|By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
"I don't know how it happened," he says modestly. "But the journey has been quite exciting, especially in the last one year when the big banners suddenly woke up to me."
Himesh used to be one of the also-rans, waiting at the fringes of the charts where Anu Malik, Jatin-Lalit and later Shankar-Ehsan-Loy ruled the roost. "Tere Naam" in 2004 was a turning point in his career.
"I owe that score and a lot of the other things that I compose to Laxmikant-Pyarelal. They are my idols and role models. Unfortunately that's not the sound that today's average listener wants to hear. I realised that when 'Just chill' and 'Aashiq banaya aapne' hit the charts," says Himesh.
"It really became big... yes, bigger than I had ever thought. It is being played in every pub and party. I'm flattered and pleased. The good innings that started with 'Aitraaz' last year really grew this year.
"But I realise the profile of music listeners has changed considerably. Today the average listener is aged 23, and he downloads music from his computer. My songs have to be targeted at that 23-year-old dude. That's the only way a film score can work."
"Yes, I realise that. But that's it. I'm not going to pursue that sound beyond this year. I like to create a sound, and then leave it behind. This year you'll hear a totally different sound from me in Abbas-Mustan's 'China Town', Satish Kaushik's 'Shaadi Se Pehle', Priyadarshan's 'Phir Hera Pheri', Anil Sharma'a 'Apne' and Dharmesh Darshan's 'Aap Ki Khatir'."
Dharmesh is a significant Himesh convert. So far the Darshan brothers Suneel and Dharmesh have sworn by the sounds of Nadeem-Shravam. Nadeem had done such chartbusters as "Raja Hindustani" and "Dhadkan" for them. Several filmmakers like David Dhawan, who swore by Anu Malik's sounds, have also made a sly switch to Himesh.
Himesh shrugs off the melodist's mantle. "I'm not here to displace anyone. I'd be happy just doing my work...My time has been divided between composing for around six or seven assignments and serving as a judge on the music contest 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'."
He is extremely pleased with the quality of singing he has heard on the "Hero Hondo Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005".
"One of the contestants, Vinit Singh, has already sung for me in 'Rocky'. I definitely plan to use other voices, like Himani Kapoor who's outstanding. We're a nation of singers. All Indians don't watch films. But do you know anyone who doesn't listen to Lata-ji, Asha-ji, Mohammed Rafi saab and Kishore Kumar?"
The top five songs of Himesh Reshammiya are:
Aashiq banaya apne (Title song)
Just chill ("Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya")
Aadat ho chuki ("Koi Aap Sa")
Aapka suroor (Title song)
Tera jism odh loon ("Kyon Ki...")
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