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His first Hindi song Mere naam tu from Zero has touched the hearts of the audience. Singer Abhay Jodhpurkar talks about his debut and his journey so far, with Bhakti Mehta

Abhay Jodhpurkar enthralled the audience with his very first Bollywood song, Mera naam tu from Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film Zero. “I have been raised on listening to music and have been very passionate it. But I never thought I would take it up as a career. It has been a long journey but how it all happened has been very beautiful,” he says.

“I went to Chennai in 2009 for my BTech. This is where I came across South Indian music and Carnatic music. That is where the passion was rekindled. So I joined A R Rahman sir’s KM music conservatory part-time,” he remarks.

“In the meantime, Rahman sir happened to hear me at a qawwali concert at KM. I sang only one line and it stayed with him. After a month, I got a call from his studio to record something. Finally in 2013, I sang a Tamil song called Moongil thottam for Rahman sir for the Mani Ratnam movie Kadal. That is how it all started,” he reminisces.

On his first Hindi film song, Jodhpurkar shares, “It has been six years since I have been trying to come to Mumbai and make things work in Bollywood. On one occasion, I met Ajay-Atul sirs when I covered their Marathi song Jeeva rangala. They got in touch with me and wanted to work with me. When I was dubbing it, I had no idea that it was a Shah Rukh Khan song. They randomly called me on October 21 last year and said they wanted to try me out. It was just a scratch.”

“I just went with the thought that I would get to work with Ajay-Atul sirs in Hindi. So we recorded it. Aanand (L Rai) sir was there, Irshad Kamil was there. But they didn’t mention any details of the film. They told me they were just trying out my voice and that I shouldn’t have any expectations. I just sang it with that feeling and gave my best,” he recalls.

“I thought as usual my voice would end up getting replaced by Sonu Nigam or Arijit Singh. It came as a surprise to me when I heard my voice in the trailer. I found out only then as Ajay-Atul sirs wanted to surprise me. It was the most beautiful surprise ever! It is like a ballad mixed with symphony. There is so much grandeur. I think they have redefined the sound in Bollywood,” he says.

Jodhpurkar confesses his affection for King Khan. “Shah Rukh has always been my favourite. With all his songs, from Kal ho na ho to Mitwa, I have imagined how they would have sounded in my voice. I don’t think any singer has been launched as a voice of SRK so I think that law of attraction somehow worked.”

And, finally, about the captain of the ship, Aanand L Rai, the singer says, “I sang for the background score of Raanjhanaa. I hummed for some of the scenes. That is how my association with Aanand sir started a long time ago. The way he visualises and directs is just amazing.”

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