Kaushal Kishore: Striking a patriotic chord with Indians
WORDS OF PRIDE: Kaushal Kishore
ACE LYRICIST DISCUSSES HIS POPULAR NEW ANTHEM
ON INDIAN Independence Day earlier this month, a lot of people shared the newly released patriotic anthem Vande Mataram, including prime minister Narendra Modi and Bollywood superstar Tiger Shroff, who sang it.
The superb song’s biggest hero is lyricist Kaushal Kishore, who conveyed sentiments that struck a chord with Indians globally. This is the latest triumph for an acclaimed writer who has used words wonderfully well to add weight to songs in multiple languages for films, TV dramas and standalone anthems.
Hailing from Dhaka, Bihar, the dynamic young talent’s triumphs also include hit songs Aaj Bhi, Toot Jaayein, Bumro, Safar, Tu Bhi Sataya Jayega, Teri Hogaiyaan, Ek Bewafaa and the inspiring Muskurayega India.
Eastern Eye caught up with the musical secret weapon to discuss his lyrical journey, inspirations, high expectations and the secret of writing a great song.
What first connected you to lyrics writing?
Emotion, thought and the story that needs to be told are factors that encourage me to write a song.
Which of your songs is closest to your heart?
Muskurayega India is closest to my heart. Also, Toot Jaayein, Sataya Jayega, Safar and Bumro are all very special to me. But Muskurayega India tops the list because the track gave hope to so many people during these tough times. After Muskurayega India, PM Modiji also praised Vande Mataram, a song I have written. I can’t express my happiness. The fact that our PM has shared my song on Independence Day fills me with immense gratitude. Seeing Modji tweet about my song has increased my confidence even more. I am encouraged to write many songs for the country now. I dedicate Vande Mataram to all my fellow countrymen and to our jawans who sacrifice their lives to keep the country safe.
Does your approach change between languages?
Absolutely! You need to write in a way that people of that language understand and relate to. These days, I have been writing Punjabi songs and am really enjoying the process.
Have any of the songs exceeded your expectations?
Yes, it’s Muskurayega India. While I knew the song has been written, composed, and sung well, I never expected it to touch so many hearts. I never knew that everyone, from the prime minister to a local hawker, would talk about the track. Since the fight against Covid-19 is still on, I feel great that the song still inspires people and gives them hope. In fact, recently I came across a video where a four-year-old child suffering from blood cancer was being entertained and motivated by the hospital staff in the ICU by playing Muskurayega India. I was touched after seeing that.
What is the secret of writing a great track?
There’s no secret as such. My aim as a lyricist is to narrate an honest story. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I haven’t come into this industry to write as per the requirement of the meter or tune. I’m here to express people’s emotions.
How do you feel when a song you have written gets composed, sung and released?
I remember when I came to Mumbai in 2006, I was quite young. I called a composer I knew and said, ‘in case I don’t succeed and have to return, please compose at least one of my songs because I really want to experience that once.’ That’s how much I valued it back then and cherish it even now. Today, when I see my songs being composed, sung, and appreciated, I thank God every single day. It means a lot to me.
Which is the strangest place you have written a song in?
It’s a difficult question to respond to. You would be surprised to know that I wrote my first song after the demise of my grandfather, when he was getting cremated.
What kind of songs do you enjoy listening to?
I appreciate all genres of music. The songs I enjoy most are laden with great thoughts and emotions and are relatable. For instance, I really enjoy Sahir Ludhianvi Saab’s songs, including Main Zindagi Ka Sath Nibhata Chala Gaya. I also enjoy Jagjit Singh saab’s tracks.
Who is your own hero?
My musical heroes are Sahir Ludhianvi, Shailendra, Anand Bakshi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Gulzar saab and Javed Akhtar. I also like RD Burman and Kishore Kumar’s work. I’ve grown up enjoying their creations and all these artistes inspire me.
Do high expectations put pressure on you?
Thank you for asking me this question. Whenever people call me and ask for a certain kind of song within a certain timeline, I feel really pressurised. That sometimes even delays my work. Sometimes pressure results in good work and sometimes it doesn’t.
So what kind of work can we expect next from you?
There are a lot of songs coming up. The tracks are full of emotions and will touch people’s hearts. I’m also writing a film and a few stories. So, I am really excited about every project that I am working on.
What inspires you?
Every person who works hard and is honest inspires me. My mother and aunt are my inspirations. They selflessly work all day long to take care of everyone at home. My father also inspires me. He says earn less but earn with honesty. A labourer, who works really hard to make the lives of others easy, inspires me. Nature is also inspiring. For instance, the way a river originates from the mountains and flows into an ocean, or the way rainwater falls on the ground and helps in the growth of crops, all this inspires me. I hope that someday I too become big enough to inspire someone like that.