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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

We work like donkeys: Amit Trivedi

Nirmika Singh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 08, 2014
First Published: 16:40 IST(8/2/2014) | Last Updated: 16:50 IST(8/2/2014)
Last year he composed music for a variety of films — from a period drama (Lootera) and a comedy (Ghanchakkar) to an anthology film (Bombay Talkies).

And with each project, Amit Trivedi has managed to amass praises for his versatility.

His latest offering, Queen, has also met with the applause that Trivedi’s quite used to now.

It’s almost a cliché, and quite an outdated one, to describe him as a musician who composes ‘edgy, new-age sounds’ — Trivedi has proven his mettle across genres now.

In this interview, we prod him to tell us more about what he’s been up to.

You had quite a few projects in 2013. How was the year for you?
It was a very hectic year. I was juggling five to six projects. There was no time to breathe. But all the pain and hard work paid off. I was satisfied with the results.

How do you select your films from the ones offered to you?
The filtering process is easy. If the script doesn’t excite me, there’s no point working on the music. I put a lot of time and effort into my projects — each film takes about two years. Mann maar ke kaam karne se kya fayda? (What’s the point of working half-heartedly?).





You once mentioned in an interview that you like to work with writer-directors only.
Yes, it’s best to work with writer-directors because they know the film inside out. Their vision is clear and they know what they want from you. Plus, they give you a lot of creative freedom.

As a composer who works on  both the soundtrack and the background score, do you feel the pressure or the burden to perform?
There’s no pressure as such. I enjoy what I do. The only burden is the deadlines. Plus, composing background scores is a thankless job; it is not perceived as a significant thing. Most films don’t have a budget for a background score, but it is the toughest job to do. We work like donkeys. And usually we get only around a month to do a score. But I love scoring when the films are high on content such as Lootera (2013), Udaan (2010), Dev.D (2009).





What kind of rapport do you share with your peers such as Vishal-Shekhar and Pritam?
We’re on good terms. We often plan to meet for a drink where we discuss everything but work. 

Tell us about the kind of response you are getting for Queen’s music.
It has been great. People are saying that the music reminds them of Dev.D’s (2009) songs.

The film doesn’t feature any new singers, unlike your past work.
I have to be excited by a particular voice to consider it for a song. I am open to new voices. If I come across one that I like instinctively, then I would like to work with that singer.

You usually team up with lyricists Amitabh Bhattacharya and Swanand Kirkire. But all the songs from this film have been penned by Anvita Dutt.
That’s because Anvita has written the dialogue and a major part of the film. She was an obvious choice. Also for her, writing the lyrics was a piece of cake.  

What other projects are you working on currently?
Right now, I have only Bombay Velvet.
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