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The brave new sound of Bollywood music

While growing up, I always knew that I was going to become a music composer. I wasn’t interested in anything else. I was so determined to become a composer that I even formed my first band when...

brunch Updated: Dec 29, 2012 18:28 IST
Ram Sampath

While growing up, I always knew that I was going to become a music composer. I wasn’t interested in anything else. I was so determined to become a composer that I even formed my first band when I was 12 years old. Obviously, I shuttled between many bands and genres of music before realising my true calling.

I am not a big fan of a particular sound and completely believe in assimilating music from different sources. And that has been the beauty of 2012 – musicians broke out of their comfort zone to experiment with newer sounds, genres and techniques. at Sneha Khanwalkar’s work in Sound Trippin. She completely changed our understanding of music composition. She picked sounds off the streets, mixed them, scratched them and made music out of it all. That’s genius. And her compositions in Gangs of Wasseypur are mind-blowing. She is the find of 2012 and will be the shining star of 2013.

Very often people compare my work with Amit Trivedi’s and ask me if he is competition. Yes, he is but he is also really good. Amit hit the nail on the head with Ishaqzaade. AR Rahman created a melodious score with Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Sajid-Wajid are always clever. Even I managed to break the mould with Talaash’s hummable tracks. These albums have a shelf life outside of the movie and that is the challenge every musician will face, over the next year as well.

Personally, I have decided to never work on a misogynist film. I don’t want to associate myself and my music with something that riles me up inside like Tere Naam. For 2013, I have set two parameters for myself while taking on a Bollywood project: I have to keep the director’s vision in mind but I also have to be true to myself. Sometimes it is very hard to marry the two and that is probably why I have done such few films [Delhi Belly and Talaash].

I hope 2013 will be as vibrant and unpredictable as 2012. I hope we can reach out to more people and expose them to newer sounds. I hope it is the year of surprises, of newer voices. feel that Suman Sridhar [of the Khoya Khoya Chand Bartender mix], Shadaab Faridi [of the Fevicol Se song], Keerthi Sagathia [of I Hate You Like I Love You Fame] and Shalmali Kholgade [of Mai Pareshaan fame] will be the voices to watch out for. As far as musicians are concerned, it will be the same bunch of people – Amit, Sneha, Vishal and Shekhar and Sajid-Wajid. I hope to also make it to the list with my compositions in Excel Entertainment’ Fukre.

Also, I sincerely hope more singers from outside Bombay come to fore because their voice has a raw quality that can define the sound of 2013. Folk musicians and singers have a certain sound that has never been exploited completely. We have already seen the popularity of songs like I Am A Hunter, Ishaqzaade, Bharat Mata Ki, O Womaniya etc, which have a rustic feel and which people have loved. 2013 will be the year of fusion – folk with dub-step.

Melodies will be back in 2013. Just hear the compositions in Dabangg 2 by Sajid-Wajid. It’s like going back in time with Dagabaaz Re. I feel that strong, clean melodies will dominate next year. But I also hope melodies are mixed with funky elements like dub-step and DJ scratches.

Also, I strongly feel that indie music will pick up momentum in Bollywood. Television shows like Coke Studio, Sound Trippin and MTV Unplugged have managed to put the indie artists in the right spotlight. Bollywood is slowly taking notice.

After all, Indian Ocean composed music for Peepli Live, a mainstream film and people loved it. And Rahul Ram from the band is a judge on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012. That’s a sign in itself. Indie musicians are being recognised and should be able to hold their own independently or in collaboration with Bollywood music.

And I hope we will be able to create memorable tunes… That’s all that matters!

Ram Sampath: The man behind Bhaag DK Bose from Delhi Belly, the man who composed Muskaane Jhooti Hain from Talaash and the man whose tunes are always on your mind

From HT Brunch, December 30

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