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Singer Composer Ankit Tiwari Life Sketch...

Siddharth Dhongle | March, 06 2015

Young and emerging singer-composer Ankit Tiwari, has already gained a reputation for himself in a short time. His compositions for ‘Aashiqui 2’, ‘Ek Villian’, ‘Alone’, ‘PK’ and ‘Khamoshiyaan’ have all touched the hearts of listeners all over the world. When requested to begin with his smash hit, ‘Katra Katra’ he refuses saying it’s a duet. That’s how diligent this music director is. He prefers to begin with his recent hit from ‘Roy’. His soulful voice and song’s meaningful lyrics ‘Mujhse hi aaj mujhko mila de,dekhoon aadaton mein, tu hai ki nahi, har saans se pooch ke bataa de, inke faaslon mein, tu hai ki nahi ‘ flag off the interview.
 
Q- Why is it that your songs are so special that it stays in the minds of listeners? So, how do you go about composing the tunes?
 
A- My job or any other composer’s job is not a one-man show. It’s teamwork. Importance of a composer is the same as that of the lyricist or singer or the programmer or arranger of the song. The sound engineer who tells you that the take isn’t up to the mark and who mixes it and then when it is shot for the viewers to watch on the big screen. So, overall there is a lot that goes behind a song. As far as my song is concerned, all these factors are extremely important for me. For video shooting, I don’t have much of a say in that as to how to shoot but for lyrics and composition I’m fully involved. 
 
Q- What is your family background?
 
A- My family background is music related. My mother is a devotional singer. I have a band for devotional shows specifically. My mother has been working hard with this for several years, but now I’ve told her to just relax. My childhood was always around music especially during school days, I preferred to do something with music. So, the overall impact has come from there.
 
Q- Tell me about how you began your journey in Bollywood?
 
A-It’s been 7-8 years for me in Bombay. I wouldn’t call that as a struggle. I’ve been associated with music for a long time but in Bollywood it has been 7-8 years. I have done a lot of things, some which people are aware of and some which no one knows about. Some of my songs, all know about it but there are several other songs which are unknown for people. I’ve worked a lot for TV especially daily soaps, composed Ad jingles, composed background music. I’ve learnt a lot from all the efforts in these mediums and have finally got into doing what I wanted to do which is music direction. 
 
Q- There are very few singers who achieve success. So do you think you’ve been lucky enough or there was something special in you?
 
Answer- You can say in this way I’m been lucky. I have seen many people who have the dream of doing something, and they do it too. It’s a good thing to want to do something in life and doing what you love in life. Family does support children. But before that, it’s important to become a good person first. If you’ll have goodness within you, you receive what’s due for you. Perhaps late, but definitely you’ll receive it. Not every person can plan that they’ll reach a high level. Only good thoughts, good actions and parent’s blessings and support will lead to everyone around you being happy interacting with you.When someone thinks, Ankit spoke nicely to me we receive blessings from them. Everything depends on natural cycle of blessings, and the fact that we can make someone happy by just speaking nicely to them leads to a lot of blessings for us.
 
Q- We all know you have struggled a lot. But tell us about how you reached this level?
 
A- My struggle is the same as that of others. If my story was about having nothing to eat or staying on the roads or railway stations and eating vada pav to survive then it would be a fake story for me. Some of the above have happened and some haven’t. I’ve always had a roof above my head. The difficulties I faced is the same as others, but I’ve been plain lucky to get the chance to at least struggle in Mumbai. Many others don’t even get it as they’re just thinking at home that I’ll go to Mumbai and struggle but failing to muster the courage to actually go to Mumbai. I dreamt to reach a particular level in life and for that I landed in Mumbai and even now I’m still on my way to realize my dreams and there’s a long journey to accomplish for me. Everyone does it so even I’ve done it.
 
Q- It’s challenging for a newcomer to find support in Bollywood?
 
Answer- It’s not the individual that gets support but it’s someone’s work that finds support. A person’s work speaks for itself. If you’ve come to interview me today it’s because of my work and not for me. It’s only through my work that I could touch the hearts of people. It’s important to do good work in a good way with complete honesty. If you try not to cheat your work, then industry will definitely support you. 
 
Q- Who’s your idol? Who have you been inspired from?
 
A – I’ve been inspired from the entire industry. Since childhood, I’ve listened to renowned singers and I’ve learnt a lot from them. Even today, I listen to different works from different people and try to learn from them. And I want to learn all my life. 
 
Q- Is there a particular musician that you’ve been fascinated with who made you feel that I want to learn from this musician?
 
