Interview with Suraj Jagan @ Echoes 2013 - IIM Kozhikode

 | February 04,2013 03:07 pm IST

Cultural Committee, IIM Kozhikode organized Echoes’13,the annual cultural festival of IIM Kozhikode.

The fest was a three-day event which took place on 25th–27th January, 2013.

Q. Welcome to IIM Kozhikode, Mr. Jagan. How has your experience been in Kozhikode so far?

A.So far it’s been a great experience. We went boat riding yesterday and loved it. Kerala is a beautiful place especially coming from a city like Mumbai. The food here’s great too. I’ve been to Goa lots of times and it’s similar, but not as green as Kerala.

Q. How do you like our IIMK campus? We call IIMK “God’s own ‘K’ampus”. Do you think it lives up to that name?
A. It’s a beautiful campus! It’s quite unlike any other campus. Yes, it has everything to live up to its name. You students are really lucky. I don’t know how much you can enjoy it because of your study pressure, but it’s really beautiful, on top of a hill in the midst of the greenery.

Q. Everyone is looking forward to your performance tonight. What are your expectations from the IIMK crowd?
A.I’ve only performed one show in Calicut- at NIT. It was amazing in terms of crowd response, and also in terms of the sound. Everything was great. The crowd was one of the most amazing crowds I’ve seen. So if it’s anything like that I’ll be more than happy.

Q. What is your favourite song and is there any specific reason for that?
A.It’s very difficult to pick out a single favourite song. But there are certain songs which have stayed with me through the years. Out of my own songs, SadkaKiya is my favourite because I really like the melody. Even if someone else had sung it, it would have been my favourite. Of international songs, I 3 favourites- ‘29 Palms’ by Robert Plant, ‘Sleeping Satellite’ by Tasmin Archer, and ‘Baker Street’ by Gerry Rafferty. There is also ‘Until the End of the World’ by U2. However they haven’t influenced my music that much, like Whitesnake, Led Zeppelin, etchave.
As for why I like these songs, I really can’t point out the exact reason. There is something in the songs which takes me back to a place… almost like déjà vu but not quite. It almost feels like a past life connection. I’ve never really thought about it till now that you’ve mentioned. I need to think more about it.

Q. You have been in the music industry for over 2 decades now. How has your journey been?
A.To be precise I’ve been singing since 1987. The film industry happened to me later though. I have always wanted to be part of a rock band. I didn’t have any other aim. But it was a tough thing maintaining rock bands. For example, the old members kept going out and new members kept coming in, till I realized that I was the only founding member of the band left and would have to dissolve it or change the name since there would be any point of keeping the original band name anymore. So this way I have been in a lot of bands.
But then the Hindi Music Industry happened to me. I started getting offers for doing solo songs, and in a way this has worked out for me. My dream never was to get in to the film industry. What really mattered to me was to have a band, perform in front of an audience and most importantly, write songs. I was happy doing that. But my break in the film industry happened as a consequence of that. I started off with advertisement jingles.
Competition with other musicians never mattered to me. Only my passion for song writing mattered. But in the late 1990’s a challenge I faced was that people weren’t open to original songs. We were booed on the stage. Things have however changed now. My last band ‘Dream out Loud’ creates and performs only original songs.
What I really love is to see the crowd enjoy themselves. For me, the crowd comes first and then the performance. I don’t like to see the crowd sitting down during my concert. In a rock concert if you sit, you just don’t get it.