Lyricist Mehboob: the line between film music and independent music has blurred


Asked if the lack of good lyrics may be a reason why film music has less of an impact on people these days, Mehboob told IANS: “Yeah absolutely! In the 90s, songs drew people in. Mainly, I think it was because of the right melody, good lyrics, good thoughts and poetry in a song. I think today in these fast times, the line between film music and independent music faded away.

“It could be a single that a producer chooses or a retro, the lyricist and musical director have to provide keeping in mind the situation told by the director. So here the producer blames the audience because that’s what “he wants and turn it the audience blames the producer and the director because that’s what they were served. Basically it’s a chicken and egg situation where no one can be blamed,” Mehboob explained. .

The 59-year-old lyricist wrote lyrics for some of the best film music albums of the 1990s and early 2000s, including ‘Bombay’, ‘Rangeela’ and ‘Yuva’.

“My journey in Bollywood was a typical film movie, full of ups and downs and spinning in circles. There were 12 years of struggle before I became big. Then there was a phase where there was had a big drop due to my health and now I’m here,” he said.

Many changes have taken place in the industry over the 25 years since he started working – socializing has diminished and the concept of musical grounding has disappeared, notes Mehboob.

He said: “Yeah, the industry has changed a lot. It used to be that we had a lot of music sessions and then we would come to the final version of the song. Now with the digital medium it’s all online. The songs and lyrics are traded online and even singers get freebies online.So the concept of seated music is effectively gone.There are pros and cons to everything if you see.

Work-wise, Mehboob is once again collaborating with music composer AR Rahman for the upcoming film “Heropanti 2”.

Confirming the same and growing nostalgic about his past association with the Oscar-winning music composer, Mehboob said, “Yes, we are collaborating again for Heropanti 2 but we have worked together on many films before. We started with Bombay, Rangeela then went to Daud, Thakshak, Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, Yuva and I think one of our biggest hits was Maa Tujhe Salaam: Vande Mataram.”

“As for working with him, he’s really fun, he always works night shifts which also gives us a chance to chat, talk a lot about various issues and then get back to work. I like it a lot and we’re like family now, we’re past the composer and lyricist equation phase. Twenty-five years is a long time to get to this stage of our relationship.”

Asked if he would like to share any advice for budding writers and lyricists, he smiled.

“This year I completed 25 years in the industry, so I think as a senior lyricist I am qualified enough to give them some advice. First, educate yourself and make your vocabulary your greatest strength. Second, become a writer-director. Both of these things have worked for me and I’m sure it will work for budding lyricists too!”


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