A – Its impossible that there can be only one such musician to take inspiration from. If that would’ve been the case, then that only one would’ve ruled over everyone. If you see from yesteryear onwards, you’ll find that all have proven themselves and so I believe that you should learn from everyone. People say that take good things from everyone. A person has both good as well as bad qualities. Why to draw bad things from people? I try to take good points from other musician’s works and think how they might’ve thought about that composition. How they’ve worked on the music, what factor about the song made it a big hit, I try to learn from this. I also try to learn from their mannerisms and behavior about how they behaved and interacted with people. Why people liked them, why their interviews were so good I try to focus on such things as well. The whole industry is filled with such respected individuals.Not only in India but even outside India, our Bollywood is extremely famous. 
 
Q- You have received several awards this year. In fact, you have won almost all the awards. Does that drive you to go on and on or do you feel you need to relax a bit?
 
A – Actually I’m very slow. If you notice carefully, I haven’t exactly come out with many songs. It’s only my second year in the industry in terms of the fraternity knowing me. I personally feel that you can’t judge someone’s work merely on the basis of such few songs. Even when I go through other people’s works, I don’t judge their work as it’s not possible to judge such marginal amount of work. Only when more work comes in, you’ll understand that they can or can’t do a particular type of music or beat. If you see, when the track from ‘Aashiqui 2’ ‘Sun raha hain na tu’ released, there was a big break after that. When no song came out in almost a year, people thought one song is done and then no songs. But that didn’t happen with me. My second film, ‘Ek Villian’ released and its song ‘Galliyan’ was widely appreciated by everyone. Then ‘Singham Returns ‘song was also well received. Then PK’s song ‘Dil Darbadar’ was not only appreciated by critics but also by the audience. And now, ‘Roy’ song ‘Tu hai ki nahi’ has received tremendous response. Basically, that perception is changed by my work. Like I said, it’s the work that speaks. So now it’s working fine. I don’t have any intention of doing a lot of things as I honestly can’t do it. It’s not possible for a human being to do everything in life.
 
Q- Let’s talk about your first film. Your collaboration with Mahesh Bhatt sir. How did you get such a big song ‘Sunn raha hain na tu’?
 
A – I would regularly do meetings with everyone, this is before Aashiqui 2. I would regularly present my compositions to people. So, in this process of trying out my contacts one after the other, I got an opportunity to talk to Mahesh Bhatt sahab on the phone. He called me and told me Mohit Suri was making a film, so meet Mohit. So I met him and presented some songs to him. The first song I presented was ‘Sunn raha hain na tu’ which he liked a lot. He kept that in his mind, but then there was a gap. It took a year from my song getting selected to actually getting a confirmation for it. When Mohit was shooting ‘Aashiqui 2’ with Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in South Africa, he played the song in front of everyone including Aditya and Shraddha. And they all liked it and wondered which film the song was from. He said it’s not yet from any film and he’s thinking of incorporating the song in ‘Aashiqui 2’. All were 110 % sure that the song needs to be in the film. And after a scary one-year gap, I finally received the call which was a surprising call for me after which all know how it changed my life. 
 
Q- Your chemistry with Mithoon has worked wonders and everybody loves this partnership. How did this pan out?
 
A – Even I like my chemistry with Mithoon. It happened on its own without any specific effort. We never planned on a partnership. His style of work is different than mine. While we were working, we never met each other. When we met at an awards function, we wondered that we were working like this and we discussed on continuing this trend of having separate songs, one from me and one from Mithoon in the films. It’s similar to the beads of the chain, different beads come together to form a chain which will look on the whole like one chain and not different beads. Even I felt we could do this. Even I’ve enjoyed this. Mithoon is a very good human being, very down-to-earth. Personally, he’s very good and he’s very intelligent. 
 
Q- Will we ever see you and Mithoon composing music for the same film?
 
A – I hope so. We don’t even come to know when we’re doing the same film. I’m 110 % sure that Mithoon and I will come together in another film. 
 
Q – Controversies are important in every celebrity’s life. It can either make it or break it. How much do you agree with this?
 
A – I don’t know. I think ups and downs are part of everyone’s life. Someone who’s at the top might have a sudden fall. It’s important to be prepared for both in life. There’s only one difference between God and man and that is that there are shortcomings in man but there’s none in God. Humans make mistakes but God doesn’t make mistakes. Weaknesses, ups and down, faults, shortcomings, mistakes, grief, laughter, being at peace, enjoyment are all the emotions present in us. Sometimes it rises in us, sometimes it’s hidden in us. When you’re at a high position and there are ups in your life, you learn a lot from it, but when there are downs, they too teach us a lot. I don’t know what difference this makes. I don’t think controversies matter that much; it ultimately depends on your work. 
 
Q - You have won a lot of awards. Have you ever sat and counted the number of awards you’ve earned?
 
