Your voice is "soulful and heart touching" - Lata Mangeshkar
His unassuming demeanour and the boy-next-door look belies the cult status he commands in the world of music in North-Eastern India. The latest craze of the sufi-toned number Ya Ali from Mukesh Bhatt's film Gangster has only proved that 33-year-old Zubin Garg has arrived! Of course, when melody queen Lata Mangeshkar says that your voice is "soulful and heart touching", it's only the icing on the cake!
A writer, producer and director, actor (his film Dinabandhu got the National Award in 2005), singer and musician, Zubin's journey delineates a great struggle and a great success story. He's sung more than 7,000 songs in various languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Oriya, Marathi, Nepali etc. "Like everyone, I too had my share of struggle when I came to Mumbai in 1995. I had to sing for many people for very little money. But I never got frustrated as I would travel back to the North-East where success helped me withstand the financial shortfall in Mumbai," he says.
Zubin never intended to pursue a full-time career in Mumbai till Ya Ali happened even though he has sung for A R Rahman, (Dil Se) Anu Malik, (Aan) Anand Raj Anand (Kaante), Ranjit Barot (Fiza) Jatin Sharma and Dhrubajyoti Phukan amongst others. "Pritam, (who's composed music for Dhoom and Gangster) thought only I could do justice to the track," he says.
Now, Zubin has been flooded with offers from big production houses like Bhatt's next Woh Lamhe (based on Parveen Babi's life), PNC's next, Pyaar Ke Side Effects, Smita Thackeray's new venture and Onir's Bas Ek Pal, to name a few. "In my 12 years of singing, I have sung in almost every language in the North-East. Now I need a wider focus and bigger challenges," he says.
In the plethora of singers, how important does he think it is to find your own ground? "I don't believe in being the 'flavour of the month' and churning out 100 songs at one go. I would rather sing 10 good songs and be remembered for it," he smiles. Zubin has also composed music for Sanjay Jha's film, Strings. He also plans to release his Hindi album - an experimentation with Assamese folk western music. And then it will be his Hindi directorial debut film in August. "But music is my soul. I'd be dead without it," he says.
Wow I did not know Zubin is from Assam, I am really happy people from far east are showing their potential. Zubin is really a wonderful singer and lambi race ka ghora hai yeh. Now music industry has Zubin, Debo and Banjo from Assam.