Young, new, fresh. These three words describe the duo of Vishal and Shekhar, whose latest hit as composers is the track 'Chhod Na Re' from the Sanjay Gupta film 'Kaante'. Vishal is the lead singer of the rock band Pentagram, while Shekhar is a qualified Indian classical musician.
Together, they are contributing to the emergence of the new sound in Hindi film music. In this exclusive interview, Vishal talks about his experience as a music composer, and everything else that is in store for them and the lovers of music.
Your career as a film music composer started with 'Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi' and songs like 'Musu Musu'. How did it take off?
This was in 1998-99. Raj Kaushal was making a film and asked me if I would be interested in writing some music for it. I had written a couple of songs which we discussed. That is how it happened.
How did Shekhar and you come together?
The thing is that Shekhar and I were working independently in 'Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi.' We became good friends, and decided to team up as a unit.
How did you get the song for 'Kaante' which is now such a big hit?
We were working on a film called 'Jhankar Beats'. The film's director Sujoy Ghosh is a close friend of Sanjay Gupta, and that is how we met. When Sanjay suggested that I could do a song for 'Kaante', I could not believe it. But he said he was serious, so I wrote the song and went to him the next day. That resulted in 'Chhod Na Re.'
You have also written the lyrics for 'Chhod Na Re', isn't it?
Yes, I have. But Sanjay contributed the lines in the track that have been spoken by the characters because he, as a director, knew what they were supposed to speak.
What is the soundtrack of 'Jhankar Beats' all about?
It is a cool concept. It is a tribute to R D Burman with original songs apart from one number which has been re-worked. That happens to be 'Humey Tumse Pyar Kitna.' The rest of the songs are originals, and a couple of them are from the R D school in terms of the feel.
What other projects are you working on?
There is Padam Kumar's 'Supari', also an untitled film directed by Siddhartha Sengupta for which we have composed six tracks already. Then there is Hriday Shetty's 'Plan', and Shashanka Ghosh's 'Waisa Bhhi Hota Hai.'
You sing for Pentagram, a rock band. How tough was the transition?
Yes, I do sing for a band that is Western and loud and stuff. But you know, at the end of the day, it is not tough. Shekhar being a qualified classical vocalist makes things much easier. My parents are listeners of Hindi film music, and I grew up in an atmosphere where Hindi music was all around me.
Have things become easier for you because of the increasing acceptance of new and newer sounds?
We are new. So, the openness to new ideas, and new sound, is a great thing for us. Also, it is great to enjoy the confidence of many first-time directors who have taken so much risk by signing us for their projects.
That means you are in the business of composing Hindi film music completely?
Totally, completely. My work for Pentagram continues. But this is a lot of fun, good money, and music is always with me. It is a great trip.
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