'Teri mitti' writer Manoj Muntashir: Credit to lyricist not a favour, it is our right

Mumbai, Sep 10 (IANS) New-age Bollywood lyricist Manoj Muntashir says recognition is the right of every creative person. He adds that although award-winning lyricists do get due recognition these days, there still exists an ignorance about lyrics writers, which discourages many budding talents to pursue good writing.

"One has to give due credit to the lyricist and some of my colleagues including Swanand Kirkire, Varun Grover, Amitabh Bhattacharya and others are raising their voice in the matter. Look, no one is doing a favour by giving credit to a lyricist. It is our right, not a prize. I am not talking it for myself because I always got my credit. But many budding lyricists do not get that and the fact surely is a sign of discouragement," Muntashir told IANS.

The lyricist who has written some memorable songs lately, including "Teri mitti" in last year's Akshay Kumar-starrer "Kesari", added: "In the western world, there is a culture of singer-songwriters. In Bollywood, we work as a team of lyricist, composer, and singer. Everyone should understand that."

Manoj is also known for penning recent superhit songs like "Galliyan" ("Ek Villain"), "Kaun tujhe" ("M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story") and "Phir bhi tumko chaahunga" ("Half Girlfriend"), among many others.

Talking about his process of writing songs and poetry, he said: "I think poetry comes from the experience of life. From the way you observe the force of life, people, their emotions -- it becomes poetry, an expression of a poet. It becomes 'Teri mitti'. Also, you see, expressing your thoughts in a paragraph is different from writing just four lines to express yourself, in the form of poetry. So, yes, one can truly say that poetry is the labour of love."

According to Muntashir, while words and good composition matter, casting the right voice for a song is equally important.

"An average voice also can bring life to good lyrics but I would say that a great, rather a correct voice, can immortalise a song. There are songs that are meant for some singers and when you hear them after ages, you realise why the song became timeless."

Citing the example of the immortal Lata Mangeshkar song, "Lag jaa gale", he said: "The song is from the 1964 film, 'Woh Kaun Thi?'. Today, after so many years, when we listen to the song, can we imagine anyone else than Lata Mangeshkar? That is the power of that magnetic voice. I am very conscious about selecting the right voice for my songs."

Who is his favourite playback singer? "That is a bad question, how can I choose? As I said, some songs are meant for them but that does not mean others are not good. Having said that, there is something very special about Arijit Singh, Armaan Malik, Jubin Nautiyal and Neeti Mohan. There is something about their voice that adds a soul to my lyrics. Neha Kakkar also has her style and some songs are meant for such a voice," he said.

(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at arundhuti.b@ians.in)

--IANS

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