Interview: Mithoon and Mohit Suri talk about their latest track, Intezaar, and the chemistry they share
ABOUT A DECADE-and-a-half ago, Mohit Suri and Mithoon started their journey together with Zeher, a 2005 mystery thriller featuring Emraan Hashmi, Shamita Shetty and Udita Goswami. While Mohit was wearing the hat of a director for the first time, Mithoon was sitting at the desk of a composer. The duo collaborated once again for Kalyug (2006), which marked the debut of Kunal Khemu, and subsequently on several other projects including Aashiqui 2, featuring Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor, which wasn’t only a blockbuster at the box office but also proved to be a musical hit with songs like Tum Hi Ho and Sunn Raha Hai topping the charts across various platforms in India and winning Mithoon dozens of awards.
However, one of the tunes that Mithoon had then created didn’t make it to the film but continued to remain close to his as well as Arijit Singh’s heart, so much so that they finally released it recently as an independent non-film song titled Intezaar. Written and composed by Mithoon and sung by Arijit Singh and Asees Kaur, the song is produced by VYRL Originals, a platform EMI Records India launched along with Mohit Suri. And, within 24 hours, the song starring Gurmeet Chaudhary and Sanaya Irani registered 2.5 million views on YouTube. At the launch of the song, we sat down for a chat with Mithoon and Mohit Suri. Excerpts:
Q: How did it all start? Where did you guys meet?
Mohit Suri: Mithoon’s father (Naresh Shar ma, a leading expert of musical arrangements) and Mukeshji (Mukesh Bhatt, Suri’s maternal uncle) know each other very well, they had worked together on Aashiqui (1990). So, when I was working on my first feature film, Zeher, people weren’t taking me seriously and were refusing to work with me saying that children don’t make films. Eventually, I met Mithoon, who was 19-year-old then and was doing background score on some other film. I saw him sitting on programming machine and I don’t know how, but it worked from thereon. He created Woh Lamhe in Zeher and Aadat in Kalyug.
Mithoon: We started at the same time, with the same film. When he saw me I wasn’t composing, I was pretending to compose. (laughs).
Q: Tell us about Intezaar. Did you compose it during Aashiqui 2? How did it come into being now?
Mithoon: I always react to a situation and Mohit’s brief for Intezaar was — ‘hoping against hope and waiting for something’. I got the mukhda (chorus) about six years ago when we were working on Aashiqui 2 and Arijit Singh had even dubbed it then, but we didn’t use it for the film. However, we all had it in our hearts. Years later, when VYRL was launched, we went back to the song and revisited the entire emotion.
MS: I don’t believe there is a good song or bad song, I believe there is a right situation for every song. Somehow, Intezaar didn’t fit into the scheme of the progression that we were looking at for Aashiqui 2, but it was one tune that Arijit never gave up on. He kept saying that this tune has got something. Years later, when we heard it again, it was refreshing. Actually, that is the thing about Mithoon’s music, it never gets outdated. I always tell people, Mithoon’s music is like whiskey, you can’t stop at one.
Mithoon: Honestly, people say I give all my hits to Mohit but the reason why some of my best work is with him is because he is not chasing a hit tune. He wants honest communication.
Q: But, why now?
MS: Mithoon says that every song has its own destiny and I genuinely believe that. Recently, I was collaborating with another composer and things weren’t working out well between us. And then, all of sudden, I met Mithoon — just like that, out of nowhere and then this song happened. So, I think it was destined to come here. I won’t say that it is faith, but I think, if you do something with your heart, it finds its own place. I think Intezaar is worth this wait.
Q: In your interviews, you have spoken about how artistes behind a song do not get their due as the credit often goes to actors. But when you launch a new song with an accompanying video featuring a story and actors, are you not diluting the artiste’s voice again?
MS: No. I am not saying I am against actors, I am saying that artistes should get the due credit. Emraan Hashmi is a nice guy and he never took the credit, but people would often say, Emraan Hashmi ka music acha hota hai (Emraan Hashmi’s music is good) but we made that music. Aashiqui 2 was when we all got our due. And, videos add to the sales of music.
Q: Recently, Vishal Dadlani warned composers against remixing his songs without his permission. What’s your take on remixes in general?
Mithoon: I feel there is an immense amount of talent in our country and people have the ability to create original music. I have heard compositions of so many young musicians and they are really good. So, my personal stand on this matter is that we should definitely stand for original music. We can always go back in the past to learn from it and to refer to it when needed but let’s create original music.
MS: I think we have to leave something, otherwise, musicians of the next generation will not have any songs to remix (laughs).
Mithoon: On a serious note, we underestimate our audience. If you see the data of the last 20 years, whether it’s my music or Pritam’s music or AR Rahman sir’s music or anyone else’s, you will realise that the original work had a lot more impact and it lasted longer than anything that has been rehashed.
Q: What’s next from the both of you?
Mithoon: Malang! And, then there is Shamshera, my first film with YRF. Besides that, I am planning something special for February 14 (Valentine’s Day).
MS: Malang. Normally, I come out with a film every year but this has taken a bit longer. I had to slow down a bit because budgets are becoming big (laughs). But, Malang is very interesting for me — Bhushan Kumar, Mithoon, Aditya (Roy Kapur), Kunal (Khemu)… everybody is coming together. And, then there is Disha Patani, who is going to shock you with this film.
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