Amit Trivedi, who was in town for the MTV Coke Studio show talks about his music mantra and what made his show here special, writes Zeenad Aneez
It is four in the afternoon at Hard Rock Café, Banjara Hills and a team of musicians, engineers and singers of MTV Coke Studio are doing their last minute sound checks for the evening’s show. The energy is palpable as Mili Nair and Mame Khan perform ‘Badri Badariyan’. Amidst all the melee, it is hard not to notice Amit Trivedi, the man behind the music being played, move between the stage and the floor, gesturing simultaneously to the musicians and sound engineers, not missing a beat, sometimes even breaking into dance. While Amit himself may not be recognisable to some people, his music whether the melodic ‘Iktara’ from Wake up Sid, the energetic ‘Dilli dilli’ from No one killed Jessica or more recently ‘Navrai Maajhi’ from English Vinglish is now a part of almost every music lover’s playlist.
Amit was in Hyderabad, along with some of the musicians and singers for a Coke Studio performance. This will be the first live show Amit has done since his days performing with ‘Om’, a band he was a part of before he began to make music for Bollywood. How does it feel to be performing to a live audience after all this time? “I’m really nervous! I am most comfortable in the studio – it is my safe place. I don’t see myself as a performer but a thinker and I like to believe I make music from ‘here’ and ‘here’,” he says pointing respectively to his head and heart. However, being a part of Coke Studio is a welcome change of scenery. “This provides a great space for me to experiment and try new things. Here, I am the boss; it is quite liberating and I enjoy it,” explains the award-winning composer. “Fortunately I have got the best guys from the industry with me,” he adds pointing to his crew.
Amit was joined by singers Mili Nair, Shriram Iyer and folk singer Mame Khan and other musicians – all of them lending the energy and sound that makes a live performance worthwhile.
When the music of Dev D hit the airwaves in early 2009 it was a pleasant surprise for both fans and filmmakers. Like the film, the music was dark, edgy and lent itself to the script beautifully completing what the man behind the soundtrack, Amit calls the ‘mood’ of the film.
Since he started out making music for films, Amit enjoys the challenge of having to work with a script. “The music I make depends on three things: the people I am working with – the director and producer, the script and the context of the songs,” he points out. His discography, which spans different genres – from the edgy soundtracks of Aamir and Dev D to the lighter tunes of Aisha or Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is testimony to this. “I have been lucky enough to work with people from completely different schools of filmmaking. For instance, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar are two different ends of the spectrum and my music changes to fit the films the make.”
Not a believer of playing to the gallery, his vision for the soundtrack is limited to these three things, leaving the songs’ success entirely up to the listeners.
As tensions start building up for the nights show, Amit says he will fight the jitterbugs by doing what he does best – making music.