Mahira Khan was Azaan Sami Khan’s love interest and muse in his latest music video Tu, but how did the strange collaboration happen?
Anupama Chopra got the pair together via video call for Film Companion to speak about the journey.
“‘Tu’ is part of my first independent debut album and it was inspired by ‘Billie Jean’,” Azaan said, revealing that as he got older, dance tracks began sounding more relevant in terms of their lyrical content. “It made me realise that a fun song doesn’t just have to be frivolous, it can have meaning,” he explained.
“If you dissect it, it’s a very serious song set to a fast beat. You know that heartbreak kind of song about being in love with somebody who you shouldn’t be in love with? Which all of us have gone through at some point, where you have the awareness that this is bad for me, but you’re enjoying it,” he joked.
“He’s musically gifted,” said Mahira, talking about her role in the project and revealing that all the songs Azaan makes are shared with her. In return, she also holds the title of “music director” of his life and is free with her criticism.
The Parey Hut Love composer spoke about how the biggest privilege of growing up in a film/music background was the exposure.
“At 12 you know how a schedule is made and that’s probably a third-year thing taught in film school. Of course exposure plays a huge factor. I don’t consider myself very gifted. You know how they say a shoemaker is born in a shoemaker’s house? So shame on you if you don’t know how to do those things in a basic, somewhat reasonable manner,” he admitted.
Mahira, on the other hand, admitted to strategically bringing change to the Pakistani film industry, as she confessed to Chopra she would be doing when the duo met at Cannes.
“I’ve now realised that I don’t have to bounce off the project completely. If I don’t like something, I use the little power that I have to make those changes. To say this is regressive, or let’s look at it in another way. Or that these words won’t come out of my mouth.”
Speaking about movies and direction, Azaan also revealed he was an assistant director for Karan Johar’s Kalank (starring Alia Bhatt, Sanjay Dutt, Varun Dhawan and Madhuri Dixit) during the time he was composing a soundtrack for the upcoming release of Parwaaz Hai Junoon.
“The thing about being an AD is that it teaches you a lot of respect for every other job that’s happening on set,” he said, “which otherwise maybe if you’re just an actor you don’t know.”
Mahira’s previous film Superstar was written by Azaan, who also happened to compose the music for the blockbuster. The duo’s friendship goes way back.