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All play and less music

The music, masti and madness brought in big bucks for the corporations and through team anthems, ‘live’ acts and music videos, kept the fans grooving. Nikhil Taneja croons.

music Updated: Apr 18, 2009 21:35 IST
Nikhil Taneja

Season one of the Indian Premier League (IPL) made it clear that Twenty20 is not just about cricket. The music, masti and madness brought in big bucks for the corporations and through team anthems, ‘live’ acts and music videos, kept the fans grooving.

But as IPL moves to South Africa this year, and recession looms large, most teams aren’t going for the song-‘n’-dance routine –– the most common reason being that “international audiences won’t get the lyrics.”

Only Vijay Mallya, team owner of the Bangalore Royal Challengers, is cashing in on the global exposure. The liquor baron has roped in the flavour of the season, Amit Trivedi, of Dev D and Aamir fame, to compose an all-new theme song for the team.

Going global
Though Trivedi was brought in before the change of venue, he reveals that the focus has now shifted “from a Bangalore-centric anthem to a Royal Challengers-centric one”.

Penned by Anshu Baba, creative director of Rediffusion, Bangalore, and sung by Joi Bhattacharya, the new anthem, Game for more is the only English language song amongst the eight.

It’s an obvious move by the team management to attract the foreign crowd. Trivedi has given the song “an ’80s classic rock feel so it gels with both the Bangalore club-going crowd and the South African fans”.

Win-win track
Last year’s title champs, Rajasthan Royals, have also brought a new flavour to their cricketing chant. After Shilpa Shetty bought a stake into the team, friend Anand Raj Anand composed and dedicated a scratch to the Royals. Shetty liked it so much that she made it the official anthem and even features in the music video.

Anand, who has also written the lyrics and sung Halla bol, ascertained that there was no hint of arrogance in the lyrics despite the fact that he was composing for the defending champions.

“I wanted the song to have the scents of Rajasthan’s mitti,” says the music director. “I wrote about how the team is hoping to win again.. and it’s the people’s love and prayers that keeps the players going. It’s a song about hope, enthusiasm, optimism.. and simultaneously, it’s a lalkaar to the other teams.”

The only other team management that has promised something new is Shah Rukh Khan’s Knight Riders.

No comments
According to press reports, the anthem, Korbo lorbo jeetbo re, will be remixed, either by the original composers, Vishal-Shekhar or by Pritam. When contacted, Vishal Dadlani refused to comment, preferring to let Khan make the official announcement.

The other five teams will continue with the first season anthems. Meanwhile, official broadcasters SET Max have roped in Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for a theme song for their Ek desh ek junoon campaign.

Thrilled to be a part of the IPL this year, Ehsaan Noorani says, “We’ve created a song that’s high on energy. It’s ethnic yet modern. We’ve worked hard on a strong melody so it can instantly catch attention.”

Cheer leaders
However, the composer laments that the trio will not be involved in the ‘live’ performances like Season One.. a sentiment echoed by other musicians as well.

Anand sums up saying, “Though we won’t have a team to cheer for ‘live’, we will cheer for the spirit of the teams and the IPL that ensured that Season Two wasn’t canned.”