Back in the day, Bollywood filmmakers would usually rope in one music director to work on one project. Celebrated composers like RD Burman, Shankar Jaikishan, and Jatin Lalit, among several others, were known for generating soundtracks that were packed with hit songs. But now, that trend seems to have been forgotten for good.
The last few years have witnessed a steady increase in the number of filmmakers, who prefer relying on the services of multiple music directors for one movie’s album. Films like Aashiqui 2 (2013) and Roy (2015), and more recent ones like Ki & Kaa, Kapoor & Sons, and Azhar have all had multiple music directors. Incidentally, they have all also delivered praiseworthy albums. Even the music of several upcoming films, like Housefull 3, Rustom and Cabaret, has been composed by multiple music directors.
Amaal Mallik, who revised hit tracks for ‘Kar gayi Chull’ (for Kapoor & Sons), and the popular dance number, ‘Sooraj duba hai etc’ (for Roy), feels there’s safety in numbers. “Today, producers can’t be sure of trusting only one composer with the music of an entire film,” he says.
Variety is good
While some industry insiders believe that it is more economical for Bollywood film-makers to hire multiple up-and-coming music directors as opposed to one established artiste, trade expert Taran Adarsh disagrees. “Money isn’t a problem. In fact, the amount of money being spent on making music and shooting the videos has gone up in the last few years,” says Adarsh, adding, “Multiple music directors add a different flavour to the film’s soundtrack.”
Producer and music label owner Bhushan Kumar believes that this new trend took shape only after the success of Aashiqui 2. The music for the Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor-starrer was composed by Jeet Ganguly, Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari. It went on to become a huge success.
A platform for newbies
“Many people, like me, are making multiple films simultaneously. They can’t wait for one single director to sit and create six hit songs. The process requires a lot of time and commitment,” says Kumar. He reveals that many big banners that used to hire one music director per film earlier, have also now started following this new trend. “This not only improves the quality [of a soundtrack], but it also gives new talent a chance to showcase their work. New people bring in new and different perspectives too,” he adds.
While most musicians don’t have a preference and are glad that they’re getting to work with a variety of directors, there are a few who aspire to work on an entire album on their own. Tanishk Bagchi, who has composed popular songs like ‘Bolna’ (for Kapoor & Sons) and ‘Fake ishq’ (for Housefull 3), says, “I don’t like to compose one or two songs. But there is a lot of competition, and that makes it difficult for artistes to get an entire film’s soundtrack.”
He feels that albums that have been composed by multiple directors also tend to sound disjointed. “With multiple music directors working on one film, all the songs don’t sound like they are part of the same pack. Then, to top that, every song needs to be a commercially hit song. In the end, producers are only looking for hit songs, and are approaching every music director, hoping that they’ll strike gold with one of them.”
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