He came, he sung, he conquered! That has been the journey of the latest singing sensation – Ssameer! Or one could say – ‘Miles to go before I sleep!’ as the Talisman for the popular Indian musician, Ssameer!
Ssameer’s musical journey began at the age of 16. Popularly called the ‘artist with a difference’, the multi-talented singer, composer, live performer and multi-instrumentalist, Ssameer lived his name yet again, as he entertained his fans with a medley of world instruments and melody during a live launch performance of his latest song – Ahoy-Hello-Namaste, composed specially to mark the eve of the International Fleet Review – 2016.
Held in the pride of the Naval Force from India and that from 50 other countries, the event had an audience of 10,000 plus people and our honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi was present there. Bollywood superstars – Akshay Kumar and Kangana Ranaut also participated along with Ssameer and his band, Qasbah.
Where were you born? Tell us a little about your childhood. Was music in the agenda?
Born in Assam, I didn’t have any knowledge about music till I reached my high school when I came down to Delhi. I studied in Delhi Public School, Mathura Road. I used to be a very studious person without any extracurricular activity. But then in my high school I realized that music is what I want to do. I picked up my guitar and started learning on my own and that’s how the journey started off.
Full educational qualifications.
I did my B.Sc. from Delhi University. Then I did my PGDBM, which is equivalent to MBA in Information technology. I have also learnt classical guitars from Trinity School of Music, London. This was my entry into the world of music in a professional way.
How were you initiated into music? Where did you get the training? What all musical instruments have you learnt to play?
I initially started learning how to play guitar with the help of a book, video and audio tapes but later took formal classes in playing classical guitar from Trinity School of Music. There I got to learn the basics of music. It also helped me in composing and also improved my knowledge in arranging music. My primary instrument is guitar. I can also play keyboards, bass guitar, Baglama (it’s a Turkish string instrument), Tumbi and many more…
What did your parents say when you decided to join Bollywood, given the unreliability of the field?
Bollywood is a wrong term. Bollywood is secondary. Primarily, what I wanted to do was music and Bollywood comes secondary. My parents were not in favour of me doing music as my career. But I was adamant about what I wanted to do. Later seeing my passion, they supported me. Regarding any industry being unreliable, I don’t feel so. It’s about how passionate you are about something and what steps one takes to go through his goal. I feel any field is unreliable… I have people being laid off from jobs so where is the security…
I would like to state that music is a very broad term and Bollywood music is just a small part of it. Bollywood music is not the END to music. It’s just one of the kinds. Music is much vast than what people think it to be…
Which was your first movie as a singer?
First movie as a singer… It was Sundarban Rap… from the movie Roar… then there are many movies about to release. One of them I remember is Badi Chowdi the movie is yet to release. All the songs in the movie are composed and sung by me. My favourite from the movie is Kasam se. My first song as an independent singer was Saiyyaan… first ever Punjabi rock song… which was followed by Soniye… (a soulful song), Jatta… (a typical Punjabi song) and Ankhiyaan nu rehn de… (a mix of soulful song and rock song). One of my songs sung and composed by me also includes Yuva … a theme song for Yuva Awards hosted by India TV.
Which was your first movie as a composer?
My first movie as a composer was Sarhad Paar featuring Sanjay Dutt, Tabu. the name of the song is Nit khair manga… A rendition of a Punjabi Folk song. Then it followed quite a few more movies… Hum Phir Milen Na Milen, Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi, Meri Shaadi Karao and many more… I have also been associated in many independent projects. This includes with artists like Jaan Arya from London; Shrey Singhal, who is very popular and one of his popular track being Teri Yaadein…; Manpreet Dhami one of his latest tracks is Mixed Signals… and Abhiruchi Singh one of her popular song being Ud Chali… for an NGO – Smile foundation.
Tell us about your latest movie. Which of your talents have you exposed in this movie?
Do Lafzon Ki Kahani featuring Randeep Huda is my latest project. I am associated with this project as a music producer. I have arranged the music of one of the songs Tu Mila… in this movie. Badi Chowdi is one more movie, where I have composed the music and also there as a singer. Apart from this I have been making music and singing in Ad films. One of them was a film for Fair and Handsome featuring Hritik Roshan. Then recently I composed and sung a song for IFR 2016. This was a theme song for the prestigious event which was hosted by Indian Navy in India. 50 countries were participating and I got a chance to perform the song live at the opening ceremony and also in a presidential concert where our honorable PM and President of India were present. One more latest release was my song Kai Po Chhe… featuring Kirtidhan Gadhvi, a very popular singer from Gujarat. This was a song for an NGO -India Ink. This song supported Swachh Bharat and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. The song was launched and supported by CM of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel.
What are your future projects?
Tu Mila… from the forthcoming movie Do Lafzon Ki Kahani and the complete music from the forthcoming movie Badi Chowdi as I have already mentioned are my forthcoming releases.
I have recorded quite a few songs for Bollywood as well as independent projects. Talks are already on for few more movies… Names I can’t disclose at the moment. One of the independent songs is Tukda Tukda… with my co-singer Rachna Mankotia, who is also an actress and Mrs. India. The has been composed by Gautam Naresh and me. This song might be pitched for a movie as one of the directors of the movie has already selected the song. Apart from this, I have been very active in my live performances all over India.
Is it the requirement of our times that we need to be multitalented and have to use them to earn?
It’s good to be multi-talented because it helps you know the different aspects. I mean if you are a singer as well as an instrument player, it helps you understand different aspects of music. Or learning sound engineering would help you to give your best shot in music as you would know how to record yourself in the best way. I would take an example of Michael Jackson. He knew exactly what he wanted and no one could fool him. So I feel it’s important to know the different aspects in your trade. One can’t make a statement – this is my area of expertise and I won’t go beyond that. On the other hand I am also not saying that one should start taking projects in multiple fields. That dilutes the belief of people on what you actually do.
What do you do when not working on a song?
Well I am a fun-loving person. I like travelling and that includes adventure travel and not luxury travel. I would love to go for treks, etc. Apart from this I love watching movies. I like listening to music and that too not popular ones, maybe background scores or some folk music of different countries. I also like interacting with musicians from different parts of the world.