Ranbir Kapoor talks about the music of Rockstar

By October 14, 2011 No Comments

In his forthcoming film Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar, Ranbir Kapoor plays a musician Janardhan Jakhad and the film traces his journey from his early days in college to attaining cult status as Jordan – the Rockstar. The film has a refreshing soundtrack with as many as 14 different tracks composed by none other than Academy Award winner A.R.Rahman with lyrics by Irshad Kamil. Ranbir has indeed got in to the skin of the character for this role and the actor was even actively involved during the music sittings with A.R.Rahman. With music being the strong point of the film, Bollywood Hungama‘s Nikhil Ramsubramaniam caught up with Ranbir Kapoor and asked the young actor to give his take on each of the 14 tracks in the album. This one is a first of its kind RK interview…So Read on…

Katiya Karun (Harshdeep Kaur. Additional Vocals- Sapna Awasthi)

Katiya Karun‘ is the fun song in the film where Heer (Nargis) wants to just have a blast. She tells Janardhan, “Bahot Gandh Machaani Hai”. She along with Janardhan make a list of all the kaands that they want to do in Delhi be it drinking desi daru, watching a C-grade film called ‘Jungli Jawani‘, or dancing in a shady night club. The inspiration of this song actually comes from a very famous pop artist in Punjab called Miss Pooja. She is a local favourite with a lot of truck drivers for her unique style and orchestration. The way Mr. Rahman has interpreted Imtiaz’s vision is something remarkable and I am glad that people are liking it.


Jo Bhi Main (Mohit Chauhan)

Jo Bhi Main‘ is the first song in the film; it’s the opening title sequence. The song depicts the entire journey of Janardhan Jakhad aka Jordan spanning 8 – 10 years. You see my character in different get-ups and looks in this song. The lyrics of the song are very close to the character- “Jo Bhi Main Kehna Chahoon Barbaad Kare Alfaaz Mere“. What he is trying to say is that there are so many thoughts going on in my head which I want to share with the world but the moment I put it in words, it spoils the thought and people start attacking me. I think it is the apt start to the film. It has a very Freddie Mercury kind of feel to it and sung beautifully by Mohit Chauhan. The ‘Ya Ya Ya’ portions weren’t part of the song initially and it was improvised by Mr. Rahman during the recording to give the song a more interactive feel.

Kun Faya Kun (A.R.Rahman, Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan)

Kun Faya Kun‘ is a very important song in the film. The situation is that Janardhan Jakhad has been thrown out of his house and he takes shelter in a ‘dargah‘. The 5-6 months which he spends in the ‘dargah‘ give him an out of the ordinary, spiritual experience. Mr.Rahman as we all know is himself a very spiritual person and the words ‘Kun Faya Kun‘ are the opening lines of the Holy Quran which means ‘Be and it Became’. We shot the song over a span of 6 nights at the Nizamuddin dargah and interacted with the local qawalls and by the end of it; it was a spiritual experience for all of us.

Hawaa Hawaa (Mohit Chauhan. Additional Vocals- Viviane, Tanvi Shah, Suvi Suresh, Shalini)

This song features when Janardhan Jakhad collaborates with some musicians in Prague. It’s a fun song where Heer and Janardhan decide to go crazy in Prague so in a way it’s like the next level of ‘Katiya Karun‘ but set in Prague. Heer wants to see a strip show, go and make fun of the prostitutes and do many such weird things with Janardhan. The song has a very different tempo to it and is based on a Czech folklore. In a way, it’s very apt for Heer’s character who is bound by certain social norms but when she meets this boy Janardhan Jakhad, she lets go of all her inhibitions.

Aur Ho (Mohit Chauhan, Alma Ferovic)

Aur Ho‘ had started off as a heartbeat song. It’s a passionate song between this boy and girl who don’t really understand what’s happening between them yet share a fascinating physical and emotional connect which doesn’t allow them to stay away from each other. They can’t keep away from touching and kissing each other. This song was also shot in Prague.

