Shankar Mahadevan: Composing music for a film is more like a psychological game

Singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan says that one needs to keep in mind the mood of the narrative, the director’s vision, originality, and the creative freedom of the artist while making music for a film.
Shankar Mahadevan enjoys live performances as the instant audience feedback helps him learn and grow.
Shankar Mahadevan enjoys live performances as the instant audience feedback helps him learn and grow.
Updated on Mar 30, 2018 07:26 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByShreya Mukherjee, New Delhi

Every film demands a different soundscape, which in a way defines the mood of the narrative. Singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan of the trio Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy (Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa being the other two artists), says making music for a movie is like a ‘psychological game’.

Talking about how he and his team go about composing music for a film, Shankar says, “There are so many factors that one needs to keep in mind while composing for a film. Every movie is different, and demands a separate approach. Originality also plays an important role. Much like when an artist is designing dresses for different characters or a set designer is building the sets of various films. Then comes the director, who is the captain of the ship and when you are working on the film, his vision needs to be fulfilled.” He adds, “I feel music-making is more like a psychological game; each film has its own colour that needs to be identified and addressed. Creative freedom of the artist is also necessary.”

Read: Ayushmann Khurrana: Delhi is like second home, I end up shooting here almost year

The trio, who has composed music for films such as Wake Up Sid (2009), My Name is Khan (2010) and Mirzya (2016), is working on a bunch of films this year, including Saaho, Raazi, Soorma, and Mere Pyare Prime Minister.


Your favourite Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. #PreGig #Trio #GoodVibesOnly

A post shared by Shankar Mahadevan (@shankar.mahadevan) on


The thrill of singing before an audience is unmatchable, and Shankar shares that they enjoy doing live shows. “It helps in understanding whether we are on the right track or not. And also tells us the areas we need to work on more. An artist must be open to both appreciation and criticism. It’s a part of the learning process, or else there is no growth,” he signs off.

Interact with Shreya Mukherjee on Twitter @Shreya_MJ

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