The name Amartya Rahut might not ring a bell in most minds. But I doubt there is a person who wouldn’t have heard at least one of his many works on TV, which range from the jingle for Cadbury’s Perk to Colors Channel Signature Tune to his award-winning Punjabicized version of Jingle Bells created for Nickelodeon. His religious views, as per facebook, is “John Lennon is God”. That gives a general idea of how committed this guitarist-composer is to music.
Amartya’s first shot to fame was his fusion band in early 2000s, OM, which he formed with the now-famous Amit Trivedi and three other guys. He did his Bollywood debut last year with Aagey Se Right, but it unfortunately didn’t attain success in spite of being a good album. The man is currently busy with the works of his new band Nine which debuted at the Kala Ghoda Festival on Feb 12. We decided to catch up with Amartya aka Bobo and get his story for our readers. Read on then!
Let us start with your pre-OM days. Your
musical upbringing et al.
I have been a professional freelance guitar player from my school days in Calcuttaâ€¦ Have played with some of the premium bands of that timeâ€¦ Namely Shiva, Fifth Dimension, Asteroids, Cactus, Paras Patharâ€¦.
But personally I have always wanted to compose original songs and ideally wanted to do it on a national platform and not be restricted to any regional spaceâ€¦ So shifted base to Mumbai in 2000.
In Mumbai started off with whatever little work I would get initially in advertisingâ€¦ And the struggle which I guess every migrant in Mumbai faces in our industryâ€¦.
How did OM come about? The five of you are seemingly people from different
backgrounds, both geographically and musically.
During my initial advertising days in Mumbai I started working with Amit Trivedi (Dev D/Aamir)â€¦ He used to be my arranger for all my advertising sessionsâ€¦ His friends were Sriram and Ramâ€¦and one fine day we got together and created Omâ€¦ We were pretty lucky I must say to get times music to spend on our album pretty much as soon as we had started the bandâ€¦
I have read you as being credited as composer for OM in many places. Just want to clarify
whether it was entirely your effort, coz in at least a couple of songs (Baadal and Tum Tana
especially) I have got an improv sort of feel.
My part in Om was being the composer and guitar player for the bandâ€¦ Sriram composed a few tracks on his ownâ€¦ Amit arranged all the songs and Baadal was a traditional piece which we jammed onâ€¦
Om was formed in 2002. I believe you came out with the album some time in 2004. And
after such a brilliant debut nothing was heard of Om again. What happened? Is there a
possibility of a reunion in future?
Unfortunately, after the album released, although we did get decent response, our personal goals seemed to be pretty individualisticâ€¦as for myself I was already composing on a regular level for premium mainstream advertising commercials, Amit the other key member of Om was working with meâ€¦ Ram and Sriram had full time corporate jobsâ€¦ So it fell apartâ€¦ And now it seems pretty unlikely that there will be a reunionâ€¦
Coming back to your individual exploits, after your stint with Om you were lying low, at
least to the public eye, till Aagey Se Right came about in late 2009. What were you doing in
this long hiatus?
After Om, I scored the music for for 2 Marathi films for a friend of mine , director Bipin Nadkarniâ€¦ The National award winning Uttarayan and Evdhasa Aabhalâ€¦ I got the State award, Zee Alfa award, and the V Shantaram Puraskar for the above filmsâ€¦
Along with all this my advertising stint continued on a regular levelâ€¦ Personally I love composing for adsâ€¦ As the time frame is limited, the money being goodâ€¦ And the job, very challengingâ€¦ One needs to be on his toes everyday to score advertising musicâ€¦
Along with advertising I do a lot of television work as wellâ€¦ The channel signature tunes of Colors and Real have been composed by me. Last year, â€˜KHATRON KE KHILADIâ€, â€œCHOTE MIYANâ€, â€œBIG BOSSâ€ AND â€œNATIONAL BINGOâ€etcâ€¦
In 2009 I did Aagey Se Rightâ€¦ Again for a friend of mine from my advertising background, Indrajit Nattojiâ€¦ I still wish the music had been promoted a littleâ€¦ There was almost zero publicity as far as the music of the film was concernedâ€¦
What other Bollywood projects have you got coming up?
Currently, working on a couple of film projects â€¦but no point in naming them nowâ€¦as I have realized one simple thing as far as feature films are concernedâ€¦till they release one never knows what the outcome is going to beâ€¦because it is a big affair and I guess there are lots of variables attached to a filmâ€¦so, being a little superstitious about it (hehe)..
Congratulations on your debuting your new band Nine at the Kala Ghoda festival. Tell us
more about the band. When is Nine’s official album going to hit the shelves?
Currently I am occupied working on the band Nine with two extremely talented and dear friends, Neelesh Mishra and Shilpa Raoâ€¦ Nine was completely Neeleshâ€™s ideaâ€¦I am simply composing the songs and creating the music to his thoughtsâ€¦.. And things are shaping up wellâ€¦ Hopefully this year the album should releaseâ€¦
To be parting on a light note, mind telling us the history behind your famous nickname
As far as Bobo is concernedâ€¦a very strange uncle of mine (this is the story passed on to me by my dad), had this brilliant idea of naming me Bobo when I was a babyâ€¦and its stuck till date (hahaha)â€¦
Whoever I meet for the first time, I introduce myself as Amartyaâ€¦by our third meeting he starts calling me Boboâ€¦so thatâ€™s a comic tragic affair I have to live with I guess!!!
Well here is wishing Amartya all success with his upcoming Bollywood ventures, and Nine. As an ardent fan of OM I do sincerely hope that a reunion of OM happens in spite of Bobo’s misgivings! We shall be back with another artist soon. Below are some videos of Amartya’s past works.
Piya by OM, reproduced with the artist’s permission
Amartya’s rehash of Jingle Bells for Nickelodeon which won the Promax 2009 award for best music
A Condom awareness ad with music composed by Amartya
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