India’s music scene getting good: ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ composers

Vinayak (L) and Rohan (R)
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By Ankit Sinha

New Delhi–From ad films to now Hindi films with “Nil Battey Sannata”, Rohan Utpat and Vinayak Salvi, the creative brains behind the music of the popular ‘Mauka Mauka’ ad campaign, believe that the music scene in the country is “getting good” now.

Utpat and Salvi, who have also worked on megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s talk show “Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi”, say that nowadays the live music trend has become popular again and “real music is coming back”.

Vinayak (L) and Rohan (R)
Vinayak (L) and Rohan (R)

“Live music has come back again. People are even going abroad (to play shows). People are hunting folk musicians on YouTube. Live concerts are happening, people are playing (shows). India has such a big range of folk music. The real music is coming back. The scene is actually getting good,” Salvi told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Utpat said that they try to rope in their musician friends and record them to showcase their talent to the audiences.

“There are a lot of musicians who have no chance. We try to rope in our friends, our musician colleagues and try to get them recorded. We are doing some projects where we need such superly talented musicians. We try to get hold of these people and get them record. It becomes a good thing for them and us,” Utpat told IANS.

The composer duo, who are childhood friends, said that their journey from composing music for advertisements to entering showbiz has been “very fulfilling”.

“It was very fulfilling. We have been doing ad films since three to four years. ‘Mauka Mauka’ was the biggest campaign. It became a huge hit. We also got a lot of attention and publicity. It went really well for us. This year it started with ‘Nil Battey Sannata’. It was a milestone for us,” Utpat said.

“It feels great to be in Bollywood now. It is a good start. We got to do what we wanted to. It is a sound which we really like to produce. It was more fulfilling. It has been a great journey so far,” he added.

However, this is not the first time that the duo has worked with “Nil Battey Sannata” director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari. They previously gave music for Tiwari’s short film “What’s for Breakfast”, which won a Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2012.

“We were working with the director back during her short films and the ad films. She already knew what we generally like doing. We have worked a couple of times, she has always liked that. She approached us and asked if we were interested in doing it. When we got to the flavour of the film, we got much more excited,” Salvi said.

“There are no item numbers. We like to do soulful music numbers. We did the scratch tracks. She narrated the story and that’s how it went,” he added.

It took about four months for the composers to record the songs for the “Nil Battey Sannata” album, for which they have used a plethora of live instruments like the mandolin and accordion.

“None of the songs is lip-sync. We used live instruments like mandolin and accordion. Getting the live instruments recorded properly took a little time. We had used a lot of live instruments in the background too,” Utpat said.

Stressing on the importance of lyrics for music, the duo, who composed diverse songs like “Maths mein dabba gul”, “Maa” and “Murabba” for “Nil Battey Sannata”, said: “The lyrics of the film are very important. They are playing a very important role at the same time. We used to sit down with the lyricist and jam and alter the lyrics. Lyrics are also very important so that people remember something like that. It is a complete teamwork.”

Starring Swara Bhaskar, “Nil Battey Sannata” released on April 22. (IANS)



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