Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has finally taken credit for composing Shreya Ghosal's pretty ballad, Thode badmaash ho tum, in his upcoming musical, Saawariya.
"It's a tune that I've been humming to myself for almost three years. I had it in mind for another film. Then I decided it was just right for Saawariya. This time I decided to go the whole hog and take credit for the song because all said and sung it's my tune," Bhansali told IANS.
"But let me stress that apart from Thode badmaash all the other songs in the film are composed by Monty Sharma."
Bhansali is quite proud of Monty's creativity. The young composer had earlier composed music for Devdas and Black.
"When Monty did the background music of Devdas and Black, I realised he had the capacity to go beyond the theme in search of unexpected musical experiences. He's equally capable of doing Indian and Western styles.<b1>
"For the background of Black, we shot with stock music and wondered how Monty would equal the work of great composers that I used to shoot my scenes with. But Monty stunned us. He lived up to every expectation. Amitabh Bachchan, with his powerful sense of music, called Monty a genius."
Monty has inherited it from his uncle Pyarelal.
"Monty comes from a family of great musicians. He's Pyarelalji's nephew and was trained by Pyarelalji's father who has trained half the musicians in the industry.
"Monty started playing the piano at the age of five. There's a kind of beauty, spirituality and sensuality to his music. It's not about telling the world, Main dikha doonga, hila doonga, phaad doonga. Monty has a sense of sincere commitment," said Bhansali.
It has been a prevalent practice for filmmakers to contribute actively to the music score. In fact, showman Raj Kapoor was a musician and filmmaker in equal measures. He would regale close friends for hours with self-composed tunes on the harmonium.<b2>
It's commonly said that a number of RK evergreens, including Awaara hoon and Jeena yahan marna yahan, were tunes created by Raj Kapoor, though they were credited to RK's official music director Shankar-Jaikishan.
In fact, Lata Mangeshkar has confirmed that Kapoor directly contributed to the music score of his films. She recalls the last recording the legendary actor and filmmaker ever attended was for the song Chitthiye in Henna. When the tune created by the composer didn't please him, Raj Kapoor changed it there and then.
When asked why he didn't take credit, he had once said: "I don't wish to kick the music director's belly."
Subhash Ghai too is known to have unofficially composed a substantial amount of music and credited it to Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
"For a filmmaker to be a complete artiste he must be a bit of a musician too. Yes, I play the piano and compose tunes. But I wouldn't like to take official credit for how much I contribute to a song," said Ghai.
The reclusive Aditya Chopra had composed Tujhe dekha to yeh jana sanam in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge - it was credited to Jatin-Lalit - and close friend Karan Johar confirms it.
Bhansali said: "I don't think any soundtrack can be complete without the director's active participation. I discovered the composers Ismail Durbar and Monty Sharma.
"During Devdas I selected the new virginal voice of Shreya Ghosal to sing for Aishwarya Rai and worked extensively on the sound. I visited Kolkata to capture authentic Bengali sounds. I picked up Bengali folk because folk is where the essence of any region's music is. Then I went back to every Bengali-Assamese composer from S.D. Burman to R.D. Burman. After which Ismail Durbar and worked on the sound.
"Our comfort level was so great that after I composed the opening lines of Maar dala he took it from there. I'd often give him mukhdas and other snatches to work on. Neither Ismail nor Monty felt offended by my output."