, so I had to offer something new 

But your sound has been quite synonymous with fast peppy beats...

Well,  Mann Ka Radio is not a very fast song, but it's still playing in all the night clubs – it's already a huge hit. I am also singing it in my two voices, so I have two distinct voices in this film.

How much time did you spend working on the songs of Radio?

It just took about fifteen days to record, but to get into the zone it took me around six months. The most important thing in music is always to get into the zone. To get into the zone it takes time, once you are in that zone then it does not take much time.

Do you think working with a new lyricist worked well?

Subrat Sinha was a feather in the cap. He is a very good lyrics writer. Though Mann ka radio is a very funky song, it has a very deep meaning to it – it is about a man who has gone through a divorce. It has a vibe that you have to move on in life.

Karzzzz didn't work well... what was the reason you think?

I did a big mistake by doing Karzzzz. That was the first and last time I lost in my life … it was a very big mistake on my side to do a role, which was a pretense. Now I do characters which suit me, and which are original – whenever I have done original work, I always have been successful.

Apparently, the promotion of Radio is quite lower than that of Karzzzz... why?

That is why Karzzzz got over-hyped. The distributors released it in 1500 theaters, with 5000 shows a day… and they sold it at five times the price of Aap Ka Suroor – in nine months the whole economics changed... that was the whole marketing strategy that went wrong with Karzzzz. I think the film should be marketed keeping in mind its target audience..

As far as Radio goes, the producer has already recovered the cost of the film from music video and satellite rights, so everything that will come from the theatre is just the profit coming from the distributors – we are going for a target release for this film. The cost of this film is Rs sixty million and is entirely recovered.

Isn't six crore rupees too small an amount for a film you act in?

It's a target audience film  Kajraare costs double that  The look, promos and the music of Kajraare will be one step ahead…

What are the release plans for Radio?

We are working on very specific release areas … the film can't be released in one thousand theatres, it has to be released in theatres where the target audience is there - because it is that kind of a film - we are talking about chemistry and compatibility, and it's completely set in 2009 

You have stopped composing outside, what is the composer-actor-singer package deal about?

I need to give the USP of my music to my producer who is doing films with me. If I am working outside, then the USP of my films where I am acting – composing –singing gets wasted – so that is a marketing strategy and a business proposition, where for the sake of exclusivity, USP and business proposition. I only work for my own self, in my own films where I am the singer actor and composer – I do not work outside now.

All the male voice in Radio has been yours… don't you prefer to have other singers on your films?

I am doing four films as an actor back to back. When I am doing those films, and producing 50 songs a year and at the same time, I am not producing anything outside, I have to use my own voice. Kailash Kher is singing one song, and I have used his voice for sasurji's character (father-in-law).

Alright, talking about acting... what kind of characters are you looking for as an actor?

I am playing the character of Rajiv in Kajraare, for John Matthew's film A New Love Isshtory I am playing the character of a tapoori. For Ishq Unplugged, I am playing the character of Sameer. So, these are characters which are believable, where there is no pretense where I am not trying to compete with any other actors, I have my original quality - which is present in my music or my album or Aap ka Surror or the other films except Karzzzz - but if something seems like a  pretense, that I don't want to do ..

And how are you preparing for these roles?

I have done workshops for the character of RJ Viven Shah in Radio. I am trying to improve myself that way.

With the music of Radio catching on, it seems you are out to prove…

I am very happy doing it, and I am bound to prove that with my acting also. Before I started with music direction, I was a serial producer - people said, "Why are you getting into music?" When I started singing, they said, "Why are you leaving music direction and getting into singing?" then I released an album, and then people said, "Why are getting into albums and videos?" then I got into films, when people asked me, "Why are you becoming and actor now?" - I will just prove it with Radio that I am very good actor. It is good to prove, to take everything as a challenge and try to win everybody's heart. If someone doesn't like me, I will win them over.

Are your all forthcoming films with T-Series?

No. Studio 18 is producing Ishq Unplugged, Kajraare is directed by Pooja Bhatt and produced by Bhushan Kumar. John Matthew's film A New Love Ishtory is also produced by Bhushan kumar, while Radio is produced by Ravi Agarwal.

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