Singer, songwriter, music producer and now a novelist, BIDDU, drops in on Author’s Circle today, letting us have a peek inside his head.
So, Biddu, you've written a book? What's it called and what's it about?
It's titles Made In India: Adventures of a lifetime
As a child, Biddu dreamt of going west and making it big as a composer. At the age of sixteen, he formed a band and started playing in a cafe in Bangalore, his home town, At eighteen, he was part of a popular act at Trinca's, a nightclub in Calcutta devoted to food, wine and music, At nineteen, he had college students in Bombay dancing to his music.
In his early twenties, he left the country and ended up hitchhiking across the Middle East before arriving in London with only the clothes on his back and his trusty guitar. What followed were years of hardship and struggle but also great music and gathering fame. From the nine million selling "Kung Fu Fighting" to the iconic youth anthem of "Made in India" and the numerous hits in between. Biddu's music made him a household name in India and elsewhere.
In this first public account of all that came his way: the people, the events, the music tours and companies Biddu writes with a gripping sense of humor about his remarkable journey with its fairy tale ending. Charming, witty, and entirely likable, Biddu is a man you are going to enjoy getting to know.
Getting back to the interview...
Tell us your favorite line from your latest novel? Why?
It’s probably the last line in the book. “I am a citizen of the world , but inside, truly deep inside, I am still made in India.” Because, I don’t believe in boundaries, nationalism and religion. I feel global, but I am aware my roots took birth in India.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
Nothing strange. Like most things in life, it’s mostly down to to perspiration and a modicum of inspiration
Tell us what your day looks like?
Old habits die hard. I wake up around 6am. Head for laptop /mobile, tablet whatever and go thru my emails. Then I glimpse at the headlines of the BBC, Times of India, and Dawn. This takes about 2 minutes. Then I go across the road to Hyde Park if I’m in London and take a walk , do some yoga. After that, I take whatever the day offers.
What’s your favorite book by another author, and why?
I am not an avid reader. Maybe one or two books a year, max. I loved Shantaram. Great prose and the blend of fiction and fact was truly engrossing.
If your book becomes a movie whom would you want to play the hero and the heroine?
Anybody who doesn’t look like the back end of a bus.
You're an artist. But why write a novel? I mean, what made you decide to become a writer?
I decided to write a novel initially while sitting on the beach in Spain. I had decided to retire from music as I had been doing it almost since man learned to walk, so a change in direction was needed to spark the fire inside one. Also writing a novel is like writing songs. You need the discipline to get up look at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen and then begin filling it with words and sentences. I think I have that discipline.
Is there a certain scene you find difficult to write?
There are always sections of the book which is a pain to write. As you develop the storyline you have to give meat to the skeleton of your idea for that particular chapter. That’s when you have to persevere.
What do you wish to convey through your writing?
The spirit of adventure and the realising of dreams.
What can we expect from you next?
The book I’m working on is a ‘who dunnit’ set in Spain. It’s a tough one, as I’ve never written in genre before. But, I’m keeping it fast paced, interesting and entertaining.
To end let's try a Rapid Fire round. Your answer should be the first word/s that pops into your head when you think of:
About the Author
Biddu was born in India, where he started his career playing in a pop band whose influences lay in the classic repertoire of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his early success, he decided to hear West and move into the international music arena. He struck gold, signing the unknown Carl Douglas and producing "Kung Fu Fighting?" which went on to become a hit all over the world. He also wrote and produced hits for Tina Charles and soul legend Jimmy James.
Around this time, Biddu became involved in Indian music: he composed the cult "Aap Jaise Koi" for the film Qurbani which set a new landmark for sales in India He followed this up with a pop album, Disco Deewane, with Nazia Hassan, which became the largest selling pop album in Asian history, and was the first Indian album to hit the charts in fourteen countries. In 1995, Biddu wrote and produced the three-million-selling album Made in India with the singer Alisha Chinai. To date, Biddu has sold over thirty-eight million records worldwide.