A – I haven’t counted. But I’m very happy. Touchwood. Like I said, it’s not a one-man team. I believe I’ve been fortunate and blessed by God that he wants his tunes from come out of me.  My first award is the appreciation and love that the audience has showered on me. I’m delighted with this appreciation. I have two Black Ladys now. I used to watch awards functions when I was a kid. I have received most of the different awards that are organized every year. I’m glad about it, but again I’ll say it’s the work that matters the most and it’s more important to focus on work. Awards shows will be staged every year but you need to prove your worth and credentials every year and with every work that you create. Since it’s a creative job, doing it only once is not adequate. 
 
Q – An artist’s voice is always an identity. Your voice can make a difference like for Ranbir Kapoor. Which actor would you like to lend your voice to?
 
A – I’ll lend my voice whenever and wherever I get an opportunity. I just want to work. I’m just focusing on my work. It’s just a coincidence that Ranbir was acting in ‘Roy’ and the song has connected to the masses. It wasn’t pre-planned that this kind of film will have Ranbir and then my song will be attached to it. It was the producer’s and director’s call. Producer Bhushan Kumar had called me for ‘Roy’ and he narrated the entire plot and mentioned about Jacqueline, Arjun and Ranbir starring in the film. He said that the song will be shot on Ranbir and I was happy hearing that my song will come out in this manner. And if a song is good and has a good presentation in terms of how it looks on screen then people will definitely like it. If you see with Aashiqui there was nothing extraordinary about it but the manner in which they filmed the shoot was brilliant and Aditya performed really well in the song. Aditya and Shraddha posed for the film so well and if you look at their pose and listen to the songs today after 
almost two years, it’ll still give you goosebumps. But you can see that everyone has worked on the film like Jeet Ganguli, Mithoon, the singers, Mohit, Aditya, Shraddha and when we all see and listen to the songs, we still wonder how this magic worked for the movie. Maybe a hand from above was guiding us through the making of the film. In the industry, nothing can be pre-planned in terms of a creative job. Be true to your work and the force of God whatever we call it as Allah, Bhagwan or Jesus will reward us. That one power which controls all of us will never cheat us if we stay true to our work. 
 
Q- Speaking about ‘Roy’, what other projects have you taken up after ‘Roy’?
 
A – Roy has already released and the next film I’ll be doing is ‘Mr. X’ for Vishesh Films directed by Vikram Bhatt. It’s the first time that my song will feature in a film with Emraan Hashmi. I’ve had only two films with Vishesh Films, one was ‘Aashiqui 2’ and the other was ‘Khamoshiyaan’ which is not a lot of work with them. And after ‘Mr. X’ I’ll compose for ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ for them. Another film I’m composing for is ‘Wazir’ and there are some other movies. 
 
Q – Valentine’s Day was celebrated just some days ago. So was there anything special?
 
A – I don’t know. If I find someone special, I’ll celebrate it. I believe in love. I believe in Aashiqui. I’m a romantic person by heart. I really like pyaar, aashiqui, love and I genuinely believe in it. It’s a special day.If you are in a relationship it’s a really good thing but if you are still single, it’s still a good thing. Love is a thing which is meant to be felt. Look at me; I’m someone who feels it. But still no girl is there with me in my life. It’s special for everyone so it’s important to keep it pure. Please try not to dilute its meaning. There is not adequate time in the world for people to love, so it’s surprising that people find so much time to spread hatred everywhere. Always love and don’t indulge in hating others. Life is very short and passes quickly so it’s crucial to love everyone and if that happens it’ll be a positive sign.
 
Q- Love is a feeling prominent in your songs and compositions. So is there any inspiration coming up from love angle in your life?
 
A – Like I said, I genuinely believe in these things. But at the same time, it’s not necessary to have someone in our lives to experience this feeling of love and to compose accordingly. Sometimes a song is composed while you’re waiting for someone special in life, sometimes a love situation will spark a melodious composition, and sometimes the extensive brief given by producers or directors assist in creating a beautiful romantic number. It’s a creative process and in this, things can’t be planned as to this will be in this way and that this will happen in a particular manner. 
 
Q – How would you like to describe yourself and your work in short?
 
A – I’m Ankit Tiwari and I’m extremely focused on my work and I would do it with my heart. I might be indulging in a lot of fun stuff in personal life but when it comes to work, I give it my all. How much ever I achieve in life, my funda in life has always been to become a good person first and then bother about other things in life. You guys should do whatever you like and choose whatever field you want to proceed with. Do whatever your heart wishes to do. One thing that we should have in common with all of us is to be a good human being first and then whatever you wish will surely happen in life.


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