THE film Mere Dad Ki Maruti has a foot-tapping number that goes: Punjabiyan di battery charge rehandi hai. It is perhaps the most apt number to describe the man who has sung it — Mika Singh. With over a million followers on Twitter, last year saw the rise and rise of the singer. In 2013, Mika was the voice for almost every big banner film’s title track — be it Gandi baat (R... Rajkumar), Tooh (Gori Tere Pyaar Main), Duma Dum (D Day), Ishq mohalla (Chashme Buddoor) or Tu mere agal bagal (Phata Poster Nikla Hero). His schedule now entails as many as 20 shows a month, and he charged a whopping a Rs 1.25 crore for a New Year gig.
“Bollywood loves me,” he says. In town, and later in Manali, for New Year performances, Mika credits the three back-to-back hits he gave in 2007 to be his lucky charm. “Ganpath, Dekha jo tujhe yaar and Mauja hi mauja — these songs changed the way Bollywood looked at me,” says Mika. Although he still considers Saawan mein lag gayee aag, his independent number, as a career-defining song, it is Mika’s unusual nasal voice that puts him in a unique spot. The fact that he can pull off naughty lyrics with the desired dramatic effect also works to his advantage.
He also counters the charge that these numbers — similar in nature and treatment — are in no way trapping him in a stereotype. “I take it as my USP. In Bollywood, if a song is hit, it is a huge relief for producers since their budgets for promotions as a result scale down. I am their go-to title track guy,” he says.
“I have a fearless attitude towards my work, towards life. I am not one of those people who go into hiding the minute there is a controversy. I am the guy who will come out and clear out things no matter what,” he adds.
Seven years in Bollywood have been an adventure, and Mika says it took a lot of hardwork, grooming and practice to survive. “Talent can get you anywhere, it’s what you do with it once you reach there that counts,” he says.
While music is his passion, Mika says he has been active in the field of social work too — he runs an NGO for girls, and also helps needy musicians. “The