Chandigarh saw its very own version of Coke Studio on Sunday, the concluding day of three-day PECfest 2013. The campus swayed to resounding music by artistes Clinton Cerejo, Nooran Sisters and Vijay Prakash.
To begin with, playback singer, music arranger and programmer Clinton Cerejo caught our fancy. He begins by talking about his vocal arrangement for Amitabh Bachchan for the film Kahaani.
There was a time when a Bollywood film couldn’t be made without peppy songs, unlike today, about which, Clinton says, “It is the 21st century; Bollywood has produced excellent films such as Kahaani — one of the movies I gave the background score for — that have no room for cheesy songs. I am glad that people are realising that brilliant films can be made without songs every half an hour.”Talking about his work as a vocal arranger for the film, he says, “My work is to be the music visualiser.
Now, Vishal [Dadlani] wanted Bachchan sir’s voice to have a Godly aura and flavor for the song Ekla Chalo Re. So, while arranging his vocals, I also sung the English lyrics of the song to make that possible.” In brief then, one can call Clinton the ‘cinematographer of music’.About performing for Coke Studio, Clinton says, “Coke Studio gives us a blank canvas, allowing us to paint our creative colours over it. India is very rich in terms of music; working with such talented folk artistes is not only challenging but also a source of immense pleasure. When we collaborate with these artistes, we are basically trying to give a contemporary flavour to folk, so that the youth can connect to it and discover the treasure trove of talent this country holds.”
And his take on the inferior quality of lyrics, a prevalent trend in Bollywood? “Giving music to a song that has bad lyrics also puts the music composer at fault, as lyrics are an integral part of the song.”One of Clinton Cerejo’s most famous songs is Madari, sung by Vishal Dadlani and Sonu Kakkar. After composing for Bollywood films including Wake Up Sid and Omkara, Clinton would next be next working on the background score of Madhuri Dixit Nene starrer Dedh Ishqiya. Ask him if he fells like lending his voice to the songs he produces and he says, “I am not hung up on singing; I only lend my voice if the song demands it.”