An Interview with Composer Mithoon Sharma..

mithoonIndian music world is replete with instances of father and son turning to composing. In Bollywood especially there have been many such father-son pairs, the most successful ones being SD Burman-RD Burman and Roshan-Rajesh Roshan. Composers like A R Rahman, Anu Malik, Viju Shah are a few others who are part of the list. One of the latest additions to the said roster is Naresh Sharma-Mithoon Sharma. The father, Naresh Sharma, unfortunately could not make it big in the mainstream composing scene despite his talent, being restricted predominantly to background scores, but the son, with quite a few chartbusters under his belt already at a young age of 24 (the last one being the beautifully arranged Lamhaa), looks all set to become one of the leading composers in days to come. So before that happens and he gets super busy, Music Aloud decided to get a quick interview done with the man. Here it is! 🙂

Start with the usual. Your musical beginnings?

Yes i started learning music at the age of 11 from my father Mr Naresh Sharma who himself is a legendary composer and
arranger. I went on to learn the keyboard from Mr Rajiv Shah and later on was under Mr Tony Pinto (India’s leading jazz
pianist) for improvisation and technique. I’d also like to thank Maestro Pyarelalji for sharing his experiences with me and
helping me understand that music is within and not anywhere outside.

The movie where you really started music direction was Bas Ek Pal in 2006, when you were 20. Quite young for someone to start composing! So how did you land the project?

By the time I was in college I was very sure that I had to be a film composer and so started working in that particular
direction.I had my small bedroom setup and used to keep working on songs and pieces. I happened to meet director Onir, thru Shailesh Singh (producer of Bas Ek Pal ) who told me that he was looking for a title track for his film.I understood what he wanted and prepared something and played it to him.The minute he heard it he said it was his perfect track.That was the Bas ek pal title track and then i composed Tere Bin for the same film.

You also did a Malaysian movie Diva in between. How did that happen? What were the sort of challenges you faced doing music for this one? And what were the kind of preps you had to do?

Ya I have composed the music for the Malaysian film called Diva. The producers were looking for a Bollywood composer and happened to hear my recreation of Woh Lamhe in 2006 and approached me. I worked with the highly renowned R n B vocalist Ning Baizura and the genius of Malay poetry, the Late Loloq.I didnt prepare much coz they wanted more of a Bollywood expresssion. I stayed in KL for two months,completed the music and came back.

Your debut pop album came out early last year, but didn’t quite turn out to be the success as you would have expected? Considering you have worked in the Indipop field before, what would you think went wrong in this case? What do you think of people’s attitude towards Indipop in general?

Well I’m not sure why my non film album wasnt a universal success. There are many many people who have related to it just the way I do but I was expecting it to be much bigger. I think it is one of my most sincere expressions. Every song is so special to me. I collaborated with many artists like Amy Dickson (London Philharmonic) for whom I wrote the parts for Alto Sax in my own song. I came up with ‘Kuch Dard‘ where I based the song on a flute solo played in the style of a middle eastern clarinet. I got Rakesh Chaurasia to play my parts there. I had Sayeed Quadri with me to write some fabulous lyrics……………
I’m not sure how people perceive Indipop. If they like what they hear they will accept it. Obviously the film medium is more attention-gathering but…….

Let us talk about Lamhaa. How did you go about composing for this one? And you have had interesting choices for vocals, like Palash Sen for Main Kaun Hoon and Mika Singh doing a semiclassical number quite contrary to his established image. Tell us about how you decided upon all that.

Well I got a call one day from Bunty Walia‘s office and we fixed up a meeting. In the first meeting there I was introduced
to Rahul Dholakia who gave me a brief narration of Lamhaa and told me what he wanted from me. After hearing it, that very moment I decided that I have to do this film. The powerful and substantial story just got inside me. Every song has the story of Kashmir in it. I always try to be innovative with vocal selection. In Lamhaa I had the opportunity. Initially I sang the song Main Kaun Hoon myself. Everyone loved it. But I was looking for more gutful expressions so I thought of Palash n I think he did a great job. I’ve always loved Mika‘s voice. Whenever I heard him I used to think that when this voice will sing my expression it will be tremendous. In Saajnaa I got that occasion and I gave him a call. The moment he heard the song he said “wow”. I’d like to give him credit for taking up this challenge and delivering an honest rendition.

Almost all of your music so far has had lyrics by Sayeed Qadri. Tell us about your association with him. How did you first come together, and how has the experience working with him been?

Sayeed Quadri is a blessing to me. I think he is one of the most prolific and substantial poets in the world today. One just needs to go thru his list of songs and you’ll agree with what I say. I was introduced to him by Mukesh Bhatt. Me and Sayeed bhai share a great rapport and enjoy working with each other a lot.

What are your upcoming projects? Any return to private album scene in the offing?

My next release is Onir‘s I AM to which im keenly looking forward. I also have three film soundtracks released line up for next year.I assure my listeners that they will hear a lot more from me now. No more hibernation.
I dont intend to do non film work as of now.May be later on………..

Any dream project you look forward to?

I’m working on a live setup with a chamber orchestra to perform my songs along with me. I have begun writing the parts and I look forward to perform very soon………..

Who are your idols? The people you have drawn inspiration from in your composing career?

My father is my biggest inspiration. I’ve grown up seeing him as a Hero seeing people (listeners and musicians) all the time in awe of him. I salute my grandfather Pt Ramprasad Sharma who started the legacy of music in my family and hundreds of other families as well. He has taught more than five thousand students (many of today’s leading instrumentalists and composers) free of charge.
I give praise to my Eternal Father in heaven and His Son Jesus Christ, my Lord, my strength and my fortress. To Him belongs all the glory. Amen.

Sunil says:

Hi, sir i’m your biggest fan. Ur song “AYE KHUDA” is vry beautiful.

sushil says:

sir kuch dard mujhe is such a great song and i like ur voice plz sing many song in ur voice and ur pass aya kyun is the best song,plz give many songs like these

Deep Chakraborty says:

Sir, you are great composer!!! Your songs really touch our souls! Specially the songs of TU HI MERE RAAB KI TARHA HA, is very close to me and my frnds!! We all look forward to much more soul-stirring music from u!!! Mithoon Sharma Rocks!!!!!!!!

hey mithoon sir you dont know any thing about me who is iam iam a biggest fan of your song and you . you gave me a gift of music and song please make me apart of your life and nowdays i alwayas copy to you a make a video of your song kuchh dard ,har jagah me,ab toh har roz,tuhi mere rab ki tarah hai,mausam,mujhe isq de ,tuu hai etc.byeeee mithoon as my god

adriana says:

Mithoon is one of my favorite composers. I was so impressed with what he did on Bas Ek Pal and Anwar… and at 20… his music was way beyond his years. Even now Javeda Zindagi makes my soul stop and listen. Thanks for the additional insight… great interview….