Chatting up with Amit Trivedi

amit TrivediHe 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 Sir’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 hasn’t been a deliberate attempt to work only with new singers, but I like to experiment and that’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 don’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 haven’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. Onir’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. It’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 Sir’s international film and so I can’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?

Hmmm…frankly I haven’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 Sir’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 it’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 didn’t want to reveal that as we thought band master Rangila and Rasila seem more authentic and also to generate curiosity around the song.

Aparna Datta says:

So far i listened to Amit’s creations, its amazing…nd needless to mention, Folk ones are just Awesome. Here I’m falling for him:) seriously……………………………………..<3

kirti says:

newcomers must be encouraged… and somebody like amit, who does such amazing work, deserves a pat on his back 🙂
more so, comparison with such mentors like ARR or for that matter anybody gives one a higher aspiration in life to outperform their own work… 🙂

Sundararajan says:

Oh yes ! Any budding artist should be encouraged. Amit deserves to be encouraged. He posseses that rare authenticity which all the leading artists once possesed during their budding period.

Work From Home

VIP says:

@shashi: not trying to blame you or anything but i dont understand why ppl have to get so touchy when it comes to rahman’s matters. its not like v have slandered rahman in public here. i am as die-hard a fan of rahman as you are. u cant deny the fact that amit has shown promises right from day 1. making an 18-song soundtrack is no joke frankly. and if you read the interview he himself has admitted that he has a long way to go before he can even be anywhere close to rahman. its just coz of the promise he shows that ppl tend to compare him to the ideal composer of our times, ar rahman. plz stop taking anything related to rahman personally and try to take things in a more positive manner.

Shashi says:

Please do not compare ARR with any of the bollywood music directors …please. Amit is a far cry.