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    Raghanna to direct

    [Interview by Indiaglitz]
    Tuesday, October 10, 2006
    Raghavendra Rajkumar the second son of Dr.Rajkumar proving as an actor from ''''Nanjundi Kalyana'''' now spreading his arms to the business empire of the family is making preparations to take up direction in the next year. The seeds have been sown for direction says Raghavendra Rajkumar.

    Raghavendra Rajkumar''''s first son ''''Vinay Rajkumar'''' studying in II PU is making very good preparation in dance, swimming, physique and other activities. Will he come up as ''''Junior Rajkumar'''' ala ''''Junior NTR''''. The time will tell the answer says Raghavendra Rajkumar with a smile on his face.

    Excerpts of an interview:

    You are very busy nowadays……

    From 'Shabdavedi' I started sitting with my father for hearing the story with my father Dr.Rajkumar, uncle Varadappa and others. At that time I took interest in production activities too. That is because my mother was finding it tough. The root became very easy for me because there was tremendous guidance in protecting the good interests of our empire.

    Why no film starring you is launching….

    Because of my occupation first and secondly the subject we heard from K.Bhagyaraj was stopped in the middle because of some reasons. I am now carefully looking at direction of a social film.

    Since you know the developments in various fields will it be easy?

    I don't say direction is easy but I am making initial preparations. My friend Mahesh Babu who had directed 'Akash' and now directing 'Arasu' is ready to work for me as assistant. I have got support from various people to direct the film.

    Then what is delaying……

    I always remember what my father had told. Do one work at a time. He did it like doing many works at a time throughout in his life. On so many times he was asked to direct a film in his life. He used to tell that we should do one work at a time with complete devotion. Why I am delaying in taking up direction is because I have to free myself to immerse in one work completely. Family matters, distribution, production, Dr.Raj trust, Hotel business, Dr.Rajkumar Samadhi I am focusing on various fields. Doing a film sometime in next year is definite. By that time I would fully concentrate on direction.

    After Nivedhita Shivarajkumar is there anyone to acting in the third generation of Dr.Rajkumar?

    This is a good question. I can't say what will happen in future but my first son Vinay Rajkumar studying in II PU Commerce in St.Joseph's college Bangalore has started standing before the big mirror. He is improving his physique he changes the concept of any dance he watches on small screen. He has given many programs in front of his grandfather Dr.Rajkumar on New Year celebration days. Dr.Rajkumar was watching New Year programs given by Vinay Rajkumar till early morning. His close classmates in the college are all from the family of film business.

    What is the advice you want give for him?

    My father did not tell me anything when I entered films. I would not tell him anything. It is his interest and choice. But he is very shy to appear before the camera like how Shivarajkumar was in his younger days. When Shivarajkumar was young for the film 'Srinivasa Kalyana' he escaped from the scene when the light and camera was on. After make up he walked a few steps and suddenly he was missing from the scene. Such a camera shy Shivarajkumar is today superstar of Kannada cinema. In case my son shows interest in acting our family banner would launch him.

    What is your outlook to the problems of the producers?

    We should first show the unity and internal squabbles should be stopped. We should not go to government with series of problems. Get rectification one by one. It is not right to say artist remuneration is high. Almost all the artistes are producers today.

    What is the position of Dr.Rajkumar Samadhi?

    It is left to the government to give a shape. The government has taken initiate in coming up with various works in memory of Dr.Rajkumar. The Chief Minister had come to our house to discuss. The CM HD Kumaraswamy is also ardent fan of Dr.Rajkumar. We hope everything would come up fast at Samadhi.

    What are the additional things for Dr.Rajkumar International Hotel?

    In this Rs.5 crore International premier hotel we have plans to tune some of the best tunes of Dr.Rajkumar films in Santoor and play it in all the rooms that will be soothing to the ears. We have come to a tie up with Mourya International Hotel for catering.

    What happened to the Trust the family of Dr.Rajkumar was planning?

    This will be taken up in next year April. We are taking up either Hunger of Education from the trust. We have made preparation for all information available on Dr.Rajkumar in website. We will also ask people to give their suggestion on the finest memorial of Dr.Rajkumar.

    Is it not right to showcase the contribution made by Dr.Rajkumar?

