Smiles of success: Shekhar Ravjiani, Kasyap and Karan Kanchan

Smiles of success: Shekhar Ravjiani, Kasyap and Karan Kanchan
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The reimagined version of the song ‘Zehnaseeb’ from the 2014 Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra-starrer Hasee Toh Phasee has sparked excitement among fans. Minutes after the official launch early this week, composer and singer Shekhar Ravjiani, producer Karan Kanchan, and singer Kasyap huddle together on a Zoom video call from Mumbai, adjusting their positions, ensuring they fit into the frame. Displaying a warm camaraderie, they share insights into their creative process and motivations behind revisiting this track.

Shekhar has traversed a remarkable 25-year journey, from his debut in Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999) to his recent involvement in the film Fighter (2024). Expressing his deep affection for ‘Zehnaseeb‘’, he says, “The enduring popularity of the song, a decade after its original release, is outstanding. The love for the song is growing. I am fortunate to have two great talents like Karan and Kasyap presenting a fresh interpretation of this timeless song befitting its 10th anniversary.”

Grander scale

Shekhar’s enthusiasm is echoed by Karan Kanchan, a multi-genre and trap music producer, who eagerly embraced the opportunity to infuse his unique style into the track. “I grew up listening to ‘Zehnaseeb’, it is a track that resonates with everyone. When Sony suggested working on it, we immediately knew it was the right choice. However, tackling such a classic was a huge responsibility. I was nervous about doing justice to it, but Shekhar’s support and guidance were invaluable. His validation meant everything to me, and I knew that as long as he was happy with the result, I had succeeded,” says Karan, emphasising the need to respect the song’s legacy while incorporating new sounds and textures. “By infusing elements like the sarangi and experimenting with contemporary rhythms, I created a grander and more immersive auditory experience.”

Hyderabad-based singer Kasyap was barely 10 or 11 years old when Hasee Tho Phasee was released, and ‘Zehnaseeb’ became an earworm. Recalling how the song resonated with him, he says it marked his early encounters with Bollywood music. Having sung two originals for Shekhar, ‘Zehnaseeb‘ is his third collaboration with the singer-composer. “To sing with the legend is a big responsibility, and I was nervous. Somehow, I made it through with his guidance and Karan’s magical production. It’s been a surreal experience for me to work on this song,” says the pop singer who released his first Telugu indie single, ‘Theliyade’, early this year. “I’ve evolved as an artiste over the years and made efforts to push my vocal boundaries. Training hard and exploring different genres, including ‘Theliyade’, has been deeply fulfilling. Working with these incredible people and creating meaningful music is a dream come true, and I’m grateful for this journey of growth and blessings.”

Reimagining legacy

Shekhar, who sees the remix of ‘Zehnaseeb’ as a tribute to the original song, a way to keep its legacy alive and an opportunity to introduce it to a new audience who might connect with it differently. He says, “If Hasee tho Phasee were to be made now, I see this version becoming the definitive rendition.”

Admitting that he was never a fan of remixes, Shekar says the key lies in treating the original song with respect and creating a version that adds something meaningful and fresh while retaining the essence of what made the original special. He emphasises people’s emotional connection with certain songs, citing his experience of performing ‘Zehnaseeb’ live regularly to large audiences and witnessing their love for the song firsthand.

Looking ahead, Shekhar reveals his plans for his record label, Garuudaa Music (pronounced Garud Music), which has become a platform for nurturing emerging talent. With numerous releases on the horizon, including collaborations with Kasyap and Karan, Shekhar’s vision for the future of Indian music is one of innovation and inclusivity.


Source link