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First impressions

Justin-Uday, the music composers of movie Hijack speak to Nikhil Taneja about their maiden break into Bollywood...

music Updated: Aug 13, 2008 13:51 IST
Nikhil Taneja

Justin-Uday, the music composers of movie Hijack speak to Nikhil Taneja about theirmaiden break into Bollywood and their favourite music icons.

The two of you started as a band almost 20 years ago.

We were a part of the school’s MCC parade band in the eighth standard. We have known each other for 27 years now. We started our own band in school. I (Justin) was on the keyboards and percussion. We have been performing on stage ever since.

How did commercial music happen?
After college, we took up jobs because our parents didn’t want us to pursue music professionally. Uday was in an ad company, so we would get small TV jingles...and then some good brands came. So, we quit our jobs. In ‘96, we composed the music for Sharon Prabhakar’s album.

Which brands have you composed for?
Surf, Mirinda, and JK White cement which is on air right now. There are far too many to recall. We are also associated with BBC’s Incredible India.

How did you get the Hijack break?
(Director) Kunal Shivdasani has been an ad filmmaker for quite a while. We had tried to get into movies earlier, but it hadn’t worked out.

Since Hijack is an action movie, where do songs fit in?
The movie’s about a helpless man whose daughter becomes part of a hijack. The songs have been integrated into the plot. The movie took two years to complete.

Were you worried that the music may become outdated?
No, not exactly, because we recorded the music in different phases, while the film was being shot.

How has the response been?
We’re getting mails and calls from all over the place. Since Hijack was our first film, we had to be safe to be successful.. and so we didn’t experiment too much. But in the future, we wouldn’t hesitate in breaking the rules.

The track Aksar has been doing quite well. But why four versions?
The remixed version is there.. because that’s a given now. The sad version is just one line in the film. The unplugged version of Aksar was purely our call. We took the idea from albums abroad. Around 150 musicians were
used for the ‘live’ effect without any electronic intervention.

Your style is said to be inspired by Pritam’s music.
Whenever KK is asked to do an ‘ooo’ in any song, it is said that the music is similar to Pritam’s, since he was the first one to make him sing that way. But KK himself says that he is known as the ‘ooo’ singer abroad . If you don’t do that, the listeners are disappointed. Otherwise, our style isn’t like Pritam’s.

Who are your idols?
Ilaiyaraja, AR Rahman, John Williams, Peter Gabriel and above all, RD Burman.

The one song that has always inspired you.
Phir wohi raat hai by Kishore Kumar, composed by RD Burman.