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Romantic songs need simple language

Lyricist Prashant Ingole talks to Titas Chowdhury about his latest song Pal, which has already earned a large audience

Lyricist Prashant Ingole has a new feather in his cap. Jalebi’s latest romantic number, Pal, is a turning point in his career. “I was stereotyped as a party, celebration and inspirational songwriter. Pal has broken all those labels. People thought that I could not write a romantic song. Pal is my first attempt to crush those stereotypes. It is a very special song,” says the songwriter.

Taking us back to the time when he wrote the song, he fondly recalls, “I was recording a song for Sajid-Wajid for a movie called Daddy. There was a Ganpati song called Aala re aala Ganesha which I was writing. Mohsin (of composer duo Javed-Mohsin) who was coordinating the song approached me about a tune he had and wanted me to write it. He hummed the tune and as soon I heard it, I said to him that I would love to write it. I told him to give me some time so that I could do justice to the beautiful melody. No brief was given to me for Pal. I wrote this song more than a year and a half ago; I just wrote it for the love of it.”

Ingole is overjoyed at the response that Pal is getting. “I am very happy with the way the song has shaped up. It already has 21 million hits. More than a hundred covers have already been made.”

The lyricist stresses the use of Hindi and Urdu in romantic songs. He says, “Hindi and Urdu are such beautiful languages. Those will never run out of fashion. If you use Hinglish in a party song or a tapori song, then it is fine. But if it is used in a romantic song, then there are 90 per cent chances that it will backfire.”

For Ingole, getting into the skin of the character he is writing for is of utmost importance. “I work in an altogether different way. For instance, if someone approaches me for a song, I listen to the script first. I read it over and over again to understand the character and the language of the film. Then I write the songs. This is what I did for films like Mary Kom and Bajirao Mastani.”

So how has songwriting changed over the years? “In the olden days, Sahir Ludhianvi, Shailendra, Gulzar saab or Javed (Akhtar) saab used to write lyrics in the form of a screenplay. But now it is just a game of hook lines. I feel I am an old school writer. We, as lyricists, have to keep and restore that and maintain their process,” he says.

Hinting about his upcoming projects, Ingole reveals, “I am planning to direct a Marathi feature film. I have just written and creatively directed an album which has five songs. They will come out in November.” 

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