He arrived on the Bollywood music scene with Aamir, an album that received rave reviews from critics with its imaginative tunes. If anyone had failed to notice him then, he ensured even their attention the next time, by following Aamir up with a brilliant 18-song soundtrack called Dev D! And the man hasn’t looked back ever since. We present to you Amit Trivedi, the next big thing in the Bollywood music industry! Read on as he talks of his upcoming projects, Emosanal Atyachar, his idol A R Rahman, and more. Before the start of the interview, we express our sincerest gratitude to Amit’s ex-bandmate and composer Amartya Rahut, without whose help this interview would never have happened.
We have heard about OM from your bandmate Amartya, so won’t bother with questions on
that. But was OM the first musical ensemble you were part of?
Yes, OM was my first musical ensemble. I started with live shows for stage and theatre,then moved on to advertising with Amartya.
Dev D.. Your biggest and best project to date.. 18 tracks spread across an array of genres.
How long did it take you to make such a big album? And what were the sort of preparations
you did for the same?
It took me more than a year to complete that album. There were no preparations as such. I just went with the flow of the script and Anurag Sirâ€™s brief.
One of the major success factors of your music has been the lyrics by Amitabh
Bhattacharya. And your association with Amitabh has started from your OM days itself if I am
not wrong. Please tell us about that. How has the experience been with Amitabh?
Yes my association with Amitabh goes long back starting with OM. It is a pleasure working with him as he grasps the thought of the song very well. He is gifted as a writer and we share a comfortable working rapport.
I have read multiple articles touting you as the next A R Rahman. Apart from the quality and
diversity of your compositions that is suggestive of such a comparison, another similarity I
have noticed is the way both of you have been building a pool of new singers to be used in
most of your projects. Like you have Neuman Pinto, Joi Barua, Tochi Raina etc. Your
thoughts on that? Why have none of the conventional established singers featured in your
music so far? And how did you get about building this brigade?
It hasnâ€™t been a deliberate attempt to work only with new singers, but I like to experiment and thatâ€™s why I try out new voices. If I like a voice and that suits the song, then I go ahead and use that. Having said that, I have worked with established singers like Mohit Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Benny Dayal and Javed Ali in an upcoming project.
Your take on A R Rahman, whom you have admitted in the past as being a big fan of? Have
you met him personally? Incidently Dev D came out at the same time as Delhi 6 hit the
stands. How was the experience of being pitted against a giant of our times?
I really donâ€™t know how to react to that. I am a huge fan of AR Rahman and I have idolized him for the longest time. He is the reason why I am here, so when people compare me with him or pit my music against his I feel honored but at the back of my mind is always the thought that I have a long way to go before I can even come close to him. He is way too ahead of everyone else and he is one of a kind. Unfortunately I havenâ€™t had the pleasure of meeting him in person.
Wake Up Sid was one of those rare occasions when the background score for a Bollywood
movie got officially released as a separate soundtrack. Tell us about your work for Wake Up
Sid. Did you interact with SEL while doing the score, or was it done independently?
Wake up Sid was a fun and light hearted film to work on. I did not interact with SEL while doing the background score for this film. I have done it on my own. The male version of Ik Taara did become a huge hit and people have appreciated that song. And that probably was the deciding factor for having it released separately. Besides it is actually a song that was part of the background score.
We happen to know of two of your upcoming works in the immediate horizon, Aisha, whose
promos are already on TV, and one Agnee’s Mohan had told us about – Onir’s I Am. Could
you tell us a bit about the music of these two movies? And what else do you have in the
pipeline? We hear about an international project coming from Anurag Kashyap-Danny Boyle
and featuring biggies like Aamir Khan and SRK?
Aisha is a very youthful film. The music was done keeping that in mind. There is also a romantic track as the film is essentially a love story. Onirâ€™s I Am is slightly more serious and deals with reality hence the song has been made accordingly. There is one track for I Am. Other than these I also have Udaan, directed by Vikram Motwane. Itâ€™s a film very close to my heart. Then next is Chillar Party, a kiddies film directed by Vikas Bahl and Nitesh Tiwari, No One Killed Jessica Lal directed by Rajkumar Gupta of Aamir fame. At the moment I have no update on Anurag Sirâ€™s international film and so I canâ€™t comment on that.
Your latest release Udaan also has some excellent tracks. How has the response been so
The response has been very encouraging and people have liked the soundtrack.
Every artist would have a dream project, so to say. Do you have any such project that you
long to execute? Or was that already done with Dev D?
Hmmmâ€¦frankly I havenâ€™t thought about it as yet.
Your start was from the private album scene. After OM you worked for Junoon, Ramanasia
etc before making it big. Any plans of doing a revisit to the old hunting ground?
Not in the near future.
An interview with Amit Trivedi cannot be complete without a question on Emosanal
Atyachar. Although it is difficult to pick the best song from Dev.D, this was certainly the
most popular and the most radical. Tell us how the idea of using a brass band came about.
Also tell us more about your experience while composing the song, working with the elusive
and interestingly named Rangila and Rasila.
. The entire concept of doing a song as such was Anurag Sirâ€™s. Even the term emosanal attyachar was his. We had a blast recording the song as we had actually called a wedding band to play for us. And this indeed was a unique experience as itâ€™s not every day that one gets to record with a wedding band. Also band masters Rangila and Rasila are none other than Amitabh and myself. At the time we didnâ€™t want to reveal that as we thought band master Rangila and Rasila seem more authentic and also to generate curiosity around the song.
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