Musicals conjure images of a vibrant Broadway stage. But in the Hindi film industry, they also mean cinema. But Bollywood lyricist and former journalist Neelesh Misra wasn’t thinking of theatre or movies when he wrote an audio film. Called
, Misra has written a 78-minute album with song and narrative along with playback singer Shilpa Rao and music composer Amartya Raut.
“It’s got nine songs, with 30 minute of storytelling and 28 minutes of songs. It’s essentially a small-town love story set against nostalgia. By way of poetry and music, the narrative develops,” says Misra, who released Rewind with his goup, Band Called Nine.
“We are a band of like-minded individuals. We are all musicians and writers from Bollywood, who write situational pieces. We formed a band and conceptualised this album as a way of expression that we feel deprived of in Bollywood,” says Misra, who recorded the album in five months with live instruments like the veena, sarangi and trumpet. “The concept was to make the album sound the same as it would on stage. We are keen to perform live,” explains Rao, adding that taking time out of her hectic playback schedule was tough but worthwhile.
“The best part is the live shows. Since this a concept album, it’s also multi-genre. It has love tracks, unplugged ghazals and lounge with word pop. Wherever we have taken Rewind live, it has met with resounding success,” says Rao, who describes that the show will only grow bigger with sound and audio visuals along with a theatrical component.
“It’s theatre of the mind,” says Misra, who recalls his first show at the Kala Ghoda Festival in the city last year. “We got a record deal within 24 hours of the show. Saregama contacted us and recorded the album,” he says.
Now, Band Called Nine is hopeful of breaching Bollywood with Rewind's songs. “We are approaching studios and hopefully will be able to use the tracks for a movie this year. Since we understand the pulse of the film industry, we understand the music they need. And Rewind is a story in itself so it has songs for all situations,” says Misra.