Farhan Akhtar: Musician extraordinaire; from start to success

Shyama Sudra



There was a time when he had no idea what he wanted to do in life. Despite being the son of one of the Indian Film Industry’s most celebrated screenwriters and lyricists, Farhan Akhtar had spent two years on the couch watching movies all day. Today his story is quite different. From producing, acting, directing, singing and songwriting, Akhtar excels in a wide number of hats and that too very successfully. He will soon be gracing UK stages for his first UK tour and in the run-up to the much-anticipated UK concerts, BizAsiaLive.com takes a look at Akthar’s music career through the years from where he started to now getting ready to release his second single and eventually an album.

A bride, an British director and a little opportunity
Though his father Javed Akhtar is a highly acclaimed for his talent, it wasn’t until 2004 – 3 years after he launched his own production house Excel Entertainment – that Akhtar junior took a professional approach to his musical inclination, in a rather unusual film. Directed by Gurinder Chadha, ‘Bride and Prejudice’ (2004) was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s entry to the international film market. Still holding on to the Bollywood singing and dancing elements, Akhtar, along with his sister, got involved with the making of the songs and wrote the rhymes of the English lyrics of each song. Despite being under the guidance of Anu Malik and Craig Pruess, who were the main composers for the film’s soundtrack, Akhtar got his foot in the musical door and there really was no looking back.

It’s ‘Rock’ing
Having steered his focus to filmmaking, Akhtar didn’t release any music until 2008. However, when he did dabble he made sure he was at the forefront of the whole project when he signed Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Rock On’. As well as working towards establishing his acting career, Akthar took everyone by surprise by not only getting involved with the film’s dialogues, but lending his own voice to the soundtrack to at least six out nine of the songs that made up the album. This film would prove to be one of Akhtar’s biggest hits and most influential for his own music career. Raising the platform for the genre of Rock, Akthar paved the way for this style of music which grew to be a huge part of the music scene in Bollywood. His voice was the perfect fit for the rhythms and beats music composer trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy created. Though many may have anticipated Akhtar to voice more melodious music similar to the style of his father’s, this new sound connected with the younger masses and there would be more of this talent to come.

As poetic as the man he played
The anticipation of sister Zoya’s (Akhtar) film ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (2013) was sky high, with a multi star-cast. From the get go, the film looked like it had all the elements of a blockbuster film; friendship, a road trip and a journey to self-discovery. However, little did audiences know they were in for a pleasant discovery of their own. As the film played on screen with Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Akhtar in a car blazing through the clear Spanish roads, Akhtar’s soft voice was heard reciting a poem, and that of his own. Placed wonderfully after the scene where his character meets his biological father for the first time, the poem reflects a sense of realisation. It works as a way for the audiences to see another side of Akhtar’s many talents. Very different to the rock he was known for, Akhtar pulled this out the bag and literally tugged at everyone’s heartstrings reciting his father’s words.

Bang, bang, band
Along with his film career, Akhtar eventually formed his own band ‘Farhan Live!’. Taking his songwriting to a new level, he decided now was the time to take his music international. Despite being so well known as a musician in India, Akhtar’s international tours have worked in his favour, seeing his fan base grow. It became very evident that Akhtar had a whole lot more up his sleeve than he had first exposed and his performances both inside and outside India gave everyone something to admire and enjoy.

Single, stage, album
Akhtar had made it known that he wanted to do more with his music, and it’s fair to say he hasn’t disappointed so far. 2018 has been a big year for Akhtar in both his personal and professional life. Where many big names are able to hide away in their own life, Akhtar has processed his feelings through his music and released his debut single ‘Rearview Mirror’ (2018). This time Akhtar’s surprise factor was that he has sung the song all in English, which has automatically revealed a completely dimension. The songs reflects very evidently Akhtar’s personal life where, in true musical fashion, he uses it as a way of connecting with the listeners. Now having a much bigger fan base throughout the world, Akhtar is giving his fans a hint of what’s to come, involving every style of genre in his live shows and there’s something in his style for all ages to enjoy. Not only that, 2019 will also mark the debut of his album ‘Echoes’ which many will be waiting eagerly for.

Akhtar has come a very long way and it seems everything he does turns to gold. As a perfect all-rounder, timing how and where to showcase more of what he is made of, he’s raising the bar. His soulful voice generates an electric energy that gets his listeners pumping, jumping, swaying and smiling to every word he sings. Farhan Akhtar; a man of many talents, continues to create music, magic and wonder through all the audience’s hearts.

‘Farhan Live!’ 2018 will be performing at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester on 2nd November and at the Indigo at the O2 in Greenwich 4th November.

BizAsiaLive.com is proud to be the official online partner for the tour.