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Song fit for Romeo

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FIRST TIME Salim-Sulaiman worked for two years to make the music of “Roadside Romeo”
FIRST TIME Salim-Sulaiman worked for two years to make the music of “Roadside Romeo”

Salim-Sulaiman score the music for Yashraj’s first animation film “Roadside Romeo”

With films like Chak De! India, Dhoom and Hum Tum under their belt, music director duo Salim-Sulaiman have earned their share of fame and fortune – enough for Yashraj Banner to rely on them again for their first animation film, Roadside Romeo released this past week.

The film has a few firsts to its credit. One, Walt Disney has joined hands with Yashraj as its co-presenter and two, Jugal Hansraj opens his account as a writer and director with it.

The film is the story of a ‘cool’, lavishly living dog, Romeo who is left on the road after being abandoned by his owners.

Even as he struggles to survive, fighting the street dogs, he falls in love with a bitch – Laila. But he has to face a don, a huge bull dog, before he can get her. While Saif Ali Khan has rendered his voice for Romeo, Kareena Kapoor speaks for Laila.

An excited Sulaiman says , “We have been working on this film for over two years. I would say that this is the first Indian-international animation film of this calibre. With such films responsibilities are more because they are mostly seen by minors. So, we have tried to keep the tunes as catchy as possible. And we have also taken care that no derogatory words are used in the songs.”

He cites two songs “Apni dum bhi oonchi ho, public sari neechi ho,” and “Cool, cool, style ka ye usool” as examples.

Salim chips in, “We have woven the music into the script to help in the progress of the story as we don’t have more than 90 minutes.”

He cites the introduction of Romeo as an example. “As he enters the frame, he sings and dances to “Cool, cool” which shows his lifestyle and the type of dog he is.”

Item number too

The film has five songs including one item number “Choo Le Na” sung by Sunidhi Chauhan.

Laila, Romeo’s love interest, sings and dances to this number. Besides that Kunal Ganjawala and his wife Gayatri sing a duet for Romeo and Laila.

Sulaiman cites the reason behind the inclusion of the item number.

“Every two months the trend in animation films changes. A few months back Punjabi hip-hop was used to rejoice kids. Now it’s the jazzy item number. To keep pace with the times we re-tweaked our old Punjabi cabaret number. We tried many variations but it wasn’t exactly working from the kids’ point of view.

Thankfully, ever since we started our careers 18 years ago, we have been synchronising, arranging and composing our music rather than leaving it to the arrangers. So we knew how to rework on grooves, sync, make baseline changes and so on. Though a lot of thought has gone into the making of this song, we could finally make a naughty number,” he laughs.

The two talented composers who have done about 55 films together, believe in splitting their work.

While Sulaiman handles drums, baseline and guitars , Salim restricts himself to keyboards and vocals. “But, we both compose music together,” concludes Salim.

RANA SIDDIQUI ZAMAN

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