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The man and his music

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UNBLEMISHED Shantanu Moitra claims he moulds a piece of music his way.
UNBLEMISHED Shantanu Moitra claims he moulds a piece of music his way.

Shantanu Moitra talks about composing music for the upcoming film, “Laga Chunari Mein Daag”.

I take my own time in making my music because I can afford to do so. Music for me is not my bread and butter.

He may have delivered music for “Pyar Ki Dhun” and “7 1/2 Phere” but that went unnoticed. But music composer Shantanu Moitra has a handful of successful films to talk about. Be it the hit scores of “Parineeta”, “Hazaron Khwahishain Aisi”, “Yahaan” or “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”, Moitra’s talent for soulful tunes has been well appreciated. The man is now ready with “Laga Chunari Mein Daag”, Pradeep Sarkar’s much awaited film from the Yash Raj stable.

The film’s song, “Hum To Aise Hain Bhaiyya”, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, Swanand Kirkire and Pranab Biswas, now playing on the film’s promos, is already catching music lovers’ attention.

In total, there are five songs in the film. “Zara Gungunalein Chalo” is sung by Babul Supriyo and Mahalaxmi Iyer while Shubha Mudgal and Meeta Vashisht sing the title song. A naughty, romantic number, “Ik Teekhi Teekhi Si Ladki” is sung by KK and Shreya Ghoshal. In “Ehi Thaiyaa Motiya”,

Rekha Bhardwaj has lent her voice while Sonu Nigam, KK, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal sing the wedding number, “Kachchi Kaliyaan”.

Says Moitra, whose debut non-film album “Mann Ke Manjeere” and “Ab Ke Sawan” won him many admirers, “I am very choosy when it comes to working for a specific film. And I take my own time in making my music because I can afford to do so. Music for me is not my bread and butter. It is my advertising agency that feeds me. Music is my hobby.”

Introductory song

He says that for “Laga Chunari…” he worked on its script and sat with almost all actors and singers. “‘Laga Chunari’ is the introductory song in the film. Through this, all characters in the film are introduced. I had to show that the actors in the film are all from a united middle class family from Banaras and that sisters Rani Mukerji and Konkona Sen are bubbly, and are very dear to their mother (Jaya Bachchan ).”

Because of the song, he says, “we saved time that would have been spent in dialogues introducing these characters.” Before making the music for this and other songs, “I involved myself in the film from the word ‘go’. I discussed the scenes at length with Pradeep.”

Agreed that his music is euphonic but he is often accused of lifting tunes from different sources and doing a cut-paste job in his compositions.

I don’t care

“I don’t care about what people say. What ultimately matters is whether people have liked it or not. A lot of veteran music directors have lifted from folk songs. I do take a piece of music from different sources but I modify it through my own knowledge of music. I don’t depend upon techno-music to sell my product. I openly say that I don’t belong to any school. I do what I know would be loved by the listeners,” he defends himself.

If Shubha Mudgal “never says no” to his songs, now he is even working with Shyam Benegal. He says delightedly, “I am scoring music for his film called ‘Mahadev’. While in my music for Sudhir’s Mishra’s ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’, you will find romance of the 1970s.”

RANA SIDDIQUI


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