Honey Singh, one of the most controversial figures in the Indian music industry of late comes across as a completely different person up front.
In the city for the second time for a show on Saturday, the artiste said he was expecting some wild energy. “The last time I was here for a college fest and it was so much fun. For the first time, I experienced a crowd that was disciplined as well as wild. But this time around, I am hoping to see the city at its wildest best,” he says.
Currently basking in the success of the ‘Lungi Dance’ song in ‘Chennai Express’, Honey Singh says that he is still feeling the after-effects of the court case against him for lewd lyrics. “Even when the ‘Chennai Express’ song was yet to be released, people accused me of taking credit for something that doesn’t exist,” he says, referring to contradicting reports in the media about his song for the Shah Rukh Khan starrer. “Now that it is out, my work will speak for itself.”
The song is a tribute to the legendary Rajinikanth. “I have always been a fan of Rajini and when I met SRK to discuss the song, I was honest with him. I told him ‘you are a legend too, but the real superstar is Rajinikanth’.”
He adds, “There are only two people in India who do not need an introduction, one is Rajinikanth and the other is Amitabh Bachchan,” he jokes.
Geographic barriers within India are something that the musician wants to break. “I started off singing Punjabi and later in Hindi and I noticed that wherever I performed, people enjoyed it despite the language barriers. So I have promised myself that I will sing in all the languages of the country.”
Recently finishing a Tamil project in Chennai with a friend, Honey Singh is now looking for folk musicians to experience Telugu, instead of taking the Tollywood route. “I am here strictly for the love of music and when I travel it is to experience the youth from across the country. When I consider some of the greats I feel like I have just 5 per cent of their talent,” he says.
About all the negative press he has received, Honey Singh says, “I am guilty as well. I can’t blame the media. I have not been taking to the press properly since the last two years. And a lot of people were also making statements on my behalf which became an issue.
“Also in a way, YouTube became my biggest advantage as well as disadvantage. There were a lot of videos uploaded under my name and even though they were irrelevant, a lot of damage was done. So now I am trying to deal with the media myself and I am trying to rebuild a credible image. As for the country, I know that the youngsters are with me when I see the number of fans on Facebook and on my YouTube page,” he says.
And for having produced several catchy tunes and hits, the world does owe him credit. “Even after the case was quashed, people still say that my lyrics are bad and that they have double meaning. But it would be hypocrisy to point fingers at me while some of the oldest Bollywood lyrics sung by some of the biggest names have been extremely suggestive. And that’s my defence for my lyrics.”