There is no dearth of musical talent in Bollywood, but directors like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ram Gopal Varma are not only composing but also singing for their forthcoming films to get the emotions right.
While Bhansali has composed the entire album of his next project Guzaarish, Varma has sung a song for his multilingual movie Rakta Charitra.
"The reason behind doing music of the film is that I think I understand the characters and understand what they would express musically more than any other music director. Some deep thoughts are my concern, so whatever little music I knew, it was a sort of experiment. But I am happy with what I have done," said Bhansali.
Varma, who has sung Kattulato - the Telugu version of the title track of Rakta Charitra- says he was forced to sing himself after composers failed to get the right pulse of the song.
"The reason I sang was not to showcase my singing talent. When I was telling the music directors the way this song should be sung, they were fed up of my constant interference and forced me to sing myself," Varma posted on his Facebook page.There is also editor-turned-director Shirish Kunder, who has composed the title track of his wife, choreographer-director Farah Khan's next directorial Tees Maar Khan.
Kunder, who has also written the script of the film, says composing the song has been a natural progression for him.
"I used to be involved with music and choreography before getting into editing and film direction. I had even composed the background score of my film Jaan-e-mann, so this time I thought why not compose a song full on? It was very natural for me," Kunder told IANS on phone from Mumbai.
According to Kunder, the song was the "most difficult" to compose as it sums up the entire film and mentions the characters in a unique way.
"When people started hearing the 30-second version of the song on the website and appreciated it, I was very happy. But it was actually when Bhushan Kumar said it was extremely commercially viable that I became more confident of my capability. Now I will compose more songs," added Kunder, who has even penned down the number.
The trend of directors taking to music direction has not been rampant yet, but lyricist and writer Prashant Pandey says for any dedicated director, the urge to compose its music comes naturally.
"I think it is about how deeply one feels about it. If you ask me personally about Ram Gopal Varma or Sanjay Leela Bhansali, they have tremendous technical knowledge about music.
"Also a director composes what he wants to hear, and not for the masses. He does not go by the so-called trend, or the so-called music charts which are creations of the music companies to drive sales," said Pandey, who has written the story of Rakta Charitra.
He feels "a director is the most essential part of music making process right from lyrics to tunes".
"What's the big deal if he sings too? It's more organic," he added.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )