'I don’t just write songs, I create songs with distinct identities,' says lyricist Irshad Kamil talking about his memorable tracks
IN AN AGE where most popular Bollywood numbers are replete with absurd words and abuses, Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are refreshingly appealing. His lyrics go beyond the scope of romantic words and adjectives. Every song that the lyricist has penned is an amalgamation of the deepest human emotions. For instance, take his latest songs Ye Aaina, Pehla Pyaar, Mere Sohneya and the hit Bekhayali, all from Kabir Singh. He has brought back the magic of Hindi and Urdu poetry that was an elementary part of old Bollywood songs.
When asked what makes him pen such intense and expressive lyrics, he says, “Happiness and unhappiness are always together. I just try to present such emotions as an idea. I put in lot of effort and sincerity. I don’t just write songs, I create songs with distinct identities, and this is also aped by many other lyricists in their songs today.” Be it Tum Saath Ho from Tamaasha, Aaj Din Chadheya from Love Aaj Kal or Jag Ghoomeya from Sultan, he has given fans unforgettable tunes.
Irshad, who likes to work late at night in solitude, reveals his writing process. He says, “I get a basic brief of the film and the characters, based on which I decide whether I want to work in the film or not. Then I get into the skin of the character while writing. For example, in Love Aaj Kal, I had to look at the good and bad characteristics of the lovers and how they react to it. With this complete picture in mind, I have tried to portray their emotions through words.” However, the lyricist is quite selective when it c o m e s t o choosing the projects. He says, o n l y w h e n h e feels certain that his songs will contribute to the success of the film, he works on it. “My songs had a role in Rockstar’s success, likewise, Kabir Singh is successful because of Bekhayali,” he offers.
What makes Irshad’s songs stand out is his clean and sincere lyrics, especially about female characters. Although many songs today are written with innuendos, this lyricist has steered clear of such writing. He explains, “For example, in the song Jag Ghoomeya, there are lines that describe the love interest. There is a certain sensuality in the lyrics and this also reflects the respect the hero has for his heroine. Even though the hero is describing the heroine’s features with analogies from nature, he does it thoughtfully. Whenever I write such descriptions, I look at love as the subject, I don’t objectify it,” he says.
Irshad who has just completed work on Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Love Letters from Kashmir, is also working on Imtiaz Ali’s next film and on a Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions project. However, his most-awaited film is Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg 3.