Birthday Love: Farhan Akhtar, the man behind the mic

Shyama Sudra



He may be the son of one of the Indian Film Industry’s most celebrated lyricists, but Farhan Akhtar has surely made a name for himself detached from that of his father’s. However, though his acting and film making skills have won him huge acclaim, the apple doesn’t seem to fall far from the tree when it comes to music. Having risen to fame with a film in which he leads musical talent to the soundtrack, Akhtar has only gotten better as more opportunities have come his way.

As he celebrates his 48th birthday, takes a look at some of his best vocal works.

Socha Hai – ‘Rock On’ (2008)
With his first mainstream soundtrack, there was a lot of buzz around what Akhtar’s singing voice would sound like. Though ‘Rock On’ was a film focusing on a rock band, Socha Hai was the song that resonated with both. Mixing the strums of an eclectic guitar and drums along with some brilliant background vocals, worked very well with Akhtar’s distinctive voice. An upbeat, rhythmic and a well-written song, have everyone swaying their heads and tapping their feet to the beat.

Señorita – ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (2011)
A Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy soundtrack is always guaranteed fun, and when the trio convinced the three main actors of the film to get behind the mic, there were sure to be fireworks. Hitting number one as soon as it was released, Senorita was the brilliant fun dance track of the year, where all three voices of Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol, though being so different from one another, wrecked surprisingly well together. Being an ultimate holiday track, with Spanish influences reflecting on the film’s location, it’s fair to say, this is one of their finest moments to date.

Gallan Goodiyan – ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ (2015)
When Zoya Akhtar put her brother, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Anil Kapoor together on screen for a dance track, there could be no better song than Gallan Goodiyan. With an ensemble cast comes an ensemble of singers, whom Akhtar’s strong voice works perfectly alongside. Taking its listener on a journey of dance steps and great dance steps, Akhtar’s voice shines through, where anyone listening to the song can tell he had a great time singing this number, expressing his high and low notes, giving an even better visual of what the song is all about – having fun.

Atrangi Yaari – ‘Wazir’ (2016)
Sharing the screen with none other than Amitabh Bachchan was one thing, but singing with him as well as an opportunity not many people have had the privilege to do. Though the song was left as a bonus track, Akhtar’s voice worked wonderfully well with Bachchan’s, matching each other’s tones and keeping a wonderful harmony of a mellow yet catchy song, only making its listener’s wish the song was kept as a part of the film.

Rearview Mirror – ‘Echoes’ (2019)
This list could not be complete without touching on Akhtar’s own album ‘Echoes’ which includes songs he has sung in English. Though Rearview Mirror was received with mixed reviews, it was one track that many understand was close to Akhtar’s heart. As any great musician, reflecting on the happenings of what was happening in his life, this was definitely Akhtar’s note to himself, in processing what he wanted from his own life moving forward.

With plenty more to come from this musical filmmaker, Akhtar has always done what he has set out to do, which has definitely worked in his favour. Not only are many a fan of his works in front of and behind the camera, but his musical talent is definitely one that receives an equal amount of high praise. Here is wishing the brilliant talent a very Happy Birthday.