There are only a few artistes in India who have devoted themselves to the sarangi (an Indian bowed musical instrument about two feet high, with three or four main strings and up to thirty-five sympathetic strings), and Momin Khan Sarangi is one of them. He is a part of Arijit Singh’s band and is also popularly known for his solo performances all over the world. Speaking about his work in Bollywood, he has lent his skills for ‘Dabangg 3’, ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ and more. In an exclusive interview with ETimes, Khan spoke at length about his career, working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Arijit Singh and more. Excerpts:
Tell us about your experience working with Arijit Singh?
Arijit Singh is undoubtedly a world-renowned musician; his talent is God gifted. What makes him even more special is his humble and down to earth behaviour. He is very caring and ensures the comfort of the entire troop. One thing he is very very particular about, is time, discipline and rehearsals. He does a lot for society, especially poor children. There is so much to learn from him– how to be a good musician and a good human being.
You have worked with big banners such as Yash Raj Films and Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions. Tell us about your projects with them.
It was a wonderful experience working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. I am very thankful to God that I got this big opportunity at such an age and I have learnt many new things.
What is the biggest challenge for musicians these days?
Due to the prevailing pandemic, we have seen a growth in digital content/music. That is the reason the competition is at its peak. However, people are here for good music.
How do you look back at your journey so far?
There is tremendous hard work and that continues even today, and it will tomorrow as well. While I am happy with the way things are shaping up, I know it’s a long road ahead, and I am looking forward to it. I consider every step of my life as a learning moment and that makes me a student for life.
Who was the biggest influence on you during your growing up years?
My father-cum-guru, Padmashree Ustad Moinuddin Khan. I have seen his dedication and unwavering dedication to Sarangi. I consider myself blessed to have him as a father and guru. I am what I am today only because of him. As a father, he’s been very loving, kind and caring, but as a guru, he has treated me just like any other student of his.
The year 2020 was a difficult one and taught all of us so much. What was your biggest takeaway?
Nothing is more important than love, care, compassion and opening our hearts to one another. This is the only way mankind can tide over tough times. This pandemic has proven that strangers have gone out of their way to help strangers. The rich and poor, irrespective of caste, colour and creed, have contributed to help those affected. A big round of applause to the medical fraternity, municipal and healthcare staff, police, government bodies, NGOs etc, who have ensured the wellbeing of the society.
Any message that you like to give to budding musicians?
If music is really your passion, then no matter what hardships come your way, you must remain undeterred and continue pursuing your passion. Success is bound to follow.
I have a few interesting projects that I am working on. The highlight is the one in which I have had the opportunity to work with Sonu Nigam ji. I can’t share more details now. Then, I have a concert in Dubai in January 2022. I am also working on some music albums and have some solo performances lined up.