'I am very privileged that I am Adnan Sami's son'
His father is a well known musician who unfortunately has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
But that doesn't faze Azaan Sami, the son of Adnan Sami. The 15-year-old is following in his father's footsteps and hopes to make it in Bollywood by launching his own album soon.
He spoke to rediff.com's Nithya Ramani about starting out at such a young age and his Bollywood plans.
How does it feel to become a public figure at the age of 15?
I am a bit nervous. My dad told me that he could only help me with my debut. After that I was on my own. There's a lot of pressure and the expectations are high.
My mom and dad check my work very critically and that keeps me grounded. I can only pray that one day I can compose like my dad. There is also an advantage with me starting so young. That way, by the time I am 21-22, I will be a seasoned singer.
How did you decide to get into the music field?
I composed my first song when I was seven. It was just a hobby for a couple of years. Then I went through the same dilemma of every young person -- what to pursue. I realised that I cannot do the same thing every day. So I decided to do something in arts. I explored everything -- sculpture, painting, filmmaking. I did a film when I was 13. What I like the most about the film was the music and acting part. I am also interested in direction, cinematography and photography.
Image: Azaam Sami
'I can connect with today's youth and identify with their tastes'
Did you decide to get into this field because your dad is in it too?
No. I didn't meet my dad for 10 years. I always had my drum kit and guitar, and was always composing something or the other. But I got the inclination towards music from my father.
I would sometimes accompany my mom to a recording. I would suggest that they do something to make it sound better and different. The composer would give me weird looks. So my mother started promoting me in her own way. I am sure that if my dad didn't think I was ready to go into the industry he wouldn't have promoted me. It is a huge risk to put somebody out in the public if he isn't ready.
How did you prepare?
When I'm making music I ask myself two questions -- first, if people would like it or not. Second, does it sound like my father's work? Why would anybody buy music if it sounded like my dad's?
How different is your music from your dad's?
Probably because of the generation gap, I can connect with today's youth and identify with their tastes. I think pop is a genre which can be explored to great heights but you get stuck to just drums and guitar. I try to fuse western classical, Indian classical, orchestral elements in today's grooves. This way the sounds become grander.
Image: Azaan Sami
'My dad and I are planning a world tour'
What are the kinds of music you listen to?
Everything. Right from Indian to western to Mozart to Beethoven to Bollywood. I remember my dad saying, you can learn music from books and classes but the actual learning is through listening. The more I listen, the more I can bring out in my music.
What was your dad's reaction when you told him you wanted to get into the music industry?
I had made a CD of my compositions and gave it to him to listen. He listened to it and was stunned. So that is how things proceeded. He spoke to Sony Music, Percept Management and now I am going to be out with my album in January.
What can we expect from your album?
I have maintained pop and explored every single mood -- sad, happy, and rebellious. There is song called We Don't Care which depicts today's youth because I know what they think. I have We Don't Need NO Education type of songs. That is how my friends and people of my generation feel.
Aren't you too young to take up such a responsibility?
This is something I have always wanted though I do miss my friends and teachers. To get something you have to let go of some things. I remember telling my friends that I would come out with an album of my own soon. They would make fun of me. Now my dream is coming true.
Did you take part in school plays, functions etc?
Yes. As far as acting is concerned, I played the lead in 27 plays. Then of course there were singing competitions.
Where do you see yourself a few years from now?
As a musician who acts as well as directs. But primarily as a musician.
Is your dad featuring in this album?
No. Maybe later. We are planning for a world tour soon.
Do you think this quick break would be possible if not for your dad's name?
No. I won't lie. I am very privileged that I am his son and that is why I could get my break. There are many out there who are far better than me but who don't have the right people to support them. But I have to work twice as hard to make a name for myself.
Image: Azaan and Adnan Sami
'I am scoring the music for Priyadarshan's film Bum Bum Bole'
What are your Bollywood plans?
I am scoring the music for Priyadarshan's film Bum Bum Bole starring Darsheel Safary. The film will release this December. I am very nervous about it.
Since it is a child-based film, they thought I would be able to do a good job. I'm happy because I don't have to make music for people who are 10 times older than me. It feels great to be working with such a great director.
What's the music of the film like?
It has a blend of happy and sad music as it is about a child from a poor family.
What are your other interests and passions?
There is acting, directing and sports. I like playing cricket, basket ball, squash which is like a family sport. Everybody in the family plays squash. And of course video games.
What instruments can you play?
Guitar, violin, piano and percussion.
Who are your favourite musicians?
I love A R Rahman, Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal-Shekar and Pritam. You can learn a lot by just listening to their songs.
How do you make your music?
They are all computer generated. I listen to different music from different instruments and program them together.
How was your first experience in front of the mic?
It was in front of my dad. It was a very emotional moment for me. I felt attached to the place and environment. Today my favourite place is the studio.
Did your dad's music influence yours?
No. I started listening to his music a while after I started composing. It only helped motivate me. I could differentiate between his work and mine.
How are you dealing with sudden fame?
It's a new feeling. I am enjoying every moment. I'm getting used to being a part of the industry.
Have you made friends with anybody in the industry?
A few like Salim-Sulaiman and uncle Shaan.
Image: Azaan Sami