Lyricist Tanveer Ghazi who has penned lyrics for critically acclaimed films like Pink, October calls himself an Urdu poet first. He is better known for his popular poetry, ‘Tu Khud Ki Khoj Mein Nikal’, which was not only recited by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachhan. He has been awarded a prestigious international award in 2020 at the Parliament House of Australia, which was also received by late Sunil Dutt and Nargis several years back. In December 2020, the MA and Ph.D. holder in Urdu has also released his book, ‘Ishq Musaafir’.
In an exclusive interview with Music Beat, Tanveer Ghazi talks about poetry, writing lyrics for Bollywood film; his book; and how lyricists get paid based on their popularity!
Was it your Urdu fascination that led you to choose writing lyrics as your career? When did it start?
Basically, I am an Urdu poet, Urdu Literature is in itself is a unique gem for all the writers and poets as it has a lot to give to the aspiring artists. Importantly, I have read and lived Urdu as well.
I started writing lyrics in 2008, I penned down lyrics for a movie called Manthan.
You have penned lyrics for some selective films like Pink, October, etc. On what basis do you pick films to write songs for?
I want to do good work in Bollywood, people who are looking for good work should approach me. It’s good to see a million views for the work I have done, I feel elated and blessed.
Emotions, real experiences, what drives your lyrics?
Three things matter the most for a lyricist, viz: study, experience, and observation, normally we write lyrics for a character to be played, which involves diction, emotions, and language.
Do you write down lyrics instantly or there is a certain mood, place situation that inspires you?
Yes! In a particular situation, mood develops to write, at times it is a character or a tune or a story, well it is really a situation based thing.
Do you think days are better today for a lyricist? Do they get paid the amount they deserve?
Nowadays in Bollywood, there is a struggle for good payment as artists get paid not as per their talent, but based on how big, famous, or in-demand they are. The same goes with the lyricist as well.
What are the key qualities to become a lyricist according to you?
There is a lot of difference between a writer and a poet. While writing for films one should keep in mind that his product has to be presentable, as he has to sell it to the audience, in a manner that your talent is also visible.
Any piece of guidance you want to give to the budding lyricist?
Firstly, study and do research on a subject before writing. I also have a small piece of advice to study the big names from the Bollywood industry and how do they work, this will give one a different aspect towards his own work.
You have been awarded a prestigious international award in 2020 at the Parliament House of Australia. How has this achievement added to your career?
Awards give you inspiration and motivation to do more good work.
Can you tell us more about your book ‘Ishq Musaafir’
‘Ishq Musafir’ is my third book, a poetry book that speaks only on love. Today, we are in such a fast pace of living where mankind is just breathing for the sake of it and has forgotten how to live with love. This book talks about a person who has failed in love and highlights innocence, the essence of purity, a feeling of sweet pain, which has been left far behind. It is this innocent sweet pain that can make this world more beautiful.
What are your upcoming projects?
I am writing for some big production house films in 2021, they will be announced at an appropriate time.
How was life back then during the lockdown? Any key takeaways?
I took the lockdown very positively, spent a healthy and quality time with my family, penned down dialogues for a film, did a lot of reading, maintained my fitness and tried to know more about myself.
Anything else you want to share with us?
For a lyricist,t every song is like his own baby as it is his own creation and hence he likes all of them. If you want to know my choice, it is my poem ‘Tu khud ki khoj mein nikal’, which was recited by the great actor and a stalwart and a doyen of the Bollywood industry - Big B (Amitabh Bachchan), and in the history of Bollywood, never has a poem been nominated for IIFA awards like my poem was! I really felt happy and it’s like a blessing for me. I have achieved success with hard work but the support of my family and the blessings of my parents matter the most.