Farhan Akhtar and Shraddha Kapoor took the stage at the NH7 Weekender in Hyderabad to perform some of the songs from Rock On and the upcoming Rock On 2, getting the audience to sing and dance along with them. The two also promoted their new film on the sidelines of the festival.
Ready to Rock On
They let us in on how they prepped themselves to turn singers for the movie. Shraddha says, “Growing up, I trained a bit with my Nana (maternal grandfather) Pandharinath Kolhapure. He was a very well-known classical singer. But specifically for Rock On 2, I trained with Samantha Edwards; she’s essentially a Jazz singer, but she has the most beautiful voice. So we did some voice exercises just to be able to sing in line with the style of the film.”
Farhan adds, “I don’t have the discipline of doing exercises, I find that a little tough. But I carry my guitar with me everywhere I go. So even if I’m shooting for another film, whenever I get a break I play the guitar and sing a few songs. My physical training has also given me the foundation for controlling my breath, being able to not run out of breath while singing on stage. It’s worked so far, since I haven’t had a cardiac arrest and collapsed!”
Shraddha revealed that the film helped her realise her own potential to be a musician: “I’ve been writing as well, but I never had the confidence to share it. Farhan encouraged that and for a performance in Bengaluru, I sang one of my own songs that I had written, and he put the tune to it.”
Commercial vs Independent
About Farhan Live — that plays mainstream Bollywood music — headlining a predominantly independent music festivals, Farhan says, “As far as the independent music scene goes — the alternate culture — (NH7) is one of the go to places to be, if you want to be a part of it. And if they feel they want to incorporate a certain element of what’s popular in India for those who aren’t as privy to music, why not? Again, it’s that classic thing of drawing boundaries within music — people who want to hear us will be there, people who don’t will leave. That’s about it.”
A win-win for both
Adding that the Indian film industry is going through a “transitional phase” in its approach to music, Farhan added that, it has begun to serve musicians as much as it helps movies themselves. “We’re moving away from having one music composer for a score. And indie offers that. So it works well for both sides — you’re getting an assured release for your song, marketing and promotion, and from the producers point of view, you’re getting music that’s not the run-of-the-mill music.”
Clueless about Global Citizen controversy
The singer-actor-director-writer seemed to have no idea about the controversy surrounding the upcoming Global Citzen festival that he’s performing in and has promoted. When asked about it, Farhan said, “Right now we’ve been only in a little bubble with this Rock On 2 press junket. So I don’t know what has happened.” He asks again, “What has happened?” After being informed that a member of the Congress party had asked for the concert — in which international and national artistes such as Coldplay, Jay Z, Shah Rukh Khan, A.R. Rahman are performing as well — to be postponed because it clashes with Mumbai’s civic body elections, Farhan added, “I guess I’ll have to read up on that, I can’t really comment now.”
No time sense
Journalists were made to wait for two hours before they got to interact with the stars. With a promised “just five minutes” after every quarter of an hour, journalists were given reasons ranging from the stars being held up at the airport to them getting ready. Some from the electronic media even staged a walk out in protest, about 15 minutes after which Farhan and Shraddha eventually showed up. The two, however, seemed unperturbed about the delay.