    We have set up all the things used by Dr.Rajkumar for the exhibition. A few persons are working on this collection. A book will also be brought out in my father's name.

    Your US Shows were received very well….

    With God’s blessings, the US trip was very successful. We performed in the biggest of arenas where International artistes have performed. The full packed audience during the eighteen city tour over one and a half month was a great experience. There must have been a divine intervention for the twenty two thousand capacity stadium was converted into a night club.

    There are rumours that you are starring in a big movie…

    So many rumours are doing the rounds. People have even coined the title of the film. I shall be making an announcement during my Wembley Show in London on 29th October.

    You seem to have refused lots of offers off late…Including offers for acting…

    There’s no point discussing acting offers as I have never thought of acting. I’ve been a performing artiste in my videos. I shall do four films a year now because I want to be exclusive. There has to be a job satisfaction. In last one month I have refused fifteen sixteen films. In the earlier films are going to be coming and I have worked very hard on it. I am looking forward to Vipul Shah’s ‘Namaste London’ where I’ve worked with Javed Akhtar sahab for the first time and its music is very good. Then there is Firoze Nadiadwala’s ‘Fool and Final’. Anees Bazmee’s ‘Welcome’ and Subhash Ji’s ‘Good Boy Bad Boy’, Anil Sharma’s ‘Apne’. Immediately I am not signing any new films as I want to be very exclusive and I want to come up with the best. I will try.

    You are starting a music school

    Yes I accept this announcement that there is this music school. It will be called Himesh Reshammiya School of Music. I want the platform ought to be given to the best talent in the country. Shows, break in music…Whatever I can. There will be detailed classification for all genres…Best of teachers from India and abroad. There will be separate sections for Indian Classical, Semi Classical, Pop, Jazz, DJ, Rock, Sufi Rock, Keyboard, Violin, Rhythm Section…In all there will be around ten to twelve sections in various genres of music. I will be taking about 10, 000 per centre. And there will be two centers per city and it will be in all the metros…Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. It will start from April.

    How come you thought of diversifying into a music school?

    It was my Daddy’s dream to start a music school. But I feel India has progressed the maximum. I feel if there is any super power then that is India. Similarly in the field of music we have made lots of progress. But when I see the artistes abroad, then they do one album in two years and still remain in hunt as they have that kind of satisfaction level. In India there is a lot of talent but due to lack of proper guidance they are unable to reach where they deserve to be.

    There has been a war of words between you and Sonu Nigam in the media…

    Mr Sonu Nigam is one of the best singers in India so I can’t say anything about him in the media. I have never given any quotes against him. I just can’t say anything bad about him. He is a friend, a colleague and a very talented singer. I respect him very much. At times my shyness has been misconstrued as arrogance. I really admire his singing. There are no differences with Sonu.

    There is criticism that your music is getting repetitive…

    This allegation has been imposed on me for the last five years. When I did Chunri…People started saying that there are lots of Chunri around. Then I started doing pop numbers like ‘Just Chill’, ‘Bardasht’, ‘Nikamma’, ‘Mohabbat Hai Mirchi’. After that I did ‘Tere Naam’ which was a semi classical genre and it was received very well. Then I did pure classical with ‘Banaras’…In Sufi I did ‘Aksar’, ’36 China Town’, ‘Aap Ka Suroor’….Now I am moving towards world music with folk music with contemporary rhythm. If any genre is left, you tell me and I shall try and do something about it.

    Off late in a few of your films, the number of songs sung by Himesh increased substantially and thus the male singers were left with few numbers

    Last four films of mine released simultaneously as September-October due to Shraadh and Ramzaan not too many films release. Maybe because of which people felt that there was an overdose of Himesh Reshammiya. It is one reason that has made me very cautious and I have cut down. Now, I shall have four releases in a year to maintain quality. I will see to it that I do less work and concentrate on quality.

    What makes you such a live wire performer?

    The whole concept is one to one connection with the audience directly. That unique aspect of the simplicity with which I relate with the audience is the main part about my performance.

    Are you doing ‘Mehbooba’ in Ramu’s ‘Sholay’?

    Amit ji is my idol. I love him. He is the best. I worship him. RD Burman ji, Asha ji are great tradition in their own right. I was supposed to do ‘Mehbooba’ and it was my privilege but I think due to all these date clashes I think it may not be possible.


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