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Lyricist Kumaar talks to Bhakti Mehta about the song Sanu kehndi from the Akshay Kumar film Kesari, what he thinks about the trend of recreated songs and more

Kumaar has been associated with a number of hit songs. In 2018, he had to his credit songs like Tera yaar hoon main from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Paniyon Sa from Satyameva Jayate and Mera Wala Dance from Simmba, to name only a few. His latest song is Sanu kehndi from Kesari. Asked about the response to the lyrics, Kumaar humbly says, “I don’t follow my work. Once I am done, I move on to my next project.”

It seems he was destined to become a part of this Dharma Productions’ venture as his association with the film’s director goes back many years. “I have worked with Anurag Singh in his initial films like Yaar Annmulle and Jatt & Juliet. Also, in Dharma Productions, there is a music supervisor called Aseem Dayani. He approached me and I came on board because of these two people,” the lyricist reveals.

Kumaar has written songs for different genres of movies, but this is probably his first period film. When asked if his approach changed while writing for Kesari, he reveals, “I am from Punjab, so it was not difficult for me to write the song. But since it is a song of a bygone era, you cannot use certain English words or hook lines. But some words are fine, like, I have used the word ‘border’ which is okay as it is a movie about soldiers and war.”

“Also, in the song, the girl makes demands from her husband or lover. Baby doll and Chittiyaan kalaiyaan are similar songs, but are set in today’s time. It is an assumption in this song that since she is married to a soldier, this would be reflected in the lyrics. Tanishk Bagchi used a folk tune, which then became this composition. We then cracked the lyrics and the song was done,” he further added.

Creativity is all about originality, but lately the music industry has seen an increase in recreations of old hit songs. Asked about what he felt about this trend, Kumaar replies, “When this trend of recreating songs started, I did not realise the impact it would have. Later, I felt it was perhaps not such a good thing, especially when the lyricists and the composers of these songs are still among us. Also, recreations may not really be a choice, but more of a compulsion for the music director and/or lyricist. Those who can afford to refuse such songs do not make recreations. I don’t mind doing folk songs, but I generally avoid doing recreations of film songs and I usually refuse them.”

He continues, “But sometimes a big star may want you to do it for them, then I try to accommodate their wishes. Sometimes, I am the only lyricist on a film, like in Golmaal Again!!! For that film I did recreate the lyrics of Neend churai meri. But if all the songs are recreations, that is something I don’t think I would do. You can never claim that this is your song or your album. The credits of these recreations should feature the name of the lyricist first and your name can be added under ‘additional lyrics’. I have been bothered by my name getting top billing for such songs, but now I am more careful. At the end of the day any song that helps the film is a good song.”

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