I don't think wild with my music as I can think with my words, says Ankur Tewari

Singer songwriter Ankur Tewari has had a tremendous start to the year with the success of the hit rap drama of Zoya Akhtar Gully boy , for which he supervised music . The poignant music al was recently made India’s submission for the 92nd Oscar Awards . But Ankur does not plan on resting on his laurels. The music ian, who was recently in the city for his ‘Mohabbad Zindabad’ tour with his band Ankur & The Ghalat Family, revealed the grounded philosophy that he lives by. “There is a high possibility that the next project I work on does not work out at all, or works out really well. I could be in familiar or unfamiliar territory again. You must just concentrate on what you do. It’s like a game. You lose some and win some,” he observed with a grin. Excerpts:

You have said that you see yourself as a storyteller. Could you tell us how that reflects in your music ?

I am insecure as a music ian because I feel like there is so much to learn in music . I feel more comfortable writing. If I have to critically analyse my music , it is not 360 degrees. It is probably 45 or 50 degrees. That is the range with which I make my music . I don’t think wild with my music as I can think with my words. I constantly want to learn more.

You have often said that you don’t like labelling independent and film music into separate boxes.

When you make songs, you only make honest songs. That is the honesty with which one should approach his work. You write it as you have written. If it's picked up by a post or a movie, that's great. He would not be writing better if he was paid more or would write less if he was paid less.

What were the learnings from Gully boy , which received massive acclaim for its music ?

The one thing I learnt from Zoya is that she is a strong-willed woman who is willing to chase her dreams even if they seem impossible. Just the sheer strength and determination that she has pulling off a project like that is quite amazing. You feel inspired. In today’s world, it is amazing to have women as your heroes. The way she controlled the whole set was inspiring. It made me think why I wasn’t as determined and strong as her. It pushed me think about chasing my dreams. I am amazingly excited for Gully boy ’s submission at the Oscars. If I ever have believed in any spirituality, I am praying for it now.

What’s up next for you in terms of music ?

I have created the music for Sooni Taraporevala’s Yeh Ballet. I have composed two songs for it and did the music supervision as well. I have done music for Ruchi Narain’s Guilty. It is kind of exciting because you are only as good as your last work. Right now, my last work has worked. People are listening to me.

This year has been very fast. I hate politically everything that is happening in this world and now there is all this vibe of hate and dissent. It is not as charming as it was a few years ago. I'm still trying to deal with it. Much of today's hatred comes from much ego and arrogance. That is the new wave of world leaders at the moment. That was the thought behind this tour, Mohabbat Zindabad. Everyone in this world needs and deserves love.

He has often reflected on his encounters with rejections during the time he began. How do you look back at that phase?

I am still that person. I have had more failures than successes. Somehow I am more familiar with the failures and that feels like home. Success feels like a strange territory (laughs). I worked as honestly on the other 99 projects that failed as I did on those that succeeded. There are so many variables involved to make sure something works or doesn't work. That is not under your control.