We’re excited to announce our new Celebrity Guest Editor program! In a first for any Indian music streaming service, Saavn is inviting celebrities who use Saavn to curate our site and app for a day. Our first Guest Editor is none other than Neil Nitin Mukesh (he of the legendary Bollywood legacy). You can listen to Neil’s picks for Song of the Day and his featured playlist on Saavn.com and on the Saavn Music apps today, January 15th (IST), as Neil celebrates his birthday with Saavn.

We also interviewed Neil in preparation for his Guest Editorship. His message for Saavn’s listeners? “Keep a smile on your face always. It’s a curved line that puts everything straight.” Well said, Neil. From all of us at Saavn, Happy Birthday!

Here’s the full transcript of our interview with Neil.

What is your editorial choice for Saavn’s Song of the Day today, and why is this your pick?
My pick of the day would be my grandfather’s song, “Saavan Ka Mahina.” Beautiful song and specially-dedicated to Saavn. This is the month of my birthday… so the entire month of joy.

What’s your editorial playlist to be featured on Saavn today, and why did you choose to share these tracks?
My love songs for the day are Dil Sambhal Jaa Zara, Teri Meri Meri Teri Prem Kahaani Hai Mushkil, Tune Jo Na Kaha from New York. My favourite current workout track is Duma Dum Mast Kalandar from David and my party tracks are Fevicol and Maria Pitache. My all-time melodies are Tere Dar Par Sanam, Awaarapan Banjaarapan, So Gaya Yeh Jahan, and Noorie; and my family entertainment songs are Jaane Jaan Dhoondta Raha and Zindagi Khwaab Hai.

Having dabbled in music, what are your musical aspirations, if any?
I compose music. I play the piano and programme as well. I have composed songs for a film of mine, which I will be filming later this year. Being born in the Mukesh family, you cannot take music away from me or for that matter any of the family members.

Are there any albums, songs, or musical artists you keep coming back to? When do you find yourself drawn to these?
I keep going back to Ali Haidar. His album Chahat is my favourite. I also love Junoon; Sonu Nigam’s Ab Mujhe Raat Din; and Pankaj Udhas’s Phir Haath Mein Sharaab Hai.

Who are your favorite artists/music directors working today?
We have some great musicians today. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Sonu Nigam, Vishal-Shekhar, Sneha Khanwalkar, Amit Trivedi, Pritam, Mickey McCleary, Kailash Kher, Gaurav Daas Gupta, Rekha Bharadwaj, Sunidhi, Shreya Ghoshal, Mohit Chauhan, and many more… we have some incredible talent. I can go on and on.

What are your favorite recordings by your father and grandfather?
All of them. And this I say without being biased. But at the same time my grandfather’s
“Zindagi Khwaab Hai,” “Raat Aur Din,” “Ek Din Bij Jaayega,” and “Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan.” My father’s are “So Gaya Yeh Jahan,” “Noorie,” “Yeh Paisa Bolta Hai,”  and “Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni.”

Your upcoming release, David, has a unique plot structure and album structure, with 8 different composers working on the music. What tracks should we be excited about, and why?
It’s a great mix of some brilliant music. Remo’s “Maria Pitache”, Mickey McCleary’s “Duma Dum Mast Kalandar,” Anirudh’s “Yun Hi Re,” and Maatibaani’s “Tore Matware Naina” stand out for me. Reason being the pure melody and the class of music they are. Having said this, I must also agree on the fact that all the tracks are brilliant.

From all of your own films, what are your favorite tracks, and why?
It’s not fair to ask me my favourite songs from my own films. I love them all. Johnny Gaddaar, Aa Dekhen Zara, New York, Jail, Lafangey Parindey, Saat Khoon Maaf, Players, David. I love them all. But my constant hearing list is “Tune Jo Na Kaha,” “Mann Lafanga Bada,” and Johnny Gaddaar‘s entire album.

As a musical person, do you face any special challenges working in film? Or is it the opposite – does your musical ability inform your acting instincts?
I can only say one thing. And that is that every actor should know music, and learn any one instrument. It really helps to understand “sur” rhythm. Helps you emote better and understand a graph of emotions. Helps in diction and to an extent of learning your lines 😉

Do you have any involvement in the music of your own films?
Yes. I do take a keen interest in the music aspect of films and, without interference, like to sit watch and learn. On the future, like I said before, I have composed songs for a film of mine. To be filmed yet.

Are there any other messages you’d like to share with Saavn’s listeners today?
Keep a smile on your face always. It’s a curved line that puts everything straight.