Farhan Live: Exclusive Farhan Akthar Interview with HKYantoYan.com

By on March 10, 2014

In a combined effort to entertain and enlighten audiences, Farhan Akthar is bringing his band  ‘Farhan Live‘ to Hong Kong as he aims to spread awareness of his MARD initiative. We catch up with Farhan on all the frenzy as he prepares to rock on in Hong Kong alongside latest singing sensation Siddharth Mahadevan on March 28, 2014.

Farhan Akhtar interview 3

What is Farhan Live, and what can your Hong Kong fans expect?

Farhan Live is an extension of many things. It is a combination of my love for music and for performing music. There is a great enjoyment of performing live for an audience who know your music and have them sing along.

More importantly, this really got ignited when I strongly felt the need to speak to young people in the country on the message of MARD, which is an initiative I’ve started. From my personal experience, it somehow didn’t feel right to go to colleges and just give them a lecture. I’ve been at the receiving end of many of those, and more often than not, we tend to tune out after a while. When it is done with music, the message stays with, and affects, each person a lot more. The interaction becomes much more memorable. It creates an energy and excitement which is very palpable. Then it is nice to be able to talk to them and get them to be messengers, and encourage equality to all.

Your latest film, Shaadi Ke Side Effects, recently released and was loved by your fans in Hong Kong as well. What are the similarities and differences between your reel and real life characters, Sid and Farhan respectively?

The characters are very different from one another, and I’m not like Sid at all, in terms of his behaviour and the way he reacts to issues in his life. But as a person in a relationship, whether it is my 14-year marriage or any relationship before that, I think everyone goes through a certain gamut of emotions, and there is a universal kind of relatability to that. Whether it is attraction, or situations like having to make the bigger decisions in life of getting married, or having a baby; they always come with a certain anxiety, excitement, and nervousness. You wonder, am I doing the right thing? Am I ready? Will I be able to handle it? There are many things that we go through at the same time, and I could relate to all of that and Sid’s situation in the film, but the way he behaves is not like how I would.

Similarly, Bhaag Milka Bhaag (BMB) was very well received by the NRIs and locals alike in Hong Kong. If you had a chance of playing another real person, who would it be and why?

I really don’t have an answer to that; there are so many stories that can be told. If I had to do a biopic, then it would be nice if I do it of someone from the film industry.

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As you’ve made Don 2, and with Rock On 2 also in the pipeline, what do you have to say about franchise films?

If there is a great idea, you should do it. I don’t think it’s something you should force just because people want to see it. For example, people have been telling me to do a sequel to Dil Chahta Hai for the last 14 years. I don’t feel the need to do it, so I won’t. With Don, the sequel came very organically. Similarly, with Rock On 2, it’s being written by the same writer who wrote the first part, so it’s coming as an extension from the same creative source. But to each their own; I’m no one to pass any judgment on why people should or should not make films.

After Kishore Kumar, you are considered one of the most versatile artists in Bollywood today, in terms of acting, producing, directing, singing, anchoring, writing. If you had to choose just one, what would it be?

I hope I never have to be in a position where I have to just choose one. If I ever do, I’d probably have to make a decision then; I don’t think I can plan for it right now. I truly enjoy doing all of it. I would stop the day I don’t.  It is very important for people to enjoy what they do. Not all of us have this choice of being in a job, following a dream, or living a career that we chose for ourselves, so when we do have the opportunity, the least we can do is be honest with ourselves and tell ourselves to do it until we enjoy it.

Going back to Farhan Live, as the show is a wide platform to showcase your talent and creativity, what do you get most excited about going on stage?

The more I’ve been performing, the more I’ve realized what it is about being on stage and performing for a live audience who is reacting to you in every single moment.  What is amazing and addictive about it is the honesty that you feel coming at you, and it automatically makes you completely bare your soul. You’re not hiding behind anything. In the line of work that we are in, more often than not, you’re always on guard, and I feel that when I go on stage I can completely drop that guard and be around strangers whom I don’t know and just totally be myself. It is very nonjudgmental; everybody is there just to have a great time. They let you know when they’re having a great time, and they even let you know when they’re bored. It is then up to you to change the mood, because you can sense it from them without them even telling you. Everybody is 100% true to who they are.

How long have you been performing live in front of a wide audience?

When Rock On had released, we had done about 4-6 concerts in 2008-9. Then I took a break and went into films like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Don 2. Now again it has been roughly a year and I’ve since done around 20 concerts with the intention of spreading the message of MARD. It was thanks to my friend Anurag, who had suggested me to spread this message through music, and it just felt like the right thing to do.

And you really seem to enjoy it?

Absolutely. Whatever you do, you are always looking to make everything as honest as it possibly can seem. Being on stage, it gives you the opportunity to not play any character, and not pretend to be anything that I am not. It is such a liberating feeling. You speak to any musician or actor, and they’d tell you that being on stage is something else. It’s the honesty in the moment that you feel, and that is reciprocated by what energy the audience is feeling and sending back to you in that particular moment of time.

Farhan Akhtar interview

You will be performing with Siddharth Mahadevan. He is one of the industry’s most upcoming talents and has sung for you in BMB, and has also fetched several awards and nominations for Zinda. What can we expect from your collaboration with him during the show?

These things are better experienced than spoken about (laughs). He is a bright star, and has a long career ahead of him. He is really young and so talented. We all know he is a great singer, but he has also composed music for Marathi films. It’s almost like it’s been genetically handed down to him from Shankar Mahadevan, and he’s accepted and honed his own talent. I always wish him well, and I am so happy to share space with him. Shankar for me is someone who I’ve looked upto all my life. I am fortunate that my first time ever to go on stage was with him, and I really held his fingers to be more comfortable about being on stage. For me to introduce Siddharth to the stage for the first time, and for him to make his first performance ever for Farhan Live is such a fortunate feeling for me when that moment happens. I’m glad that he’s with us.

Farhan Akhtar was talking to Kannan Ashar from HKYantoYan.com via phone.

Mahadevan Raahil

Dont’ miss out the opportunity to watch Farhan Live in Hong Kong where he will be performing some of his songs like Senorita, Havan Kund, Rock On and many more. He will also be performing his Shayari and poems. Farhan Live will also feature singer Siddharth Mahadevan and Hong Kong’s own DJ Raahil on the 28th March 2014. CLICK HERE for information.

Suraj Samtani
Born and brought up in Hong Kong, Suraj explores the depth of his Indianised experiences of Hong Kong through his writing. As an awarded poet and published academic writer, he looks forward to turning a new page with his innings at HKYantoYan.
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