Bollywood music composer Mithoon says his Dubai concert Tum Hi Ho is all about emotion
The Aashiqui 2 composer drops into Khaleej Times ahead of his Dubai concert on Friday
Music composer, lyricist and singer Mithoon, creator of the massively popular Aashiqui 2 soundtrack and many more memorable hit songs from Bollywood, dropped into the Khaleej Times office ahead of his event, Tum Hi Ho - Mithoon Live in Concert, in Dubai on Friday.
From our conversation with the soft-spoken artist, whose music from the upcoming film Malang is currently making waves, it was obvious that everything he does has an emotional connect and springs from the heart. It was a joy to hear him sing a few lines from his most famous hit Tum Hi Ho towards the end of our interview. Excerpts from our conversation:
Tum Hi Ho - Mithoon Live in Concert is tagged as a world premiere. Is this going to be the first in a series of concerts you're going to take across the globe?
I'll have to start by talking about my journey as a composer and a songwriter. I've been writing songs for the last 15 years. My first film was Zeher, back in 2005, with Mohit Suri. Right from Zeher to the music of Anwar and Aashiqui 2, Half Girlfriend last year, now Malang. I've been really enjoying this journey of composing music and writing songs in the studio. But there's another side to an artist which I wanted to experience - of going out to my listeners and connecting with them one on one, which can only happen on a live stage.
So I've been trying to do that for the last couple of years, but I've always believed that everything is a process, emotional and physical, and while we were trying out different ideas and genres and reinterpretations of my songs, we felt that 2020 is the year we should reach out to the world, go global with my music as an artist, as a composer. A lot of my singers are travelling the world and they do my songs live and it's just brilliant - I love them, but as the creator and composer of these songs I wanted to have my own interpretation of them, with my orchestra.
I've always loved Dubai and the people of Dubai. So I spoke to my team and said, can we start with Dubai; then Dubai Tourism came on board, they showed a lot of love and respect, and DFRE (Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment) was very supportive of this; when these energies met we thought, let's start off this journey with Dubai.
You have a host of talented singers in the concert line-up - like Sukhwinder Singh, Neeti Mohan and Mohammed Irfan - just to name a few. Could you tell us what audiences can expect from the show?
I think we are really putting our hearts out there, first. Before the mind, the heart should be in the right place. I remember when I made a call to B Praak, who is also part of the line-up, it just took him a second to say, 'Mithoon, for you I'll be happy to be there'. Sukhwinder Singh - he really loves me a lot. And the reason I'm saying all this is that until this love is not there, it will not convert to anything on stage.
So, we want people to see that bonding. It's not just a professional act. We want people to see the kind of rapport we artists back in Mumbai share. Mohammed Irfan has been a part of my music - he sang Iss Dard-e-Dil Ki Sifarish for me, he sang Banjara from Ek Villain which is hugely popular all over the world. So I wanted him to come. I did a single with Asees Kaur called Intezaar which has just crossed 51 million views. So what I'm trying to say is that there's an emotional reason for everything that's going to happen on January 17. We're all coming together on one stage and we just want to put our best out there, and that's what people can expect!
How important is emotion and the heart in your compositions?
If there's no emotion, there's no Mithoon. It's as simple as that. I've never been a man of numbers. A lot of people have told me - 'you keep a very low profile'. This is one of the rarest media interactions I've had - in fact, in Dubai I think I'm interacting with the media for the first time!
I've always felt an internal connect in my music - it's not very external. My films have always done well, my music has done well - Main Phir Bhi Tum Ko Chahoonga has just crossed half a billion views on YouTube so that speaks of the massive outreach my music has. I feel if the music is doing the talking, what more do I need to say? After that, it will just be adding to the noise in the world.
On why his Dubai concert is named Tum Hi Ho
"A new decade has begun and there's a lot that has happened in everybody's lives in the past ten years. A lot happened in my life - Aashiqui 2 was a very special moment, also for emotional reasons because I dedicated the entire soundtrack and the Filmfare award to my father, who was an arranger on the soundtrack of 1990's Aashiqui. When I wanted to start something like this (the concert) - I wanted some connect. And while I was searching for that common thread and that emotion I felt Tum Hi Ho is what brought the country together and what brought so many artists together; the world came together. When I won the IIFA award for Tum Hi Ho in Tampa, Florida, there were 60,000 people singing the song when I was on stage. So I don't think any materalistic motivation can get you to a place like that. Only emotion can do it."
Tum Hi Ho - Mithoon Live In Concert at Dubai World Trade Center on Friday, January 17.