190414  Farhan Akhtar
Farhan Akhtar Image Credit: IANS

Actor and singer Farhan Akhtar has released his first solo music album titled ‘Echoes’, produced by Grammy Award-winning Italian producer Tommaso Colliva.

“Working with Tommaso was really amazing because his approach was quite different. He wanted to know the story behind each song, and what was my frame of mind when I was writing them,” said Akhtar. “The atmosphere was so conducive that as a singer-songwriter I felt really excited to work on it. He wanted to do the production and sound following those written words. It really added value to the album. It was a great learning experience.”

Asked if he would like to use the experience to contribute to the independent music scene in India, where Bollywood music reigns, Akhtar said: “We are doing a lot of stuff through our movies. If you look at the recent example of ‘Gully Boy’, we have encouraged musicians from the underground scene. We often collaborate with independent musicians. I would love to support and encourage young talent, but look, this is not my full-time job.”

“As a creative individual, I want to write more songs, tell more stories and perform with the hope that more people will feel inspired and come out with their creative ideas. I am always open to collaboration and think that’s also a way of supporting other artistes,” said Akhtar, son of poet and screenplay writer Javed Akhtar.

Akhtar took around three years to write the 13 songs of the album ‘Echoes’, which was recorded in Milan.

Three songs — ‘Pain or Pleasure’, ‘Why Couldn’t It Be Me’ and ‘Rearview Mirror’ — from the album were released online.

“I believe who we are today is the result of our experience in life so far. The emotional journey that we have gone through in life, in love, how we felt lost in love and then desolate,” he said about the core of the record. “The reason why I am calling the album ‘Echoes’ is that somewhere all the emotional experiences are echoing in our mind even though we are not holding on to our past and moving on. This is really an emotional album.”

The song ‘Why Couldn’t It Be Me’ was the result of the terrorist attack at a military school in Peshawar in 2014.

On the story behind ‘Pain or Pleasure’, Akhtar said: “That song came from a personal space. At times in a relationship, feeling love for someone can get toxic. At times we really try to hang on to something that is really not there and you realise that healthy thing is to move on.

“But then with the insane highs and terrible lows of a relationship, one has gone through, you want them all. There come the pain and pleasure of it.”

On the movie front, Akhtar will next be seen opposite Priyanka Chopra Jonas in ‘The Sky Is Pink’, which will release in October.