The lead vocalist K. Mohan of the indie rock band Agnee reveals in a chat with Sohini Chakravorty why they want to be the greatest music band not the greatest music directors
With soulful music and lyrics that are related to matters of the heart, the music band Agnee has come a long way since their initial days. Their song Aahatein which was the theme song for the reality show Splitsvilla was an instant hit among music lovers, ever since then there has been no looking back.
From composing the Hindi theme song for the Hollywood film The Avengers to clinching the maximum number of nominations for Global Indian Music Academy (GiMA) awards, the band is on an all-time high. They have been nominated for their three songs, Hello Andheron which was also the theme song for The Avengers, I Believe which featured on the music show The Dewarists and the theme song of the reality show Roadies, Manmaani.
Sharing the stories behind the three songs, K. Mohan, one of the founding members of the band says, “Koko (lead guitarist and other founding member) has been jamming to the song I Believe for a long time. It was written by someone who was going through heartbreak. We didn’t even realise when it became a song.”
While he says the song for The Avengers was a lot harder to do as they had composed one of the longest mukhra for the song. “The song was offered to us in a very matter of fact way, as if we were discussing what to order for dinner. But we worked on it like eager school kids,” he says. Agnee have had a long association with MTV with composing songs for shows like Splitsvilla and Roadies. So when their good friend Raghu Ram expressed a desire to sing, the result was a very upbeat song Manmaani.
For all the three songs they had collaborated with other artistes. While Aditi Singh Sharma lent her voice to Hello Andheron, rock band Parikrama and singer Shilpa Rao were roped in for I Believe along with Agnee.
Comfortable with sharing space with other artistes, “It’s always fun when our songs are interpreted by other guys. We are open to other ideas and each artist brings their individual style in to the song. Koko and the lead guitarists of Parikrama Sonam Sherpa when they got together, the result was quite awesome,” says Mohan, the vocalist of the band.
Despite film music direction and composition, Agnee still wants to stay true to their roots — that is stage performance. “Until recently, not many people were aware that we were music directors as well,” says Mohan.
Talking about composing for Hindi films, Mohan and Koko are firm that they won’t be doing any ‘Bollywoodia’ music. “Commercial music is not even a genre. So far whoever has approached us, they wanted us to make music with the signature Agnee style. Every music director has their own style but if someone asks Agnee to do a Pritam style music then we won’t agree to it. We want to be the greatest music band in the country not the greatest music directors,” says the vocalist.
Koko and Mohan have been playing since 2006 and they welcome creative differences. Sharing the secret behind their long musical association Mohan explains, “We were neither overnight success nor we had to struggle a lot for commercial success. We are not young where we have to worry about getting the attention of the girls. We just want to focus on our music.”