By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Honey Singh gets candid with Subhash K Jha
How do you explain your meteoric rise during the last one year?
Shall I give you my theory on what happened? See, until 2012 I was working at my own pace, enjoying myself as I composed and sang. But then suddenly people started feeling threatened by me. All those ugly controversies, allegations and court cases broke out .I suddenly grew defiant. I had to prove to my well-wishers who were pelting stones that Yo Yo Honey Singh is here to stay. It felt like my haters knew something that I didn’t.
What was that?
That I am a force to be crushed before I grew any larger. I have to thank all the naysayers for making me sit up and revaluate my music.I realized I was under-estimating myself. When I came out of the court cases and abuse I was stronger.I realized that my haters got wind of my potential long before I did. Maine decide kiya, ab kisika baap bhi mujhe nahin rok sakta.
So your superstardom was born out of defiance?
Bilkul. A year back Bollywood had no place for me. Log kehte yeh kahan se aa gaya. Now I am in demand for songs in as many Bollywood films as I can manage, and much more.
Do you laugh at the irony of it?
No. I don’t. Yehi duniya hai. Aapne Guru Dutt Sab ko nahin dekha? Yeh duniya agar mil jaaye bhi jaaye toh kya hai? Meri duniya toh badi rangeeli hai. Now even the protestors are listening to my song.
It’s been a hectic year for you. Are you looking forward to family time?
I try to include my family as far as possible in whatever I do. But ho nahin paata hai. I was in Dubai recently for a family holiday. But I ended up shooting a music video. Luckily those close to me know this is the time for me to grow.They aren’t demanding my time because they know I have no time. In the last three months I’ve slept for just three nights.
How is that possible?
Do you want me to give you my schedules? I’ve been performing in Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, New York. Chicago, Dubai, Pune…. I’ve been performing live non-stop through December and January. And a concert doesn’t end on stage. After the performance I’ve to attend the after-party meet VIPs and their relatives. Otherwise they get pissed off. So by the time I finish a concert it’s 5 am. Then I’ve to catch an early flight to the next city.
Does it get too much much sometimes? Do you get lonely in the crowds?
Lonely? Too much? Arrrey, issi waqt ka toh mujhe besabri se intezaar ttha. Bahot papad belen hai isske liye.
You are the only popular musician in this country whose success is independent of Bollywood.
I wouldn’t say that Bollywood has not contributed to my popularity. The songs that I’ve composed for films have played a big hand in my popularity.However my one dream is to establish myself as a formidable figure in the independent music scene, a genre that doesn’t exist in India. While my two big hits in 2013 ‘Party All Night’ and ‘Lungi Dance’ were from films I slogged to make the video of my non-film song ‘Blue Eyes’ on my own. It now has over 2 crore viewers on the Internet.
Your ‘Blue Eyes’ is being played alongside all the filmy chartbusters ?
It feels great. I had the conviction that it would happen. Now I am looking to expand my musical horizons internationally.I’ve met up with some Arabic musicians. And we are planning something really different. Just consider 2013 as my teaser-trailer year. Abhi toh picture baqi hai. I want to make my haters heads spin with what I do this year.Please wait for August. I am coming out with my first solo album.
When did you find time to do a whole album?
When I was in depression last year during all the Honey-bashing I composed 80 songs. Do you see how much the protesters have benefited me? I plan to release my solo album in 25 countries. I love my haters. Mujhe bada mazaa aata hai. Just see what I do in the coming months.
You are also branching into acting?
I’m acting just for fun. I am working with Ananth Mahadevan who is a very senior director. I am learning a lot from him. I am only doing an extended cameo in X-Posed. But a full-fledged hero?In my songs I’ve the image of the boy next door….the naughty boy next door. If I play the hero the role would be an extension of my music.There are many producers who want me star in their films.I’ve heard many scripts.But I am in no hurry. I am doing Himesh Reshammiya’s X Pose to get some rest. For the first time in a long time I was in the same city for more than three days while shooting. Finally I was able to take my clothes out of my suitcase and put them in a closet.