Salim-Sulaiman were rejected by 'big label' after composing songs for a movie: 'Director was our friend'
Salim Merchant, of music composer duo Salim-Sulaiman, has claimed that he and his partner Sulaiman Merchant were rejected by a 'big label' after they composed the music for a movie that the production house eventually acquired. They were associated with the project after the director of the movie, who was also their friend, had read the script for them.
Salim and Sulaiman, who are also brothers, have composed music for numerous hit movies such as Chak De! India, Fashion and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. They launched their own label last year called Merchant Records and came out with a few unreleased songs as well.
In a recent virtual interview with radio host Siddharth Kannan, Salim said in a mix of Hindi and English, "There was a movie, it came to us because the film's director was our friend. We heard the story, we liked it to the extent that I wanted to produce the movie. We prepared the songs, a big actor came in and he also heard the songs and he loved them. The film went to a big label and the label said, 'Not Salim Sulaiman please'. I don't know why."
Eventually, Salim and Sulaiman included the unused tracks in their album Bhoomi, which released in 2020. One of the album's tracks called Zinda Dili was initially composed for the movie. "(Zinda Dili) got so much love, right now sitting on 28 million views on YouTube. If the song was released through the film, it definitely wouldn't have received so many (views). The film, unfortunately, did not do well. One of the biggest reasons is Covid-19 because cinematic releases did not happen and obviously when a movie releases on OTT, songs don't get enough importance because the OTT audience doesn't consume songs as much as the theatre-going audience. That's the sad part," he added.
Around the launch of their label, Salim had told Hindustan Times, "There’s this word these days that people talk about these days and it’s ‘content’. I don’t like that word, content. My point is that in that aim to create ‘content’, people are trying to make hit songs rather than making good songs. I am not saying good songs means they are boring songs or anything like that. But I mean it’s good to create music that has a commercial feel to them. But a song should be created so that it can last."