At the cusp of its eighth year on television, reality show MTV Roadies has got a new musical theme. Titled Yahaan, the song — an allusion to the Roadies journey — speaks about challenges and obstacles, and the polarity of real-life situations.
The track has been written by producer-judge Raghu Ram in collaboration with Arijit Dutta of Hindi rock band Airport. Having worked together for a song in the movie EMI, Dutta and Raghu are familiar with each other’s methods. They teamed up five months ago to start work on the composition, when it became final that Raghu was part of the season.
“I pictured a road in my mind while thinking of the tune, and Raghu gave me brilliant lyrics. They were of the old-school kind in a new format, merged with a serious attitude. The song has come out edgy, and has a raw feel to it,” Dutta says.
"Dutta inspires me and our styles mesh really well. I could have roped in established musicians from Bollywood but then it wouldn’t be the Roadies song. This season, especially, is more about the journey than anything else, and Dutta understood that," Raghu says.
During his yearlong hiatus from Roadies, Raghu took time out to travel. This opened his mind to the excitement that lies on the road leading up to any destination. “People perceive Roadies to be an aggressive show but they’re missing the point. It helps bring up everyday issues that we’d otherwise look past. It equates the spirit of journeys to the spirit of life.”
Less difficult tasks
With every season, the tasks on the show have only got more difficult. However, in this season, Raghu was specifically asked to tone down the difficulty level. “Tasks are only meant to test the psyche of the contestants. Although I’m still considering whether to actually moderate the tasks, I’m excited about the situations we’re putting the contestants through,” he says.
The recently concluded Battleground round of auditions uncovered impressive contestants, one of whom made it to the show. Participants went the extra mile to impress the judges and outperformed themselves in the tasks. One contestant, a filmmaker, made a short film on each task and another sang rap songs in Hindi before starting off on a task. “In the process of testing contestants, the tasks automatically become difficult. I won’t divulge if that is the case with this season, but aspiring participants should be warned that the art of war says your enemies should never hear you!” Raghu adds.
The Kolkata auditions will happen today while auditions in Delhi and Chandigarh are scheduled for November 14 and 19. In Delhi, Airport will hold a concert to play Yahaan and formally announce the band’s collaboration with Roadies. The best songs, Dutta says, are made when Raghu and he sit back with a few drinks and unwind. “We’ve never thought about a formal collaboration. But we know that we’d love to make music together whenever the opportunity arises,” Dutta adds.