Who is the only one who can carry a long yellow coat made of Kitenge (An East African cotton fabric) fabric that has huge zebra heads printed all over it, paired with a printed tee and printed pair of pants, orange shoes and still look uber cool and confident? Yeah, only and only Ranveer Singh! That’s how he walked in for this interview and we didn’t mind at all. Ranveer always makes the interviews lively and interesting. He starts the interview with a rap from his upcoming film Gully Boy.
His songs Apna Time Aayega and Mere Gully Mein from his forthcoming film Gully Boy, have crossed millions of views and is still growing. Ranveer has sung the raps himself. On being questioned as to whether he was expecting such a great response, with a childlike exuberance Ranveer says, “I wasn’t expecting it, because rap is not a typical popular music but it’s a huge thing for me that for the first time I’ve done my own vocals and it’s become number one! Come on taalian!” (Come on clap!)
He totally deserves those taalis! Taalis done, we move ahead with our interview.
Ranveer, so can we say that you are the new singer in the block now?
(Smiles) I can’t sing to save my life but rapping is decent. I feel I am decent with rapping and the fact that the rap has become number one means maybe it’s ok, it’s not half bad. It’s awesome to see the rap doing so well. What is significant for this film and underground music and singers is that a song like Apna Time Aayega which is legit hip-hop can get such acceptance. That’s what we were hoping for, especially for the rappers themselves. It’s really about the hopes and dreams attached especially of a lot of people, the people attached with underground singing and also for the hip-hop scene. It is a real boost for both.
Now that the film is almost about to release, how are you feeling?
What I am proud about the film is that the film feels so authentic. It’s a special and emotional experience. The film made us feel something. We are very happy about the film, proud of the work and very excited too. We’re showing the film in Berlin first and the reviews will be out by 8th or 9th and we’re really looking forward to how that screening will go and what the first reaction will be. A little bit of anxiety is setting in now.
Did you ever have doubts about giving your vocals before saying yes to the film, as in were you ever unsure whether you should do it?
I was always ready to rap. I wanted to rap but Zoya was not sure if I would be good enough, it’s a full music album. She clearly told me that if I was not good enough she would not let me give my vocals to the music album. She told me that I would have to give a test. This film calls for the actor playing the part to lend his own voice to the music, so whilst I was very keen, Zoya was unsure.
How have you changed as an actor from your first film to Gully Boy?
I wasn’t initially very comfortable being emotionally naked in front of the camera but Zoya has that ability of pulling away the layers and tapping into a very real part of me. That’s because of the relationship we have cultivated. I really trust her and she is more than just a friend. I share a warm and affectionate relationship which is why she is able to reach that part of me. I have no shield in this film, it’s just a very real and authentic version of me. I explored with it first in Lootera and Dil Dhadakne Do but I was very raw in Lootera. Now I feel that I can objectively recognise that I’ve come a long way from there and I feel that I am more adept at that mode of performance, it’s a performance where there is a lot more to react to than do.
Post Gully Boy what is your take away of the Hip Hop scene?
Two years ago when I signed Gully Boy I didn’t realise the scene would be what it is today. It is not only growing and evolving but it’s actually exploding! We are at a threshold of a musical revolution, almost like a social revolution. The expression in this music is socially relevant and I believe while on one hand there is remix culture, and it’s great there is a generation that has received joy from it but at the same time it’s time for young talent to be given a platform to showcase their expression and talent. Thats happening already. What we had hoped is happening for Hindustani hip-hop, these boys are being credited and are also getting good work overnight and calls from some of the biggest names in the industry.
How does it feel to be called the most bankable star today?
It’s a wonderful and a welcome tag to be honest. It is creatively empowering to be that and I think it comes with. The fact that people have come to believe that if you name is attached to a project, your face is on the poster, there is a promise of quality and entertainment. Those people are spending their hard earned money to buy tickets to go to the hall, believing somewhere or the other in the promise of entertainment that you made will be delivered and you have to rise up to that. I understand that responsibility and I’m choosing my stories wisely and doing the best I can.
With the kind of films you are doing and the way you perform are you being flooded with offers for films?
It’s actually the reverse that has happened, as people think I am inaccessible. Please do print this, I would like some fresh new and promising talents approaching me. I see Ayushmann Khurrana’s films and I am like why did those films not come to me?
Well, we sure hope some fresh, new directors are reading this. Looks like Ayushmann will soon have tough competition!