Singer Raghav Was 'Scared' To Recreate His Song Teri Baaton Mein For Shahid-Kriti's Film: 'In My Mind Original Was Perfect'

Singer Raghav Was 'Scared' To Recreate His Song Teri Baaton Mein For Shahid-Kriti's Film: 'In My Mind Original Was Perfect'

Raghav and composer Tanishk Bagchi collaborated on the new version "Teri Baaton Mein..." with singer Asees Kaur.

PTIUpdated: Sunday, March 10, 2024, 04:36 PM IST
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When Raghav released the original version of "Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya" in 2004, the singer says the song was perfect for the time and he was a bit "scared" about recreating it for the newly released Shahid Kapoor and Kriti Sanon starrer. But his fear dissipated when the track, which was part of his debut album "Storyteller", turned out well.

Raghav and composer Tanishk Bagchi collaborated on the new version "Teri Baaton Mein..." with singer Asees Kaur. "It was a little scary because in my mind the original was perfect for the time. The rhythm was hard, the vocals were beautiful and it just felt like a song that really defines me. "It was kind of like giving your baby away into someone else's hands to see if it's treated with respect. But the new version came out pretty great, it feels good," the singer, whose full name is Raghav Mathur, told PTI in an interview.

Born to Indian parents in Canada's Toronto, Raghav burst onto the independent music scene with songs such as "Angel Eyes", its Hindi version "Teri Baaton Mein...", "Can't Get Enough", and "Let's Work It Out".

Compared to where it was in the 2000s, indie music is in a better place right now, he said, adding the pandemic has given power back in the hands of listeners instead of influential music labels. "The mid 2009 to maybe a little bit before COVID, this is a market in India that now bears so much influence on what's happening in the music world but the film industry controls 99.9 per cent of it.

"There was almost just no avenue to have a stage the kind of I had at the beginning of my career. What's changed, particularly during COVID, is that even the historic sort of bigwigs of the industry had to succumb to the realisation (that fans can) do a million reels to 'Teri Baaton Mein...', 'Billie Jean' or 'Laal Dupatta', they can do anything," the 42-year-old said.

One can try influencer campaigns but you can't fake something living in people's hearts and gradually grow into views, added Raghav.

The new version of "Teri Baaton Mein..." had "50 million views in three weeks" and the singer admits that it is a unique experience that comes from "being involved with a film industry". "There is a lot of effort that goes into that (views). I don't have access to those kinds of efforts and can't afford Shahid Kapoor in my video otherwise I would. But that's real music...

"People have invested in me deeply for 20 years and now I feel it's paying dividends... I can make the music I want to and have a career again that's thriving," said the singer-songwriter currently in India for his "Teri Baaton Mein" tour.

Raghav has now released a new song titled "Choro", which is a tribute to one of his favourite movies "Misery" (1990), based on the novel by horror master Stephen King.

"All my songs are typically about unrequited love but 'Choro' is definitely the opposite of that. It is actually me being a little weary of the person that seems to be in love with me. "It pays homage to the movie 'Misery'... I grew up in the era of videos where like Michael Jackson was making short films. So, this one is without his budget (but) the same kind of vibe."

Recalling his childhood, Raghav said he grew up listening to diverse music genres: his mother played OP Nayyar and Dev Anand songs, his elder sister was an Amitabh Bachchan fan so there were Kishore Kumar songs, and his father would bring Harry Belafonte tapes from his travels to Germany.

"Somewhere in the hallway of that home with all those different sounds is actually who I am as an artist. Reggae, vintage, historic Bollywood music, semi-classical indie music, R&B pop, etc. If you do an audit of who I am, that's very much the hallway in my home with all those sounds that kind of came together. So, that's me," said the artiste, a Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder fan.

As someone who keeps switching between languages, the singer said his "next single will probably be a Hindi one".

"There's a lot of new music... This is the 20th anniversary of 'Storyteller', so I would like the second half of the year to celebrate what that album really meant to me and what it means to everybody. "I don't think a lot of people get a second chance like this to make a first impression in a way. I want to release a lot of music this year, it's going to be a fun year," he added.

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