Jatin Pandit has been one of the most celebrated composers in Hindi cinema in the last several years. Along with younger brother Lalit, the composer had scored timeless music for some of the most successful films made in the ‘90s and the early/mid 2000s like ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’, ‘Khiladi’, ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha’, ‘Mohabbatein’, ‘Hum Tum’ and ‘Fanaa’, among others. While Jatin’s contribution to the industry as a composer has been duly recognized, not much has been written about his endeavours as a singer.
In this exclusive interview, the legendary composer talks about his recently released single ‘Dhadakte Rehna’, some of his compositions which he had voiced himself, the growing popularity of his YouTube channel, why he regrets not singing enough songs back in the day and more.
‘Dhadakne Rehna’ has been written, composed and sung by you. How did this song come about?
One day, my son Raahul and I were waiting for somebody to arrive in the studio. As soon as we reached the studio, we got a call from that person. He said that he was stuck in traffic and would arrive a little late. While waiting for him, I started strumming on the guitar and this tune just came organically. I started humming the tune. Raahul told me immediately that it is a good tune and I must develop it further. I ended up making a few antaras for the song and wrote the lyrics myself. When the lockdown happened, my daughter, who is studying abroad, suggested we should come there. Initially, we were not sure about travelling abroad at that time but then, we realized that we might not even able to travel after a point because of the prevailing situation. We quarantined in Los Angeles for fifteen days. During the quarantine, I polished the song further. After that, we recorded it.
What also makes this song special is that that while you have created and sung it, the video features your son Raahul.
Yes, both Raahul and the actress have performed very well on the song. After the song was programmed, I thought of shooting a video out of it. We shot it with a limited crew in California. We took some time to look for the right location. We shot the song with all the safety precautions. We managed to wrap up the song before the sunset.
Exactly forty years back, you made your debut as a solo singer with the song “Tumko Maine Sapno Mein To Dekha Tha” from the Mithun Chakraborty starrer ‘Laparwah’.
Wow! This is such great trivia. Though I have been singing for several years now, my voice has not changed that much. I truly feel grateful to God for that.
In the 80s, you had lent your voice to some of your own compositions in the film ‘Bhai Ka Dushman Bhai’. You had also sung a song for composer Pyare Mohan. It was a song called “Yeh Jawaani Gulaab Jaisi” and was used in the film ‘Haathon Ki Lakeeren’.
Yes, I had gone for a music sitting when Chetan Anand sahab and Pyare Mohan ji asked me to try out the song. Chetan sahab was a wonderful person and was like a father-figure to me. In the ‘90s, I had sung songs like “Rooth Kar Humse Kabhi” (‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar”), “Yeh Dil Deewana” (‘Vaade Iraade’) and “Aao Na” (‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’). I had sung a soulful ghazal called “Paas Rahkar Bhi” in the film ‘Tum Jiyo Hazaaron Saal’.
In 2012, you had also released an album called ‘Dil Se Mila Dil’. Out of the three songs on it, you had sung two.
Yes, around that time I had composed the music for a film called ‘Say Yes To Love’. I had sung a song called “Yaadein Tere Naam” in it. I wish more people had heard that song.
Do you wish you had sung more songs?
Yes, that is something I feel very strongly now. I wish I had sung more songs back in the day. I come from a family of great vocalists and I had always been very passionate about it. I also feel it would have helped me as a lot more people recognize if you are a singer along with being a composer. Back then, there was no trend of music directors turning singers. Yes, composers like R.D Burman and Bappi Lahiri sang occasionally but generally, music directors becoming mainstream singers was a rarity. Now, of course, it has become very common.
The videos that you put on your YouTube channel have been received very well.
Yes, my wife Kainaz took the initiative of starting my YouTube channel. I have been getting a very good response for the videos I have put up. It is a great platform to share a lot of things that are in my heart and connect with the audience.