Working with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy will help me grow!
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Joanne D’silva spoke to Nakash Aziz, who recently sang Mera wala dance for Rohit Shetty’s film Simmba. He also was the voice of Ulaalaa in South superstar Rajinikanth's film Petta. Here’s what he said about it…. 

Your musical journey is a success now - did you face any challenges?
I don’t know about my music being successful. One can say that, but it’s very subjective - I still feel like there is so much more I can do and I hope and wish that I get better at it.
You have sung for Shahid Kapoor, Salman Khan, Rajnikanth, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and now Ranveer Singh - how do you keep things different?
Well, I actually keep it simple, because I just want to sound bright and full of energy while I’m singing. When the music comes out, it stays for life, especially now, when digital platforms are successful. It kind of is there forever. I try to be honest with myself because I don’t feel it’s really happening the way I imagine it. So, it should just sound good even after ten years. I hope it stays like that.

How was your experience working with Neha Kakkar and DJ Chetas and Lijo?

DJ Chetas and Lijo are really cool people. They both are DJs and they know what people want and that’s the biggest advantage they have. They do a lot of gigs and travel all around the world. So they kind of understand it. And it’s very nice to see DJs composing original tracks, because normally a DJ would re-make music. But I’m so glad and overwhelmed that Mera wala dance has got a good melody - whatever you may think, I really like it. Especially the brass riff when the track starts, and then Neha Kakkar coming into the antara. It’s a very good combination to make a masala song.

Any BTS incident while recording the track you would like to share?

There was a female backing vocalist who was also dubbing at the same time that I was recording. And it was really late at night - 2 am - and they were still recording. So I had to stop my recording because the lady had to go back to her kids, so we let them record first and finally, when my turn came to dub, it was almost 4 am in the morning! Lijo, myself and Chetas - we were all so tired and drained by that time. But every time you listen to the tune of the song it brings back the energy to the room. God is great, it finally happened!

You’ve also worked with Anirudh, the biggest South music composer -  did you face any challenges?

Anirudh is a very cool and flamboyant personality and that’s like a rare combination you find in people. They don’t need to do much to gain attention and Anirudh is that kind of person. I call him 'Dhoni' -  that's the term I have coined for him. He is as thin as a cucumber and he is just as exceptional. At the age of 29 he is doing so much and such amazing work! This year two of his movies will be releasing, one with Rajinikanth and the other with Kamal Hassan. What more do I say about him? His work is speaking very highly of what he’s done and what he has achieved.

Anything that you would like to share about what happened while recording the song?

Ya, again with Anirudh. I used to have to take a flight to Chennai and by the time you reach there, it has already been five hours of travelling, because you have to take the car to the airport and then fly and then drive to’s always hectic. But when you reach there, you have to forget that you are tired and that you're a human! Maybe you have to be Rajnikanth!

Which do you prefer - singing in Tamil, Bengali or Hindi?

I just prefer singing - and that’s the bottom line. I can’t tell you that I’m afraid of singing in Malayalam, but it is very difficult, the font is like a jalebi and the words are like that. It’s very tongue twisting. Certain parts of our mouths that are used in speaking Hindi or English don’t normally work like that. There are a few words in Tamil, but Malayalam is something else, very difficult to pronounce.

Tell us about the best collaborations you have had...

I have never really worked with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and I really want to. I have heard from a lot of singers that dubbing with Shankar bhai is like is a great workshop. So even if it is for a scratch or a chorus or whatever, I would love to do it. I would like to spend some time in the studio with him and get some tips and that will probably help me grow.