SHADAB FARIDI - “Competition is stiff today”

The versatile playback singer Shadab Faridi with a sufi voice has clicked in a big way with quite a few hit songs to his credit, in films like Bajirao Mastani, Agent vinod, Dhoom 3 , Neerja and recently Housefull 3

By Jyothi Venkatesh
How did you bag your break as a playback singer?
My brother Altamash and I were given a big break by music directors Sajid and Wajid who asked us to sing the track Tere Ishq Mein Rab Chotta for the film Jawaani Deewani. Though it was a hit, it ws the song Kaise Batayein which we sang for music director Preetam for Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani and Tu Hi Haqeeqat which we sang in Tum Mile that instantly turned out to be big hits and made us taste popularity n a big way.
Sabri Brothers are your uncles. Did you seek their help to get into films?
Our uncles Sabri Brothers landed in Mumbai first and made a name for themsleves in films with their qawwali Tumse Milke Dilka Haal in Main Hoon Na. I came to Mumbai and lived with them first and then came my younger brother Altamash.

Is it true that you were noticed only when you sang for Deewani Mastani for Sanjay Leela Bhansali?
Yes. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a genius whether he is directing a film, choreographing a dance number or for that matter he is composing for a film. Not for nothing did my brother Altamash and I bag an award for singing for Deewani Mastani this year, though we had sung just eight to ten lines in the song Tu Mastani Tu Deewani Hai. Music runs in Sanjay Bhansali Sir’s veins and even in films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas where it was not he who had compsoed the music but Ismail Durbar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has left a big imprint with the songs.
How did you bag the offer from Sanjay Leela Bhansali to sing for Deewani Mastani?
I had sung the song Jashn E Ishq Ka for music director for the film Goonday. Sanjay Leela Bhansali Sir wacthed Goonday before he cast Ranveer Singh and liked our song and selected Altamash and me to sing for his film Deewani Mastani

Which are your five best songs till date in a career stretching for almost eight years?
Malang Malang in Dhoom 3, Tu Hi Haqeeqat Khwaab Tu in Tum Mile, Jashn E Ishq Ka in Goonday, the Hanuman Chalisa in Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Tere Ishq Mein Rab Choota are my five best films. I also like my songs like Dariya Ho which I had sung with Monali Thakur for Kamaal Dhamaal Maalamaal, Ishq Karenge Ishq Kaerenge in Bangistan and Tu Babli Hai Tu Bunty Hai for Welcome Back with Anu Malik and Mamta Sharma.
To what extent do you think that reality shows help the film industry in unearthing new voices?
You should never take reality shows seriously and only take part with a sporting spirit by thinking that it is just a phase in your life. I also took part in two reality shows including Kuch Kar Dikhana Hai, where, besides me, other singers like Harshdeep Kaur, Kalpana, Kavita Seth, Antara Mitra and Malini Awasthi also took part and I reached a place among the top 12.
Why do playback singers lack an identity of their own?
That is only because there is so much of stiff competition today unlike earlier.  


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