This is one guy that no one can possibly ignore. A self professed voice of the Indian youth, Honey Singh, or Yo Yo Honey Singh, as he prefers to be addressed as, has taken the Bollywood music circuit by storm.
Belting out chart-busters like Sunny Sunny, Party All Night, Lungi Dance and others, suddenly everyone is talking about this music director cum rapper cum playback singer of 29! Yo Yo was in Ranchi recently for a gig when TOI got up close with the music artiste, talking about music, choice of lyrics and his future plans.
Pride is quite evident on his face when we ask him about his days of struggle. Reminiscing about the same, the singer feels that rejections fired him even more to slog it out alone “No one gave me an opportunity which I desperately needed in my struggling days. If there is one thing that I have learned during that period is that you need to create an opportunity yourself if you want to live your dream. Maybe one reason was that I started as an independent artist and worked in Punjabi music industry as a music industry for seven years, out of which I was awarded five times for being the best music director. On a lighter note, another problem I that I encountered was that since I started quite young, no one was willing to take me seriously. In fact, jab main Mumbai jata tha recording ke liye, vahan studio vale bolte the ki acha, papa ne tumko bhej diya hai,” laughs the rapper. “However, I never forgot what other people did to me when I was needy and was looking for work. So, I never turned away anyone who came to me with an ambition. I made so many singers out of them, churning out the music which appealed to the youth. People liked my rap it was then that Honey Singh as a performer was born,” Honey adds.
Having guns constantly trained at him on the choice of lyrics in his songs which have been tagged as too abusive and vulgar by some, the rapper is least bothered about the same. “I don’t understand why people are going mad about the lyrics i write? Do they expect everyone to become Mirza Ghalib? If you’ll check out the songs that have been churned out the Bollywood music industry over the last five years, no one will be asking me this question. Mujhe samajh nahi ata ki logon ko apne girabaan mein jhaankne mein itni dikkat kyun hoti hai. What I sing is how the youngsters talk these days. Everyone knows it but no one is willing to digest the fact that the lyrics comprising of slangs can also be a hit among youth. I have done it and as long as my fans like it, I don’t give a damn to what these guys say. I have been working in the music industry for only ten years and as a singer for only 4-5 years. Still I have been been able to create a genre for myself. Today, Yo yo genre is the most popular genre of music in India, regardless of the geographical area despite countless attempts to stymie my success,” avers the singer.
But while almost all of his songs feature feature the words daru, murga etc, we asked him if he is becoming too monotonous for him as well to write and perform on these type of songs and he cuts in. “I have written a song on Shaheed Bhagat Singh as well, apart from writing on the problem of youth migration, alcoholism and drug addiction. But I can guarantee that most of the people have not listened to these songs. It was not as if they were not released with proper videos or without promotion. But the fact is that people listen to what they really like. There might be some youngsters who like listening to ghazals and sufi music but when I see millions of hits on my videos on Youtube or perform in front of thousands, I know that I’m on the right track,” says Honey.
With the tinsel-town having a reputation as an industry working on relationships, we asked Honey about his friendships in Bollywood. “I have made a few friends in the industry and among them I can count the names of Shah Rukh sahab, Ranveer Singh and Akshay paji. While Ranveer is a very energetic person to have around, I have learnt a learnt a lot from Akshay paji and Shah Rukh ji. Even after spending so many years in the industry, they still work as if they have just joined the industry, with the same vigour and a thirst for excellence. These are the only persons I can call my friends in the industry nahi to vaise to time hi nahi milta socialise karne ka,” says Honey.
Having a dubious record of having maximum number of girlfriend bashing numbers under his belt, we wondered what Honey’s wife has to say about the songs. “She doesn’t likes any of them. I guess she hates them but never says so.. (laughs). On a serious note, she mostly likes romantic songs, which I haven’t sung any so far. However she really likes brown Rang and makes me sing it everyday for her. Ab unke liye bhi kuch gana padega,” grins Honey.
After being a music director to a singer, we asked Honey about his future ambitions in Bollywood. “I’m working on another album which would be coming out very soon. Apart from that I’m also going to act in a movie being produced by Himesh Reshammiya ji. I’m playing the role of a villain in that movie. Then there is a Punjabi movie lined up for release as well. However, I have no inclination to turn a full time actor. Music is the only love I have and that’s all I’m concentration on right now,” informs Honey before signing off.