The son of famous film lyricist Lalji Pandey, who went by the pen-name Anjaan, Sameer was born near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Though he joined a reputed bank as an officer, he claims to know that it was “not his world.” Following his father’s footsteps, he landed in Mumbai in 1980.
Though he made his debut as a lyricist with films “Bekhabar” (1983) and continued with “Dil” (1990) and “Swarg” (1990), it was “Aashiqui” (1990) which gave him the much needed career impetus. The song “Nazar Ke Saamne” from the film brought him his first Filmfare Best Lyrics Award. With films like “Prem Qaidi” (1991) and “Saajan” (1991) Sameer further strengthened his hold on the film industry, becoming one of the most sought after lyricists of the decade. His lyrics were noted for their simplicity and everyday-like quality. The films “Teri Ummeed Tera Intzaar” (“Deewana”, 1992) and “Ghoonghat Ki Aad Se” (“Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke”, 1993) brought him his two consecutive Filmfare Awards for Best Lyrics.
During the late 1990s’ and 2000s’ this trend was to continue with films like “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” (1998), “Dillagi” (1999), “Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham” (2001) and “Raaz” (2001). Since Sameer had worked with the music director duo of Nadeem-Shravan since “Aashiqui” (1990), “Raaz”, which was to be their comeback film, remains very special to him. He lists the song “Aapke Pyar Mein” from the film as one of his favourites. He claims that the composer duo is “sensitive enough to understand the mood of my lyrics and do them justice.” His other favourites are Anand-Milind and he names Majrooh Sultanpuri and Anand Bakshi as his favourite lyricists, apart from his own father, Anjaan. His latest hits have been from films like “Saawariya” (2007) and “Race” (2008). In the year 2007, his biography titled “Sameer - A Way With Words”, written by Derek Bose, was released by Amitabh Bachchan.