MUMBAI: Singer Mika has begun his new innings as an actor in the Punjabi movie Mitti, which released worldwide recently. Twelve years after making his

debut as a singer with Sawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag, Mika’s decision to act in a movie has come as a surprise for many.

He says, “I am not excited; my heart will always be with singing. It is just that the movie has a social message and because of its theme, I decided to do it.’’ Mika has also composed the music for the film. Talking about the story, he says, “It is about four friends from different religions who want to make it big in life. However, in their zeal to achieve success, they are exploited by politicians and religious fundamentalists. Finally, they come into their own.” Mika is confident that the movie will appeal to people of all countries because of its theme.

Was he nervous facing the camera for the first time? “Not at all,” he says, “I feel that performing live in front of 20,000 people is more daunting. Moreover, I’ve already worked in a lot of music videos, so there was no question of having butterflies in my stomach for the movie.” Mika wanted to be a composer when he was in school, but gradually he moved towards singing, inspired as he was by the songs of Kishore and Rafi. Moreover, being the brother of Daler Mehndi, the famous pop singer, also helped. Mika says he’d like to get into classical singing if he gets an opportunity.

Mika has recently lent his voice for the title track of the Vidya Balan-Naseeruddin Shah-Arshad Warsi starrer, Ishqiya, which has been composed by Gulzar and whose music is by Vishal Bhardwaj. “I am really proud to be working with the likes of Gulzar and Vishal Bhardwaj,’’ says an enthusiastic Mika.

However, Mika still says that he and Rakhi Sawant get on like a house on fire. “I don’t know why people still want to talk about something that happened three years ago. I’ve forgotten it,’’ says the singer with a smile, referring to the infamous kissing episode between him and the item babe. Mika even wrote a song, Tune Pappi Kyun Li, about it. Ask him why he loves to be in controversies all the time, and he says, “If you are popular, you become controversial. If you tell the truth, people feel uncomfortable. Things like controversy don’t make any sense to me.’’

Reacting to his recent statement that he went to Kashi to wash off his sins, Mika says, “So what? Every man is a sinner, you people also can do that. There is nothing wrong with it. Why should I hide it?’’ Isn’t there a whiff of controversy in that statement also? Mika won’t agree.