Saadda Haq (Mohit Chauhan, Orianthi on Guitars)

We had a situation in the film where there is a shift in the main protagonist’s character. He is very angry with the society. He believes we are who we are because of the way we are born and society has no right to tell us what is right and what is wrong. There is a lot of angst in the character at this point and this is the time when he starts growing as an artist. The greatness of music and poetry starts growing in him and he expresses his angst through this song ‘Saadda Haq Aithe Rakh‘. The phrase is very catchy and means ‘What my right is put it in front of me’. Besides another highlight of the song is the brilliant guitar solo piece by the very talented Orianthi who has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson.

Sheher Main (Mohit Chauhan, Karthik)

Actually, ‘Sheher Mein‘ is a scene in the film where Janardhan Jakhad has been taken to record a B-grade music album. He is asked to sing in a very mediocre way which he finds it really difficult to. He tries to bring in his own style which the producers of the album don’t quite approve of. They want him to sing it in the typical clichéd way. It was Rahman’s idea to turn this scene into a song and I think it’s turned out fabulously well.

Nadaan Parinde (A.R.Rahman, Mohit Chauhan)

Nadaan Parinde‘ is the final concert in the film. I think it’s a fitting end to the character and the love story. For all these 10 years, the protagonist has been searching for true love and music and when he finally wants it come back to him, it’s too late. It starts off with Mr.Rahman singing and Sivamani has orchestrated the rhythm and beats really well. This song kind of left us empty when we shot it. Rather than talking much about it, I would like people to experience it in the theatres because it has been a one of a kind experience.

Phir Se Ud Chala (Mohit Chauhan)

This is actually my favourite song in the film and it’s the first song which we recorded. If you notice the structure of the song, it’s very different from your typical song. There are no antras and the journey the song takes is very seamless. The way it has been sung and written is really poetic. We haven’t yet released the video as we can’t seem to cut one minute out of this song. It’s one of those songs where you either show the whole song in totality or you don’t.

Tum Ho (Mohit Chauhan, Suzanne D’Mello)

Tum Ho‘ is like the soft-rock romantic song of the film. It appears during the end-credits. You get to see the various phases of romance between Jordan and Heer in this song. Imtiaz had actually conceived how this song would be picturised even before it was recorded. I remember seeing his notebook long back and he had every shot, sequence of this song already written. This song is really close to Imtiaz’s heart and the song has been shot in parts throughout the making of the film.

The Dichotomy of Fame (Featuring Balesh on Shehnai & Kabuli on Guitars)

This is a jugalbandi between shehnai and guitar. It was my good fortune as an actor to do a jugalbandi with the great Mr. Shammi Kapoor in a recording studio where he plays the shehnai and I play the guitar. He can see the pain and angst in me while I play music. Mr. Shammi Kapoor’s character is the only character in the film who actually understands Janardhan Jakhad’s talent and feelings.

Meeting Place (Ranbir Kapoor based on a poem by Rumi)

This again was last minute addition and it was Mr. Rahman’s idea. Imtiaz is a big fan of Rumi and the love story is inspired in many ways by Rumi’s poems on love. The lines go ‘Pata Hai, Yahan Se Bahut Door, Sahi Aur Galat Ke Paar, Ek Maidan Hai, Main Wahan Miloonga Tujhe‘. It’s basically saying, all our lives society didn’t allow us to be together but beyond all this there is a place that we will meet eventually forever. I hope people get the in-depth meaning in this verse.

Tum Ko (Kavita Subramaniam)

Tum Ko‘ is like the reprise version of ‘Tum Ho‘. It’s from Heer’s point of view and how she looks at the love story. This song came after the film was over and is used in the background. It’s a lovely song sung beautifully by the great Kavita Krishnamoorthyji. It’s nice that her fans will get to hear her after a long time

Tango for Taj (Instrumental)

Tango for Taj‘ is Heer’s introduction shot in the film. It’s when Janardhan finally finds the girl who can break his heart. He sees her performing this tango sequence in college and falls for her.