He is the grand-nephew of Indian classical vocalist and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Pandit Jasraj and the son of music composer Jatin Pandit who, along with brother Lalit Pandit, was responsible for some of the most popular songs in Hindi cinema from 1992 to 2006. But, Raahul Jatin is of the firm belief that you need talent, and not just connections, to survive in the industry. In this exclusive interview, the young singer-composer talks about his debut single “Aankhon Ke Ishaare”, acting aspirations, the changing landscape of Hindi film music and more.
You have studied acting at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Would you like to pursue it in the future?
If somebody offers me a good role, I will definitely do it. I have studied acting but music is my first priority.
Apart from singing “Aankhon Ke Ishaare”, you have also composed it. Would you like to sing or compose for films?
Yes, I would like to compose for films but my focus is on creating singles. The importance of songs is getting less with time. I think in the next ten years, people would be wearing VR headsets and watching films at home instead of visiting theatres.
The song has a complete western sound to it. Are you more inclined towards Western music?
No, I really like old Hindi film songs. I have studied Indian classical music from the age of five. I would love to come up with a classical or semi-classical song but I am not sure how far would the audience accept it as people my age are more inclined towards Western music than Indian music.
The song has been written by Kumaar and produced by Eric Pillai. That is a great team to have for your first song.
Yes, I could not have asked for a better team. I am glad I got to work with such wonderful people. I have a huge bank of songs. This particular song was composed a long time ago. I made Anurag (Bedi) sir listen to around 15-20 songs. He liked this song and then, we went ahead with it.
Was it easy to get access into the industry because you are Jatin Pandit’s son?
Yes, being the son of a legendary music director does give you access. Meeting people is relatively easy but after a point, it is your talent that speaks for you.
You have also trained with Shiamak Davar.
Yes, I love dancing. I always wanted to get formal training in it. I am glad that I got to learn from the best in the business.
Do you think, in today’s times, it is important for a singer to be a good performer too?
Absolutely! You just cannot be a singer anymore. You have to be a good performer as well. You have to look presentable and do everything you can to hold the audience’s attention when you are performing. Today every singer is working hard to look good, dance well and create a unique personality for themselves.
What do you think about this trend of recreating old songs? Is there any song of your father which you would like to recreate?
Recreations are fine if you do them well. I think it would be nicer if we make original songs. Given a chance, I would like to recreate “Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaoon” from ‘Yes Boss’. I think it is a very cute song and very unique in terms of how the hero professes his love for the heroine. I would also recreate “Meri Duniya Hai” from ‘Vaastav’.
Do you have any memories of your father working and doing the music for those big films when you were growing up?
When I was very little, I did not see much of my father as he would be in the studio working round the clock. The one thing I like about him is that he does not get distracted even for a second when he is working.
What are you doing next?
I will come out with another single soon. I am a good dancer and I believe that is my USP. So, I would like to showcase that in most of my videos.