Mumbai: A journalist who never thought that he will become a lyricist and this year, he is writing songs for some of the biggest films. This week on the Next Big Thing, it’s lyricist Neelesh Misra whose songs always has a soulful touch to it that works almost every time.
“Bollywood seemed out of reach. I grew up in Naintal. My only attempt to reach out to this world has been a letter that I wrote to Jagjit Singh with a song of mine which I don’t know if it reached him or not. But he rejected it. And I recently met Jagjit Singh at Lucknow airport and told him that I was in Bollywood because you rejected my song and because that was the same song that I sang to Mahesh Bhatt when I first met him and that set the ball rolling,” he says.
Neelesh was doing research work in Mumbai for a book when he met Mahesh Bhatt and ended up writing Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai for Jism.
The song was an instant hit and since then he has been writing for almost every film by the Bhatts. From Kya Mujhe Pyar Hai in Woh Lamhe to the title track of the recently released Jannat.
“Some of the songs which I liked the most has been written in most chaotic and inhospitable places. I wrote the solo version of Jadu Hai Nasha Hai on flight, the duet version while walking in Manhattan. Maine Dil Se Kahan I wrote in kashmir, Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai I wrote while driving in Uttarakhnad. So really, time and place does not matter and my best songs have come either in strange highway or shower,” he says.
That’s because this 34-year-old Delhi-based lyricist has a full time job of senior roving editor with Hindustan Times and he writes stories from across the country. Interestingly, he has also authored three books and is in the process of finishing one more and is quite happy juggling three careers.
“I think it’s some what of a challenge juggling different lives. But so far, I have managed to be okay, without becoming a nervous wreck. And lot of my songs I write on road, on journalism assignments, for books I have to set aside some time but so far I think this has been working fairly ok,” he says.
Currently he is writing songs for more than half a dozen films including Raaz 2, Hrithik Roshan-starrer Kites and John-Aishwarya starrer Happy Birthday. He has also written the story and screenplay for Sanjay Gupta's next film Alibaug. And someday he wants to try out playback singing as well.